Institutional Ethnography

Jeffrey Longhofer, Jerry Floersch and Janet Hoy

in Qualitative Methods for Practice Research

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398472
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979325 | DOI:

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

Institutional Ethnography

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Institutional ethnography (IE) is summarized as a qualitative research method that is well suited to explore phenomenological practice gaps (PPGs), such as the implementation of a social policy within an open practice system. The chapter (1) demonstrates how to conduct IE, including appropriate research questions, aims, and strategies for data collection and analysis; and (2) provides a detailed example of an IE engaged scholarship investigation in which a specific mental health policy influenced the everyday clinical practice of case managers. IE further exemplifies critical realist assumptions and engaged scholarship. The implementation case study demonstrates how a standardized mental health outcome measure was compromised by system influences.

Keywords: institutional ethnography; policy implementation; engaged scholarship; phenomenological practice gaps; standardized outcome measures

Chapter.  11807 words.  Illustrated.

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