Searching for Appropriate Ways to Face the Challenges of Complexity and Dynamics
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People, as bio-psychological systems, are just as dynamic and complex as the social systems that they create. Social work intervenes in the interplay of these two complex, dynamic systems. How can we capture these complexities and dynamics in social work research and practice? The paper introduces the theoretical grounds on which a mixed-methods design has been developed combining a longitudinal quantitative method called Real Time Monitoring that produces dense time series data with qualitative methods (biographical and reflecting interviews) within the framework of grounded theory. After some short notes on the methodology, its application is demonstrated alongside a case example. Because complexity and dynamics challenge not only research, but also the practice of social work, the approach is finally discussed in view of the ‘realistic evaluation’ paradigm.