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date: 29 November 2022

Research: Overviewlocked

Research: Overviewlocked

  • Denise M. GreenDenise M. GreenTroy University
  •  and Samantha M. EllisSamantha M. EllisTroy University


Macro social work research may be defined as an in-depth, systematic investigation into a subject pertaining to macro systems that requires gathering data, information, and facts to advance knowledge within communities, organizations, social networks, policy, social structures, and the determination of the efficacy of macro practice interventions. Macro social work research is unique because it provides an exceptional opportunity to pursue a particular interest in a specific area of study. While the process of research is seated in a long history of propriety, modern macro research is seen as the quintessential essence of engaged learning that can be theory-driven or atheoretical while maintaining rigor. Additionally, macro research increases innovation, organization, communication, critical thinking, time and project management, and problem-solving skills. Finally, macro research can often lead to determinations as to the merit and worth of the researched entity. With the intent to progress knowledge that is consistent with scientific inquiry, the types of research and their application to macro social work research are outlined: (a) descriptive research, (b) exploratory research, (c) explanatory (cause and effect) research, and (d) evaluative (program evaluation) research. Particular emphasis will be placed on evaluative (program evaluation) research due to its extensive use in macro social work.


  • Macro Practice

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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