Lost in Knowledge Translation: Time for a Map?

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Impact Factor: 1.36). 11/2006; 26(1):13 - 24. DOI: 10.1002/chp.47
Source: PubMed


There is confusion and misunderstanding about the concepts of knowledge translation, knowledge transfer, knowledge exchange, research utilization, implementation, diffusion, and dissemination. We review the terms and definitions used to describe the concept of moving knowledge into action. We also offer a conceptual framework for thinking about the process and integrate the roles of knowledge creation and knowledge application. The implications of knowledge translation for continuing education in the health professions include the need to base continuing education on the best available knowledge, the use of educational and other transfer strategies that are known to be effective, and the value of learning about planned-action theories to be better able to understand and influence change in practice settings.

Download full-text


Available from: Margaret B Harrison,
98 Reads
    • "One of the more frequently cited definitions of KT is " a dynamic and iterative process that includes synthesis, dissemination, exchange, and ethically sound application of knowledge " (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 2014). Essentially, many of the existing KT definitions refer to the process of mobilizing evidence into health policy and service delivery (Davis, 2006; Graham et al., 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Knowledge translation (KT) refers to the process of moving evidence into healthcare policy and practice. Understanding the experiences and perspectives of individuals who develop careers in KT is important for designing training programs and opportunities to enhance capacity in KT research and practice. To date, however, limited research has explored the challenges that trainees encounter as they develop their careers in KT. Aims: The purpose of this study is to identify the challenges that KT trainees face in their KT research or practice. Methods: An online survey was conducted with a sample of trainees associated with the Knowledge Translation Trainee Collaborative or the KT Canada Summer Institutes, with written responses thematically analyzed. Findings: A total of 35 individual responses were analyzed, resulting in the identification of six interrelated themes, listed in descending order of prevalence: limited availability of KT-specific resources (54%), difficulty inherent in investigating KT (34%), KT not recognized as a distinct field (23%), colleagues' limited knowledge and understanding of KT (20%), competing priorities and limited time (20%), and difficulties in relation to collaboration (14%). Discussion: KT trainees experience specific challenges in their work: limited understanding of KT in other stakeholder groups; limited structures or infrastructure to support those who do KT; the inherently interdisciplinary and applied nature of KT; and the resultant complexities of scientific inquiry in this field, such as designing and testing multifaceted, multilevel implementation strategies and accounting for contextual factors. Linking evidence to action: KT training and capacity-building efforts are needed to better position health systems to routinely adopt knowledge into healthcare policy and practice.
    Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing 11/2015; DOI:10.1111/wvn.12118 · 2.38 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In other words, the translation of knowledge is here seen as part of larger translation processes that consider both the linguistic and material basis of culture/context. In this way, our perspective also differs from the " knowledge translation " literature, which generally explores the translation of knowledge, in health care settings for example, as a purely linguistic process only (Graham et al., 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose – This paper aims to examine the complexities emerging in the attempts to develop a sophisticated IT-based knowledge management system (KMS) for sharing knowledge. Using actor-network theory, the authors conceptualise this as continuous processes of translation, whereby heterogeneous human and non-human (e.g. technologies, methods and plans) elements are drawn together and mobilised to produce stable networks through associations between them. Design/methodology/approach – The case study method was adopted using a narrative approach that studies the ways of organising work in organisations. Shadowing, field notes, diary studies and participant observation were the main data collection methods used. Findings – The development and introduction of a KMS is a contingent and local process shaped by messy translations whereby the original idea, human and other non-human elements are reconfigured. By considering humans and non-humans symmetrically, the intended and unintended actions, and the role of unexpected events, this approach overcomes the deterministic view of human nature of the conventional KMS approaches. Research limitations/implications – A conceptual framework is presented as a means to improve the understanding of the complex associations emerging within networks of people, objects and machines during the development and introduction of KMS. Practical implications – The translation approach helps practitioners to consider their taken-for-granted assumptions about people, machines and the associations among them. This assists practitioners to uncover emerging conflicting issues between human and machines, among machines and among humans. Furthermore, this allows practitioners to recognise the different identities humans and non-humans take, overtime, as a result of emerging associations. Originality/value – The originality of this paper lies in the use of alternative conceptual lenses to understand KMS development and introduction as processes of translation. Additionally, rather than exploring the success stories, it focuses on a failed attempt to introduce a KMS.
    Journal of Knowledge Management 10/2015; 19(6):1273-1294. DOI:10.1108/JKM-02-2015-0055 · 1.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The multifaceted concept of knowledge fashions a catalogue of terminology, definitions and constructs for KT. Graham et al. (2006) identify twenty-nine similar terms, based on perceptions of incorporated processes and activities. The number of multi-disciplinary stakeholders identified in low carbon innovation which hold "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The growth of the knowledge economy and the changing relationship between science and society, have triggered the emergence of a 'new role' for universities as catalysts for innovation within national innovation policy frameworks. The Triple Helix concept of knowledge generation and innovation introduces triadic relationships between government, academia and industry. These often incorporate state driven aims of innovation development and diffusion for greater societal and economic benefit as conditions of the funding programmes. This concept is witnessed in the UK low carbon energy innovation system, where collaborative relationships are formed to develop new technologies for application by industry and society. The dynamics of the Triple Helix model bring many challenges to policy makers and those engaged in knowledge transfer relationships, stemming from the inherent nature of knowledge and the complex human interactions involved with inter-organisational knowledge transfer. Low carbon innovation has an increased need for inter-disciplinary knowledge transfer where specialised pools of knowledge are brought together for the purposes of innovation, in environments typified by uncertainty and unclear user impacts. Obstacles are compounded by the complexity of defining knowledge transfer processes and the debate surrounding the transferability of knowledge. Significant additional challenges exist within low carbon innovation, where influencing technology adoption by the public is seen as a multifaceted problem with no easy solution and requires innovation outputs to be transformed to societal outcomes. This paper aims to explore the nature of these challenges through a review of the literature on knowledge transfer, the continuing transition of academia, government and industry within knowledge generation frameworks and the specific dilemmas faced by the low carbon innovation system. This literature review provides a foundation for future research which aims to explore the concept of knowledge transfer within the UK low carbon innovation system and gather empirical data pertaining to the optimisation of collaborative project performance.
    ECKM 2015, University of Udine, Italy; 09/2015
Show more