A comparative ethnographic study of collective knowledge brokering across the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic knowledge boundaries in applied health research
Methods: A comparative ethnographic study of three applied health research projects, each researching the implementation of clinical interventions into healthcare practice. Data was collected through in-depth non-participant observations, semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis with each project team and associated practice stakeholder communities.
Findings: The study describes how ‘core’ project teams and ‘peripheral’ stakeholder groups can be differentiated as relatively bounded epistemic communities. It also identifies both ‘designated’ and ‘non-designated’ knowledge brokers as working within and between these communities. Through comparing the life cycles of these projects, the study identifies the individual and collective brokering activities involved in sharing knowledge among these communities.
Discussion: The study reaffirms the idea that it is challenging for a single broker to undertake all brokering tasks, and that knowledge sharing is achieved through sequential and parallel forms of collective knowledge brokering. Furthermore, different brokering strategies are needed to address the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic boundaries that separate epistemic communities. The paper proposes a maturity model of collective knowledge brokering.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: University of Birmingham, UK 2: University of Nottingham, UK
Publication date: February 2021
This article was made available online on March 24, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "A comparative ethnographic study of collective knowledge brokering across the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic knowledge boundaries in applied health research".
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