Step 3.2

Project team identifies specific knowledge gaps (purpose of Stage 3) to be addressed through translation of existing knowledge or generation of new knowledge.

Primary findings

Secondary findings

Primary findings

Barriers

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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Knowledge translation literacy — Policy gaps — Many researchers do not have the skills to identify gaps in existing policies and how to re-frame those gaps as viable research questions.
Literature review and experience.
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One of the factors that can impede knowledge translation is knowledge asymmetry. As one example, the knowledge user (in need) may know more about a particular issue, while the researcher (with interest) may know more about potential solutions. The knowledge user’s limited awareness of potential solutions may make them skeptical about the researcher’s confidence in the proposed solution. The researcher may feel undervalued. One approach the knowledge user and researcher could take to bridge the gap is to invest time in building a professional relationship and establishing mutual trust.
Literature review and conceptual framework development.
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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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Carriers

Convening an interactive forum (a knowledge translation event that brings researchers and knowledge users together to jointly interpret research findings) can provide opportunities for stakeholders to network with each other and gauge how others are using (or intend to use) the research findings. These inter-stakeholder discussions often extend beyond the forum.
Literature review and single case study.
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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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To overcome researchers’ difficulty in identifying gaps in existing policy to get policy-aware brokers to coach researchers in policy issues and related research opportunities.
Literature review and experience.
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Models

In situations that are experienced as “fuzzy”, it is recommended to first determine whether this is caused by unwanted ambiguity, i.e. multiple and conflicting interpretations, pertaining either to the product, the market, the NPD process or the organisation’s resources. If so, they should explicate these interpretations and their underlying assumptions as hypotheses and test them individually. Identifying and testing underlying assumptions at an early stage of the NPD project will provide the most efficient reduction of ambiguity.
Four case studies of new product development.
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Methods

According to the researcher’s guide to planning for knowledge translation there are five essential elements of knowledge translation, including: the problem (the problem or issue to be addressed by the research/knowledge), context (the circumstances surrounding the user and researcher), knowledge (properties of the pre-existing knowledge/evidence about the problem or the generation of new knowledge/evidence), intervention (specific activities designed to translate knowledge/research into action), and use (ways in which the knowledge/research is or might be used). For each element, a series of questions is provided. Each question encourages the researcher to think broadly and deeply about the knowledge translation implications. Elements and related questions are evidence-based, which adds to their credibility.
Knowledge translation guidance for researchers.
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Identification and validation of knowledge gaps requiring new research activity, requires an open discussion of technical options and choices. Both management and NPD team members require continuous coaching to establish and reinforce their responsibility to identify the intended and unintended consequences of project premises.
Conclusions drawn from case studies and experience.
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Knowledge Creation Cycle is depicted as having three generations descending through a funnel, to represent how knowledge is sifted and filtered so that only the most useful knowledge is left for application. First generation knowledge is that created through research activity or through experiential activity. Second generation knowledge results from a process for the identification, appraisal and synthesis of studies or information related to a specific question. Third generation knowledge is embodied in summaries, practice guidelines and decision aids, where the knowledge is available in formats that meet the needs of targeted stakeholder groups.
Summary of the Knowledge to Action Model and its application to knowledge translation.
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Market research in the pre-development stage (research phase), can reveal useful information about customer requirements that later drives NPD parameters and results in financial success.
Survey of 166 firms.
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Most NPD processes emphasis teamwork, concurrent engineering, and speed to market. However, industries where development costs are high, and where market failure rates are high, may be better served by focusing on empirical trials to explore feasibility at an early stage. This early truth-seeking stage focuses on evaluating the prospect of success for novel products, to eliminate bad bets that are likely to waste organizational resources.
Private sector experience in pharmaceutical industry.
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Role for Research in NPD Process — In industries where both NPD costs and market failure rates are high, speed to market should be compromised by a focus on feasibility testing through scientific methods. Most organization's focus on late-stage NPD where the emphasis is on seeking success through commercialization methods. They lack a truth-seeking function based on objective empirical research methods to validate the proof-of-concept.
Private sector experience in pharmaceutical industry.
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Tips

In the government policy making process, it is important to remember that research evidence often competes with other forms of evidence (e.g., budgetary constraints and the legal code) and with values (e.g., public opinion about the role of government versus the market). The receptivity of a policy proposal can be influenced by how it aligns with (or is given visibility by) other institutional arrangements (e.g., jurisdictional authorities, past policies and practices, etc.) and interests (e.g., elected officials’ commitments, civil servants’ authorities, advisory bodies, etc.).
Literature review and direct experience.
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Knowledge translators should adopt conceptualizations of knowledge, evidence, and KT as human processes fraught with all of the challenges of human subjectivity, dynamic interaction, and change within a complex context.
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One of the factors that is associated with productive knowledge management (knowledge translation) is that knowledge replication is related to knowledge protection. Knowledge replication is the capacity to identify the attributes of the knowledge that are replicable, how these attributes can be recreated, and the characteristics of the contexts in which they can be replicated successfully. Let’s use the example of replicating practice templates or guidelines. Often, in each new organizational context there are differences between the attributes of the knowledge and the context of the action and decisions described in the templates and guidelines. The knowledge that is shared rarely covers every possible local need. The many idiosyncratic features of the local context make precise replication of templates and guidelines difficult. Knowledge replication should be guided by the attributes of the local context.
Literature review and conceptual framework development.
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One of the factors that is associated with productive knowledge management (knowledge translation) is the presence of internal knowledge mapping and external knowledge acquisition capabilities, which complement each other. Internal knowledge mapping enables an organization to become aware of, and understand what it knows. Knowledge mapping helps an organization to identify knowledge gaps, which may be resolved by internal knowledge creation and/or external knowledge retrieval. External knowledge acquisition enables an organization to identify new sources of knowledge. Skills that are critical to effective knowledge mapping and knowledge acquisition include locating, accessing, valuing and filtering pertinent knowledge; extracting, collecting, distilling, refining, interpreting, packaging and transforming the captured knowledge into usable knowledge; and transferring the usable knowledge within the organization for subsequent use in decision-making or problem solving.
Literature review and conceptual framework development.
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The inherently complex nature of knowledge translation implies that, to be comprehensive, there would need to be an equally complex set of knowledge translation guidelines. This is not practical for design or practice, as it could involve a significant number of permutations and combinations and could easily overwhelm a researcher — especially a novice one. One alternative is to provide a simple template that explains the essential knowledge translation guideline categories (e.g. problem statement, research context, knowledge objectives, possible research interventions, and potential knowledge uses) and associates sample questions and hypothetical examples with each category to reinforce deliberation, understanding and application.
Knowledge translation guidance for researchers.
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Secondary findings

Barriers

In many cases, public policy making does not follow a linear process. The process can be unpredictable. Policy issues can languish for years and even decades on the governmental agenda. Only a relatively small number of them may ever make it to the decision agenda.
Source: Kingdon (2003). In: Lavis, John (2006)

In many ways, public policy making can be a challenging process. Often, when a policy issue is placed on the government agenda for a decision, battles can be fought over how the policy is framed. The viability of a policy and its options often hinge on how the underlying issue or problem is framed.
Source: Kingdon (2003). In: Lavis, John (2006)

Carriers

Knowledge Producers can facilitate the uptake of their research by addressing five questions: 1) What should be disseminated? 2) To whom should it be disseminated? 3) By whom should it be disseminated? 4) How should it be disseminated? 5) With what effect should it be disseminated?
Source: Lavis, J et at (2003). In: Graham, I.D., Logan, J., Harrison, M.B., Straus, S.E., Tetroe J., Caswell, W. et. al. (2006)

Strive to ensure that the research project has direct relevance to the targeted knowledge users. One way to promote relevance is to engage in collaborative research, drawing upon the expertise of researchers and stakeholders.
Source: Lomas (2000); Davis (1996); Mohrman (2004). In: Bowen, S., Martens, P. & The Need to Know Team (2005)

Timing and timeliness can increase (and poor timing or lack of timeliness can decrease) the prospects for research use.
Source: Lavis (2005). In: Lavis, John (2006)

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 compatibility of the new knowledge with respect to past practices, current values, and existing needs. Generally, adoption strength increases as the fit with the current context increases.
Source: (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 is the past history of potential knowledge users (e.g., previous practices, the felt needs or problems experienced, their innovativeness, and the norms of the social system in which they are embedded).
Source: (Damanpour, 1991); (Kimberly & Evanisko, 1981); (Tornatzy & Fleischer, 1990); (Wolfe, 1994); (Brown, 1981); (Mohr, 1969); (Moch&Morse, 1977); (Abrahamson, 1991). In: Ashley, S.R. (2009)

Methods

Research to address identified knowledge gaps should have the following characteristics: be theory-driven, process rather than package oriented, ecological, address common definitions, measures and tools, be collaborative and coordinated, multidisciplinary and multi-method, meticulously detailed, and participatory.
Source: Greenhalgh, RG (2004, p. 615-616). In: Estabrooks, C.; Thompson, D.S., Lovely, J.J.E., & Hofmeyer, A. (2006)

Tips

Research-based knowledge is not used as a can-opener is used. Generic knowledge is seldom taken directly off the shelf and applied without some sort of vetting or tailoring to the local context.
Source: Humberman M. (1987). In: Graham, I.D., Logan, J., Harrison, M.B., Straus, S.E., Tetroe J., Caswell, W. et. al. (2006)

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)