Professor Ian F Shaw

BA (Econ) (Sheffield), MA (Sheffield), PhD (Wales), Dip App Social Studies (Swansea)

  • Emeritus Professor of Social Work

Profile

Areas of expertise

  • Practice/research relationship
  • Qualitative methods
  • Evaluation
  • ICT and social work
  • History of social work research
  • Research supervision

Biography

I have been working in a university most of my career, after five years working as a probation officer. My recent interests within social work and social science focus on several themes:

  • The practice/research relationship
  • Understanding the nature of social work as an applied social science in relation to disciplines like sociology
  • Qualitative research and evaluation methodology, practitioner and action research
  • Developing social work research strategies
  • Technology and professional practice
  • The history of social work research

My first degree was in sociology, and it has continued to influence my social work practice and, subsequently, my university work. I followed my first degree with social work training in South Wales, before returning to Sheffield in the north of England to work as a Probation Officer for five years. I arrived in York as Professor of Social Work in Spring 2003, following a long career in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. I am now Emeritus at York, though carrying PhD supervision and several research and writing projects. I work part-time in the Sociology and Social Work Department at the University of Aalborg (Denmark).

Much of my teaching has been at the borders of practice and research, including qualitative methods, dissertation and thesis skills, and evidence and knowledge for practice. I have aimed, in addition, to develop a view of professional practice in social work that embeds an evaluative dimension as part and parcel of good direct practice. I have also taught social work practice through eLearning, utilising packages for which I took the lead developer role.

Professional activities

Research

My research work has never been narrowly focused on social work, but has been at the interfaces with especially sociology, but also social policy, health studies, education and housing. However, I think that a focus on social work research provides an invaluable gateway to several core issues – joined-up policy, professional decision making, evidence based practice, theorizing practice, involving service users in public sector services, transdisciplinary research, the role of the university in society, and so on. My recent research projects include:

  1. Joint Principal Investigator for an evaluation of the UK's much-criticized 'Integrated Children's System.'
  2. Studies of practitioner research in social work and social care.
  3. A case study of research networks in social work.
  4. Archival research on the history of social work and sociology in the USA.
  5. A preliminary historical study of the relationship between sociology and social work in the UK.
  6. History of The British Journal of Social Work.

Almost all of my writing includes attention to the questions raised by the process and action of research. My upcoming books include Social Work and Science (Columbia University Press, 2015) and a four volume 'Major Work' collection for Sage Publications (2015), consisting of what we (Jeanne Marsh at Chicago, Mark Hardy at York and myself) judge the most significant papers ever published in social work research. I have strong national and international network relationships, expressed primarily through taking the lead in developing the successful European Conference for Social Work Research and the launch in 2014 of the European Social Work Research Association, that I chair for the first year. I speak often in other countries – in 2014 this will have included Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Beijing and Taiwan.

Publications

The practice/research relationship; practitioner research

Webber, M., Cauvain, S., Hardy, M., Shaw, I., Satka, M., Kääriäinen, A. and Yliruka, L. (forthcoming) 'W(h)ither the academy? An exploration of the role of university social work in shaping the future of social work in Europe.' European Journal of Social Work.

Shaw, I (2012) Practice and Research. Aldershot: Ashgate. This is a back catalogue of two dozen essays and articles from the 1970s onwards, with a fresh editorial essay that tries to make sense of the patterns in my work.

Shaw, I. (2012) ‘Practitioner research’ in Understanding research for social policy and social work: Themes, methods and approaches, Edited by Saul Becker, Alan Bryman and Harry Ferguson, Bristol: Policy Press.

Shaw I. (2012) ‘Professional Voices from the Field: A Story’ in Maschi, T. and Youdin, R. (eds) Social worker as researcher: Integrating research with advocacy. Boston: Pearson Publishing. Online in Pearson’s ‘My Social Work Lab’.

Shaw, I. and Lunt, N. (2012) 'Constructing practitioner research', Social Work Research, 36(3): 197-208. Available online via Oxford Journals.

Shaw, I. and Lunt, N. (2011) ‘Navigating Practitioner Research’, British Journal of Social Work. 41 (8): 1548-1565. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcr025.

Shaw, I. (2011) Evaluating in Practice. Second edition. Aldershot: Ashgate Publications.

Lunt, N., Ramian, K., Shaw, I., Mitchell, F. and Fouché C. (2011) ‘Networking practitioner research: the state of the art’, European Journal of Social Work. Available online.

Lunt, N., Shaw, I. and Fouché, C. (2010) ‘Practitioner research: collaboration and knowledge production’, Public Money & Management, special issue ‘The Politics of Co-Produced Research’, 30 (4): 235-242.

Mitchell, F., Lunt, N. and Shaw I. (2010) ‘Practitioner Research in Social Work: a Knowledge Review’, Evidence and Policy, 6 (1): 7-31 . I discuss some aspects of these issues in a podcast at the following location: http://feeds.iriss.org.uk/irisspodcast and scroll down to 7 April 2009.

Lunt, N., Shaw, I. and Mitchell, F (2009) Practitioner Research in CHILDREN 1st: Cohorts, Networks and Systems, Dundee: Institute for Research and Innovation in the Social Services http://www.iriss.org.uk/files/Children1stEvaluation_Final.pdf.

Shaw, I. and Faulkner, A. (2006) ‘Practitioner Evaluation at Work’, American Journal of Evaluation, 27 (1): 44-63.

Shaw I. (2005) ‘Practitioner Research: Evidence or Critique?’ British Journal of Social Work, 35 (8): 1231-1248.

Shaw I. and Butler, I (2003) ‘Understanding Young People and Prostitution: a Foundation for Practice?’ in R Matthews and M O’Neill (eds) Prostitution, Aldershot: Ashgate.

Shaw, I (1999) ‘Seeing the Trees for the Wood: the Politics of Practice Evaluation’ in B. Broad (ed) The Politics of Research and Evaluation in Social Work, Birmingham, Venture Press.

Shaw, I. and Butler, I (1996) A Case of Neglect, Aldershot: Avebury.

Understanding the nature of social work as an applied social science

Shaw, I. (in press) 'Sociological social work: a cartoon.' European Journal of Social Work.

Gredig, D, Shaw, I. and Sommerfeld, P. (2012) ‘Mapping the social work research agenda’ in M Gray, J Midgley and S Webb, Sage Handbook of Social Work, London: Sage Publications. pp 391-407.

Shaw, I. (2012) ‘Social work research’ in Understanding research for social policy and social work: Themes, methods and approaches, Edited by Saul Becker, Alan Bryman and Harry Ferguson, Bristol: Policy Press.

Shaw, I., Briar-Lawson, K., Orme, J., and Ruckdeschel, R (2010) Sage Handbook of Social Work Research, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2010) ‘Places in time: contextualizing social work research’ in Shaw, I., Briar-Lawson, K., Orme, J., and Ruckdeschel, R. Sage Handbook of Social Work Research, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2010) ‘Logics, qualities and quality in social work research’ in Shaw, I., Briar-Lawson, K., Orme, J., and Ruckdeschel, R. Sage Handbook of Social Work Research, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw I. and Zlotnik, J (2010) ‘Research and Government’ in Shaw, I., Briar-Lawson, K., Orme, J., and Ruckdeschel, R. Sage Handbook of Social Work Research, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2009/2012) ‘Ways of Knowing in Social Work’ in Gray, M and Webb, S (ed) Social Work Theory and Methods, London: Sage.

Shaw, I. (2000) ‘Research and social work’ in Davies, M. (ed) (2000) Encyclopaedia of Social Work. Oxford: Blackwell.

Shaw, A. and Shaw, I. (2001) ‘Risk research in a risk society’, Research Policy and Planning, 19 (1): 3-16.

Shaw, I and Bull, R (1992) 'Constructing Causal Accounts in Social Work’, Sociology, 26(4): 635-649.

Qualitative research and evaluation methodology

Founder Qualitative Social Work (Sage Publications).

Shaw, I. (forthcoming) ‘Qualitative Program Evaluation: Departures, Designs and Futures’ in A Fortune (ed) Qualitative Research in Social Work, New York: Columbia University Press.

Shaw, I. and Holland, S. (2014) Doing Qualitative Research in Social Work. London: Sage Publication. Details online.

Shaw, I. (2013) ‘Angels and devils the following day’, Qualitative Social Work, 12(2): 234-44.

Shaw, I., Ramatowski, A. with Ruckdeschel, R. (2013) ‘Patterns, Designs and Developments in Qualitative Research in Social Work: A Research Note’, Qualitative Social Work, 12(6): 732-49. 

Shaw, I. (2012) ‘Ethics and decisions in qualitative research’ in Savin-Baden, M. and Major, C. H. (2012). Qualitative research: The essential guide to theory and practice. London: Routledge.

Shaw, I. (2011) Evaluating in Practice, Second Edition. Aldershot: Ashgate Publications.

Shaw, I. (2011) ‘Directions in social work evaluation’ in Blom, B Morén, S and Nygren, L. Utvärdering i socialt arbete. Utgångspunkter, modeller och användning, Stockholm : Natur & Kultur. [Translation: Evaluation in Social Work. The basis, models and usage]. This will be a Swedish language publication.

Shaw, I. ‘Ethics and the practice of qualitative research’ Qualitative Social Work, 7 (4): 400-414. Reprinted in P Atkinson and S Delamont (2010) SAGE Qualitative Research Methods, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. ‘Ethics in qualitative research and evaluation’, The Journal of Social Work, 3 (1): 7-27. Reprinted in Vogt, W P (2010) Data Collection Benchmarks in Social Research Methods. London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2010) ‘The Agency: Shaping a Learning Organization’ in T Evans and M Hardy with I Shaw, Evidence and Knowledge for Social Work, Cambridge : Polity Press. Pp 137-151.

Shaw, I. (2010) ‘Evaluating in Practice’ in T Evans and M Hardy with I. Shaw, Evidence and Knowledge for Social Work, Cambridge : Polity Press. Pp 152-164.

Shaw, I. (2010) ‘Qualitative social work practice research’ in A Fortune, P McCallion and K Briar-Lawson (eds) Social Work Practice Research for the 21st Century, New York: Columbia University Press.

Shaw, I. and Gould, N. ‘The social work context for qualitative research.’ Reprinted in M Gray and S Webb (2010) International Social Work, London : Sage Publications.

Shaw, I (2006) ‘Human services’ in I. Shaw, J. Greene, J. and M. Mark (eds) Sage Handbook of Evaluation. London: Sage Publications.

Shaw I. Greene, J. and Mark M. (2006) Sage Handbook of Evaluation. London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2005) ‘Evidencing social work’ in P. Sommerfeld (ed) Evidence Based Practice. Bern: Peter Lang.

Shaw, I (2004) ‘William J. Reid: an appreciation’, in Qualitative Social Work, 3 (2): 109-115.

Shaw, I (2004) ‘Evaluation for a learning organization’, in N Gould and M Baldwin, Social Work, Critical Reflection and the Learning Organization, Aldershot: Ashgate.

Shaw, I (2004) ‘Qualitative Evaluation: Reflective Practice in Direct Care Settings’ in A R Roberts and K R Yeager (eds) Evidence Based Practice Manual, New York: Oxford University Press.

Shaw, I. (2003) ‘Qualitative research and outcomes in health, social work and education’ in Qualitative Research, 3 (1): 57-77.

Shaw, I and Ruckdeschel, R (2002) ‘Qualitative social work: a room with a view’, in Qualitative Social Work: Research and Practice, 1 (1): 5-23.

Shaw I. and Gould, N. (2001) Qualitative Social Work Research, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I (2000) ‘Just inquiry? Research and evaluation for service users’ in H. Kemshall and R. Littlechild (eds) Participation in Social Care: Researching for Practice. London, Jessica Kingsley.

Shaw I. and Lishman J (1999) (eds) Evaluation and Social Work Practice, London: Sage.

Shaw, I. (1999) Qualitative Evaluation, London: Sage.

Shaw, I. and Shaw, A (1997) ‘Keeping Social Work Honest: Evaluating as Profession and Practice’, British Journal of Social Work, 27(6): 847-869.

Shaw, I. and Shaw, A (1997) ‘Game Plans, Buzzes and Sheer Luck: Doing Well in Social Work’, Social Work Research, 21(2): 69-79. Reprinted in Kirk, S (1999) (editor) Social Work Research Methods: Building Knowledge for Practice, Washington DC: NASW Press .

Shaw, I. (1996) Evaluating in Practice, Aldershot: Ashgate. 

Developing social work research strategies

Shaw, I. (2014 in press) ‘A Science of Social Work? - Response to John Brekke’, Research on Social Work Practice.

Shaw, I. (2014) ‘Before I built a wall: one sort of dialogue, Qualitative Social Work, 13 (2): 181-83.

Shaw, I. (2012) ‘The Positive contributions of quantitative methodology to social work research: a view from the sidelines’ Research on Social Work Practice 22 (2): 129-134. This is part of an exchange with the positivist scholar Bruce Thyer. His and my articles can be read in his journal (as cited here) and mine (Qualitative Social Work 11 (3), together with rejoinders from Michael Holesko and Tom Schwandt.

Phillips, C. and Shaw, I. (2011) ‘Innovation in social work research’, British Journal of Social Work, 41(4).

Blyth, Eric, Shardlow, Steven M., Masson, Helen, Lyons, Karen, Shaw, Ian and White, Sue (2010) ‘Measuring the Quality of Peer-Reviewed Publications in Social Work: Impact Factors—Liberation or Liability?’, Social Work Education, 29(2): 120-136.

Shaw, I., Briar-Lawson, K., Orme, J., and Ruckdeschel, R. (2010) ‘Mapping social work research: pasts, presents and futures’ in Shaw, I., Briar-Lawson, K., Orme, J., and Ruckdeschel, R. Sage Handbook of Social Work Research, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw I. ‘Cutting Edge Issues in Social Work Research’, British Journal of Social Work, 33(1): 107-116. Reprinted in M Gray and S Webb (2010) International Social Work, London : Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. (2007) ‘Is social work research distinctive?’, Social Work Education, 26 (7): 659-669.

Shaw I., Arksey H. and Mullender A, (2006) ‘Recognizing Social Work’, British Journal of Social Work, 36 (2): 227-246.

Shaw, I., Arksey, H. and Mullender, A. (2004) ESRC Research and Social Work and Social Care, London: Social Care Institute for Excellence.

The history of social work and research

Shaw, I (in press) ‘The Archaeology of Research Practices: a Social Work Case’, Qualitative Inquiry.

Shaw, I. (2014) ‘Sociology and social work: in praise of limestone?’ in J Holmwood and J Scott (eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Sociology in Britain. London: Palgrave.

Shaw, I. (2011) ‘Social work research: an urban desert?’ European Journal of Social Work, 14(1): 11-26.

Shaw, I. (2010) ‘An unresolved legacy of the Chicago School’ in C Hart (ed) The Legacy of the Chicago School, Poynton, Cheshire: Midrash Publications.

Shaw, I. (2009) ‘Rereading The Jack-Roller: hidden histories in sociology and social work’, Qualitative Inquiry, 15 (7): 1241-1264.

Shaw, I. (2008) ‘Merely Experts? Reflections on the History of Social Work, Science and Research’, Research, Policy and Planning, 26 (1): 57-65.

Technology and professional practice

Hill, A and Shaw, I (2011) ‘ICT and Social Work Education’ in L Lishman (ed) Social Work Education Research Highlights. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Hill, A. and Shaw, I. (2011) Social Work and ICT, London: Sage Publications.

Shaw, I. and Clayden J ( 2009 ) ‘Technology, Evidence and Professional Practice: Reflections on the Integrated Children’s System’, Journal of Children’s Services, 4 (4): 15-27. I reflect on the main issues in this paper in a conference session available on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=88DDAA389E93D9C4.

Shaw, I., Morris, K and Edwards, A (2009) ‘Technology, Social Services and Organizational Innovation or How Great Expectations in London and Cardiff are Dashed in Lowestoft and Cymtyrch’, Journal of Social Work Practice, 23(4): 383-400.

Shaw, I., Bell, M., Sinclair, I., Sloper, P., Mitchell, W., Dyson, P., Clayden, J. and Rafferty, J (2009) ‘An Exemplary Scheme? An Evaluation of the Integrated Children’s System’ British Journal of Social Work, 39(4): 613-626.

Professor Ian Shaw

Contact details

Prof. Ian Shaw
Professor of Social Work
A/B/027

Tel: 01904 32 1260

 

Book cover: Doing Qualitative Research in Social Work

Shaw, I. and Holland, S. (2014) Doing Qualitative Research in Social Work. London: Sage Publications.

 

Book cover: Practice and Research

Shaw, I. (2012) Practice and Research. Aldershot: Ashgate Publications. 

 

Book cover: Evaluating in Practice

Shaw, I. (2011) Evaluating in Practice. 2nd Ed. Aldershot: Ashgate Publications.

 

Book cover: Social Work and ICT

Hill, A. and Shaw, I. (2010) Social Work and ICT. London: Sage.