Maher, A. & Mewburn, I. (2007). Proceedings from An Economy of Knowledge: Research, Architecture Practice and Knowledge (in) Translation.
Format: Conference proceeding
Experience level of reader: Fundamental
Annotation: The authors present an ethnographic case study in which an architecture PhD student is embedded in a professional architectural firm. Their objective was to better understand how knowledge is translated, how it flows through an organization, and the respective implications for how research should be conducted and communicated.
Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Small business (less than 500 employees), University
Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Researchers
Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization
This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model
- In some cases, and where possible, it may be advisable to translate and apply knowledge in small units, rather than all at once. The knowledge user is less likely to be overwhelmed, and incremental application of the knowledge enables the user to see immediate benefits. ‘Tricking’ is a helpful metaphor for the thinking about how the process works.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Step 1.D, KTA Step 2.D, KTA Step 3.D
- 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.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Step 1.B, KTA Step 2.B, KTA Step 3.B
Method: Embedding a researcher in the target practice setting can achieve a number of benefits. Knowledge users have an opportunity to observe how the researcher works (how they translate and apply knowledge) and not just what the researcher knows (as evidenced by the end product of their work). The knowledge is made visible and more amenable to adaptation and application.Knowledge users can also immediately see the relevance and value of the knowledge in the context of their own work.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3, Step 3.1, Step 3.3, Step 2.2, Step 1.1
- Knowledge translation is a social process. Using socially-oriented processes and tools can enhance the likelihood of efficient and effective knowledge translation. As one example, ethnography is used in the social sciences and has a proven track record.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
- Knowledge users can help researchers to better understand the full impact of the translated knowledge by explicitly communicating how they used the knowledge. Knowledge is often applied in innovative ways the researcher had not anticipated.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Step 1.E, KTA Step 2.E, KTA Step 3.E
- Many researchers expect a sequential and orderly progression in their research, from hypothesis to design, then application and results. Translation and application of knowledge often requires deviations that are a consequence of the unique attributes of the organizational processes associated with a target practice.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3, Step 1.5
- 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.
Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Step 1.A, KTA Step 1.B, KTA Step 2.A, KTA Step 2.B, KTA Step 3.A, KTA Step 3.B, Step 1.3, Step 1.2, Step 1.1