Full citation

Savory, C. (2009). Building Knowledge Translation Capability into Public-Sector Innovation Processes. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 21(2), 149-171.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: This paper describes the Knowledge Translation Capability (KTC) conceptual model. The KTC provides an idealized framework of activities that support Mode 2 (workplace-based) knowledge production – which the authors refer to as a clinical practiced-based innovation. The Model incorporates Boiset’s social learning model, which emphasizes knowledge transformation enablers, and Leonard’s technological capability model, which emphasizes innovation enablers. The KTC model is used as a guide to examine the award-winning Leg Ulcer Telemedicine System (National Health Service (NHS), United Kingdom) clinical practice-based innovation. The article begins with an extensive review of the innovation history, policies and practices of the NHS.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Government, University

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Clinicians, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Model: Interactive and systems models are the most useful for innovation because interactive processes recognize the iterative nature of innovation; while the systems models recognize the inter-organizational relationships required to support innovation.
Literature review and case example.


  • 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.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Step 1.B, KTA Step 1.C, KTA Step 1.D, KTA Step 2.A, KTA Step 2.B, KTA Step 2.C, KTA Step 2.D, KTA Step 3.A, KTA Step 3.B, KTA Step 3.C, KTA Step 3.D, KTA Step 1.A, Step 1.3
  • Project success factors for mode 2 knowledge production include the following: driven by a well-articulated clinical need; broad stakeholder involvement (especially the proposed users and professionals impacted by the innovation) and open communication channels, formal (e.g., newsletters) and informal (e.g., freely-available contact information); one or more project members that demonstrate the ability to translate knowledge from one state to another; stakeholder involvement in incremental improvements, derived from experimenting and prototyping; and early involvement of stakeholders.
    Literature review and case example.
  • Failed innovations are still instructive about the innovation process and the actors that play a part in that process.
    Literature review and case example.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 3