Relevant to: research, practice
In this paper, the authors investigate the role of locally based research and development units as knowledge brokers and change agents in the health and social care system in Sweden. The authors use information from webpages, documents, and public information available on missions, goals, organisation, activities and publications of the locally based research and development units. Documents and website data for 38 units were analysed to determine general characteristics of each unit and a random subsample of 12 organisations were selected for detailed analysis. The authors focused on locally based research and development units working with care of older people due to a recognized need for improvement in this area.
The authors found that locally based research and development units are well placed to act as knowledge brokers, change agents and researchers, but that these overlapping roles need clear strategies and enactment of a variety of skills. The authors found that six common knowledge brokering skills were implemented to varying extents, namely: to inform, consult, matchmake, engage, collaborate, and build capacity for partner organisations. While the use of secondary source documents and website information enabled a broad coverage of the locally based units, such information provides only a limited, and potentially biased, representation of reality as it has been filtered already through someone else’s perspective. As such, the conclusions drawn from this study should be treated with caution. This paper provides insight into issues and the potential of of knowledge brokering from research to practice.
This summary was developed from the following paper:
Nystrom M.E., Hansson J., GArvare R., and Andersson-Back M. (2015) Locally based research and development units as knowledge brokers and change facilitators in health and social care of older people in Sweden. Evidence and Policy 11(1): 57-80.