Step KTA 7.B

Adapt lessons learned into tools relevant to each knowledge user (KU) group. Consider instrumental, conceptual, and/or strategic uses of the innovation and lessons learned.

Navigate Findings

Primary findings

Barriers

One of the factors that can impede knowledge translation is knowledge valuation. The researcher and potential knowledge user expect to receive value in return for their involvement. Valuing knowledge and the time and resources that are required to transfer it can be complicated, especially when tacit knowledge is involved.
Literature review and conceptual framework development.
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Failure of a research network (or project) to clearly articulate and broadly communicate its goals and objectives can impede its progress. It can also cloud stakeholder’s abilities to evaluate network (project) outcomes.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation
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Organizational executives often state that they are exposed to more new ideas (research findings) than they have resources to explore. Researchers need to devise ways of getting their attention, communicating value and sourcing resources.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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Organizational executives often state they do not have the time to consider the applicability of new research findings. Researchers need to devise ways of getting their attention and communicating value.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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When executives deliberate about the value of applying research in their organization, one of the factors they often consider is the “replicability” of the research findings, especially in their setting. Researchers should clearly communicate “replicability.”
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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When organizational executives deliberate about the value of applying research in their organization, one of the factors they often consider is the “scalability” of the research findings. Researchers should clearly communicate “scalability.”
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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When using the Knowledge to Action Process model to effect an evidence-based change (e.g., in a clinical practice), it is critical to identify potential facilitators that may contribute to the successful application of the new knowledge. One way to identify potential facilitators is to conduct focus groups with key stakeholders.
Applying the Graham Knowledge to Action Process model in stroke rehabilitation.
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Carriers

Consider framing knowledge in a story. It can provide potential users with a powerful glimpse into the value of the knowledge. Most people love stories, especially one that include them.
Case study.
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Convening an interactive forum (a knowledge translation event that brings researchers and knowledge users together to jointly interpret research findings) can instil in stakeholders a sense of urgency in association with the implementation of the research findings.
Literature review and single case study.
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One of the factors that can facilitate the knowledge translation process is explaining to clients (stakeholders) how knowledge empowers them and the process.
Application of Graham’s Knowledge-to-Action Process model in occupational therapy.
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One of the factors that can facilitate the knowledge translation process is to explain relevant research knowledge in language that is plain language.
Application of Graham’s Knowledge-to-Action Process model in occupational therapy.
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Researchers can benefit from establishing ongoing partnerships with key knowledge users (stakeholder groups). As a researcher gets to know a stakeholder group, there is the potential to develop a trusting relationship, which can lead to greater openness and opportunities to better understand the issues that drive the stakeholder group and the kinds of important questions that remain unanswered and remain open to research.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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Researchers should carefully define and communicate to stakeholders what they mean by “moving research into practice.” The starting point of the spectrum is research findings that are specific to a unique set of circumstances. The endpoint of the spectrum is research findings that can be generalized across an entire system. Correctly setting stakeholder expectations is crucial.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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When convening an interactive forum (a knowledge translation event that brings researchers and knowledge users together to jointly interpret research findings) it is important to clearly state the objectives of the forum. This can help to frame stakeholder expectations and participation.
Literature review and single case study.
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When executives embed external researchers in their organizations (especially in a team-based setting), the opportunities for direct, formal and informal interaction can enhance the communication of stakeholder project needs or the implications of research findings.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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When external researchers are embedded in an organization (especially in a team-based setting), there are opportunities to learn directly about operational systems and issues, which can enhance the researcher’s ability to ask or respond to real-world questions or issues.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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Models

As part of the evaluation planning associated with a research project, the researchers should consider the context of the knowledge translation process. Useful questions to ask include, what is the issue being translated? what stage of knowledge translation is currently the focus? who are the key actors? what are characteristics of the setting?
Literature review.
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Tips

Knowledge brokering — a significant portion of the broker’s time should be allocated to relationship — and capacity — building. These are complex processes and often mirror the complexity of the project and its environment. They are processes that are foundational to effective brokering. The time requirement is often under-estimated, which can place considerable pressure on the broker and the stakeholders.
Description of knowledge broker roles.
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Knowledge brokering — high frequencies of face-to-face interaction between the broker and a broad cross-section of stakeholders may hasten relationship-building and capacity-building, and may optimize the tailoring of brokering services and support.
Description of knowledge broker roles.
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Knowledge brokers can act as bridging agents, helping researchers to understand stakeholders and their environment and helping stakeholders to understand researchers and the research project — and the mutual benefits associated with their involvement. Knowledge brokering is demanding and often difficult work. Knowledge brokers can benefit from the availability of a formal support infrastructure, adequate resourcing, and allocations of time that enable them to build and sustain an understanding of researcher and stakeholders operations. Knowledge brokers may also be good candidates for co-authorship of scholarly papers and co-presenters at workshops or conferences.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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One of the benefits of stakeholder involvement in research projects is that they can learn about research. Learning can be evidence-oriented (e.g., stakeholder appreciation of research techniques and application of research findings, etc.), process-oriented (e.g., greater stakeholder awareness of data/information/knowledge sources and access protocols) attitude-oriented (e.g., a change in stakeholder views about, involvement in, and expectations of research projects and deliverables). While the researcher and stakeholders are typically explicitly focused on the evidence-oriented aspects of the project, the process- and attitude-oriented aspects may be particularly empowering and transformative for stakeholders. Indirect value may also be accrued when stakeholders take the opportunity to apply these learnings to the benefit of their own organizational contexts.
Project evaluation findings.
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Researchers (and research networks) can enhance stakeholder receptivity to the application of research findings by establishing stakeholder advocates — members of the stakeholder community that are recognized as leaders and respected by their peers.
Lessons from a health research network evaluation.
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Researchers are usually required to obtain advance approval from independent ethics boards prior to engaging in research that involves human subjects. Knowledge users (stakeholder groups) are often unfamiliar with requirements associated with informed consent, anonymity, confidentiality, data access and data management. Ensure these requirements and their implications for participation, process and practice are understood at the beginning of the project.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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Researchers can benefit from establishing ongoing partnerships with key knowledge users (stakeholder groups). Each stakeholder group brings a unique and informed perspective that can positively influence research design and knowledge translation strategy.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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Researchers can benefit from establishing ongoing partnerships with key knowledge users (stakeholder groups). It is important to ensure that all stakeholder groups understand the benefits they will receive as a result of their participation. One-sided benefits that favour the researcher could decrease the incentive for stakeholder groups to remain committed and involved.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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Researchers can benefit from establishing ongoing partnerships with key knowledge users (stakeholder groups). One way to manage expectations and avoid surprises is to jointly establish objectives, goals and commitments regarding time and resource availability, at the beginning of the project. These could be documented informally or formally by way of a memorandum of agreement — whatever complements the stakeholder’s culture. Sharing the commitments broadly facilitates common awareness.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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Researchers can benefit from establishing ongoing partnerships with key knowledge users (stakeholder groups). To avoid interruptions that could result from the departure of specific stakeholder group members, researchers should establish group- or institutional-level linkages.
Lessons learned from close researcher-stakeholder partnerships.
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Researchers should not assume that practitioners will see any direct connection between academic research and the practices of their organization. Researchers should take the time to help practitioners make the connection.
Case study.
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Stakeholder engagement strategies must be tailored to each stakeholder group. Strategies to engage strategic direction-setters will be different from strategies required to engage perception-influencers and/or adopters.
Literature review and case example.
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When a client (stakeholder) is involved in the knowledge translation process, the practitioner may solicit, validate and integrate client-supplied knowledge (about the client’s situation and environment) into the overall knowledge translation process.
Application of Graham’s Knowledge-to-Action Process model in occupational therapy.
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Secondary findings

Carriers

A research project-based policy entrepreneur can be a central force for coordinating and promoting collective policy learning.
Source: Stone (2001a). In: Williams, A., Holden, B., Krebs, P., Muhajarine, N., Waygood, K.,Randall, J. & Spence, C. (2008)

Helping research project stakeholders by translating the research into language that is understandable, with results that are relevant and applicable may improve their investment in the research.
Source: Martens ( 2005); Lavis (2005). In: Jansson, S. M., Benoit, C., Casey, L., Phillips, R., & Burns, D. (2010)

Involving stakeholders throughout the research cycle may improve their investment in the research.
Source: Martens (2005). In: Jansson, S. M., Benoit, C., Casey, L., Phillips, R., & Burns, D. (2010)

It is important to communicate research findings in a manner that can influence stakeholders. Quality and accessibility factors play important roles.
Source: Casebeer (2000); McColl (1998). In: Bowen, S., Martens, P. & The Need to Know Team (2005)

Mass dissemination through the local media can be critical to ensuring that beneficial development takes place. The more people that are aware of the research, the greater the likelihood that the findings and their implications will be discussed, and the better the interest and support for the practical applications of the results. Engaging the media can be a key factor. For research to have the desired impact on social consciousness and policy directives, research dissemination strategies should target both decision makers, as well as the general public.
Source: Miller (1999). In: Williams, A., Holden, B., Krebs, P., Muhajarine, N., Waygood, K.,Randall, J. & Spence, C. (2008)

One form of research utilization is conceptual. This involves a change in the way knowledge users think. Conceptual utilization is akin to the kind of "socialization" that Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) describe as one way to convert or transfer tacit knowledge (knowledge that is difficult to formalize and communicate). In this process, socialization involves the exchange of tacit knowledge through joint, face-to-face activities "in order to produce some form of shared mental model... that can serve as a framework for moving forward"
Source: Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995); Rynes (2001). In: Ginsburg, L.R., Lewis, S., Zackheim, L. & Casebeer, A. (2207)

One form of research utilization is instrumental. This involves a concrete application of research findings to make specific decisions or changes.
Source: Weiss (1979). In: Ginsburg, L.R., Lewis, S., Zackheim, L. & Casebeer, A. (2207)

Participation of research project-based policy entrepreneurs in public policy networks can strengthen the linkages and exchanges between researchers and policy makers.They provide awareness of research and initiatives and facilitate social learning.
Source: Reinicke (1999, 2000); Kingdon (1984). In: Williams, A., Holden, B., Krebs, P., Muhajarine, N., Waygood, K.,Randall, J. & Spence, C. (2008)

Partnering with local media providers can allow research to be tailored to meet the needs and address the concerns of the local audience. Public and political perceptions of the value and creditability of research can be higher if it is local in context and is provided by local experts who have a commitment to sustained involvement and good communication practices, which in turn can create a higher degree of trust in research findings. Using well-established and credible messengers, such as local media, not only facilitates wider dissemination, but can also reinforce the importance of working with the community, as well as target audiences, in all stages of the knowledge transfer process.
Source: Cooke (1995); Maskell (1999); Tyden (2000). In: Williams, A., Holden, B., Krebs, P., Muhajarine, N., Waygood, K.,Randall, J. & Spence, C. (2008)

Providing stakeholders with adequate and regular opportunities for face-to-face conversations about the research can positively influence their openness and the longevity of relationships.
Source: Greenhalgh (2004). In: Jansson, S. M., Benoit, C., Casey, L., Phillips, R., & Burns, D. (2010)

When planning, implementing or evaluating a knowledge translation (innovation) process, diffusion theory suggests that one of the factors that can influence the appeal of new knowledge to a potential knowledge user is the timeframe over which they are expected to apply (adopt) the new knowledge. Initially, selective uptake can be common. [p41,para5] In many cases, a small set of the intended audience will apply (adopt) the new knowledge early in the process. Ideally, as more individuals become aware (exposed), the application (adoption) rate will increase, to the point of full implementation.
Source: Damanpour (1991); Wright & Charlett (1995); Backer & Rogers (1998); Scheirer (1990); Mahajan & Peterson (1985); Nutley et al. (2002); Rogers (2003). In: Ashley, S.R. (2009)

When planning, implementing or evaluating a knowledge translation (innovation) process, diffusion theory suggests that one of the factors that can influence the process and outcome is the social system — the contextual space in which the knowledge is expected to be used (e.g., individual, institutional, political, and environmental factors). As one example, one set of factors that can determine how and if new knowledge will reach its intended audience are the characteristics of the institution involved (e.g., the degree to which power and control in an organization are concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, the availability of persons in the organization with a high degree of knowledge and expertise, the degree to which an organization stresses following rules and procedures, the interconnectedness of the organization in a social system, and the availability of slack resources to invest in the innovation).
Source: Mohr (1969); Moch (1977); Kimberly (1981); Abrahamson (1991). In: Ashley, S.R. (2009)

Tips

Researchers can benefit from the involvement of knowledge users (stakeholder groups) in their projects. One way to orientate stakeholders and get them up to speed on the project is to synthesize relevant existing research and share it with them.
Source: Davis (2003). In: Jansson, S. M., Benoit, C., Casey, L., Phillips, R., & Burns, D. (2010)

The sole act of rendering research results understandable by stakeholders may be of limited value. Real benefits are often derived from the application of research results that respond to a specific stakeholder need.
Source: Davis (1996); Golden-Biddle (2003). In: Bowen, S., Martens, P. & The Need to Know Team (2005)

When designing a knowledge translation communication strategy, researchers should consider clarifying the research priorities that are being addressed and the respective funding sources. Researchers should also clearly state their dissemination goals.
Source: Majdzadeh (2008); Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (2004). In: Wilson, P.M., Petticrew, M., Calnan, M. W. & Nazareth, I. (2010)

When designing a knowledge translation communication strategy, researchers should consider relevant factors associated with the characteristics of the audience receiving the knowledge, any relationships that could enhance receptivity, ways to acknowledge and convey respect for audience knowledge and experience, and a minimal threshold for participation.
Source: Winkler (1985); CRD (1994, 2009); Hughes (2000); Harmsworth (2001); Scullion (2002); European Commission (2004); Bauman (2006); Zarinpoush (2007); Majdzadeh (2008); Friese (2009); Yuan (2010). In: Wilson, P.M., Petticrew, M., Calnan, M. W. & Nazareth, I. (2010)

When designing a knowledge translation communication strategy, researchers should consider relevant factors associated with the setting in which the knowledge is expected to be received.
Source: Winkler (1985); CRD (1994, 2009). In: Wilson, P.M., Petticrew, M., Calnan, M. W. & Nazareth, I. (2010)