Comparative Analysis of Practice Research in Australia and the UK: The Shift to Practice-driven Research

Martin Paul Webber, Lynette Joubert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Australia and the UK share many historic connections. These connections have influenced developments in welfare systems, and the bi-directional migration of social work practitioners between Australia and the UK has helped to support the sharing of knowledge in social work education, research and practice. However, developments in practice research in both countries has largely been influenced by local activity rather than cross-national collaboration, though there have been similar growth trajectories. This article uses a comparative case study methodology to analyse the development of practice research in Australia and the UK since the Salisbury Statement on social work practice research. Each case study explores and provides examples of the nature of the relationship between practitioners and academic researchers; how practice questions are generated; how methodologies are selected; how data are collected within social work practice and the impact of practice research on practice in both countries. The comparative analysis provides a unique insight into how local, and often small, projects provide a more significant narrative about the creation of knowledge in social work practice. These insights have the potential to inform and stimulate the development of practice research in other countries which are earlier in the journey towards practice-driven research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3399-3418
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number7
Early online date10 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2023

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© The Author(s) 2023.

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