The 26-year-old has been used as a 'false nine' in the Magpies last two Barclays Premier League games with limited success - indeed, Pardew abandoned the plan before half-time in Sunday's 2-1 derby defeat at Sunderland.
At his best, Ben Arfa is a match-winner and has proved so already this season with a stunning strike against Fulham, but he can also be ineffectual.
Pardew has consequently used him in a series of different roles in an attempt to fine his niche, and that process is ongoing.
The manager said: "The truth with Hatem is we need a consistency in his play, and that's what we are searching for in the team.
"The decision-making process of Hatem is sometimes crucial, taking players on or playing it quickly.
"It's that balance that we are trying to get in the team that's right for Hatem and right for us."
Pardew's desperation to make the most of Ben Arfa's rich talent is all the more pressing with Newcastle's season having taken a significant turn for the worse in the last week.
They headed for the Stadium of Light intent on avenging April's shock 3-0 home defeat to the Black Cats and knowing victory would cement a satisfactory start to the campaign.
But they will welcome high-flying Chelsea to St James' Park on Saturday having slipped into the bottom half of the table and since, out of the Capital One Cup following Wednesday night's extra-time defeat to Manchester City.
In the circumstances, a positive result against Jose Mourinho's men ahead of a tough trip to Tottenham would restore a measure of stability, although Pardew is well aware that his team will have to raise its standards markedly to achieve that.
The Magpies have fared well against the Blues in recent seasons having recorded two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six meetings, the most recent a thrilling 3-2 victory at St James' Park in February secured by Moussa Sissoko's late strike.
But it is perhaps their other win, a 2-0 success at Stamford Bridge in May last year, which Pardew would dearly love to see replicated.
That night, striker Papiss Cisse scored a double, the second from an outrageous angle, to help fire Newcastle to a fifth-placed finish.
However, the Senegal international is currently short of both form and confidence having gone 14 league games without a goal, and manager, players and fans alike are desperate for him to end his drought.
Pardew said: "The general sense of our fans is the same as in the dressing room. We are all urging him.
"He is one of those people who brings out love in everyone because you can see he is trying. It's not as if he has given up or he is sulking.
"He just genuinely needs a break, that's all he needs."
Getting that break against Chelsea might do wonders for Cisse, but no one on Tyneside is under any illusions as to how difficult a task they face against a side now back under Mourinho's charge.
Pardew is a big admirer of the Portuguese, and believes his ability as a coach is sometimes overlooked because of the aura which surrounds him.
He said: "Because he has that flamboyant character and he can be amusing and articulate in the same sentence, it sometimes takes attention away from the professionalism he brings to the training ground and the organisation.
"I always find when you play him, his teams are very, very well organised and very difficult to break down, and that's why he gets the wins he gets.
"You can see Jose is comfortable at Chelsea and you can see in his demeanour that he is at the top of his game at the minute, so it's tough to cross swords with him when he is like that."