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1 March 2019 at 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

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Brokering, bridging and bonding: the maturation of knowledge sharing and learning in applied health research


As part of the Implementation Science Group: Learning, Knowing, Doing Seminar Series, PenCLAHRC are hosting a seminar on ‘Brokering, bridging and bonding: the maturation of knowledge sharing and learning in applied health research’ by Professor Justin Waring, Nottingham University (Paper co-authored by Dr Rob Vickers).

 The translational research agenda addresses gaps in knowledge creation, utilisation, and movement into the organisation and delivery of care. Many strategies and interventions have been developed to close these gaps and to share and co-produce knowledge across epistemic, cultural, and organisational boundaries. There has been much interest, for example, in how knowledge brokers can work across organisations and ‘get the right information to the right people at the right time’. But knowledge brokers can struggle to reconcile different forms of knowledge and manage competing expectations; research emphasises the importance of brokering activities or ‘chains’ involving inter-connected groups, rather than individual brokers.

In this project we examine shifts in knowledge brokering strategies and activities in applied health and care research. We delineate three different approaches to facilitating knowledge sharing and learning:

  1. An individualised approach to translating knowledge, consistent with the knowledge broker concept. These often act like a metaphorical ‘boat’ for knowledge between disconnected communities; unlike existing studies we show this is a collective and dynamic activity, where groups of stakeholders ‘boat’ between different ‘entry and exit’ points.
  2. The development of more formal systems to facilitate knowledge exchange, from reporting procedures to computer systems. These allow for the systematic and standardised exchange of codified information but like a ‘bridge’ between two communities it involves relatively fixed ‘entry and exit’ points and considerable investment of resource.
  3. Efforts to nurture collaborative communities of practice, often building on brokering and bridging activities, in which different communities bond around shared knowledge and practices. This leads to the formation of new epistemic boundaries which support applied health research, but as with similar boundaries can be exclusionary of changing priorities.

The cumulative learning from these combined strategies can help close the gap between research and practice but there remains a risk that maturation involves ‘getting older’ without ‘getting wiser’.

 Justin Waring is Professor of Organisational Sociology and Associate Dean for Research at Nottingham University Business School. He is also the lead for the ‘Implementing Evidence and Improvement’ Theme for NIHR CLAHRC-East Midlands, and the lead for the ‘Safer Care Systems and Transitions’ Theme for NIHR Greater Manchester-PSTRC. Dr Rob Vickers is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Health Information, Leadership and Learning, University of Nottingham. He is currently working on the Implementing Evidence and Improvement Theme for NIHR CLAHRC-East Midlands, examining knowledge brokering.

The seminar will be video-conferenced to MR12, John Bull Building, Plymouth Science Park & F083 The Knowledge Spa, Truro.

Please note that parking at each of the venues is very limited; please consider alternative means of travel.


To register, please email penclahrc@exeter.ac.uk

 Presentations from previous seminars are available here:


 Please note that this seminar may be recorded


Event details

1 March 2019
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


View Organiser Website


Room 3.06, South Cloisters
St Lukes Campus, University of Exeter, Heavitree Rd
Exeter, EX1 2LU
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