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Transferring, Translating and Transforming knowledge: The role of brokering in healthcare networks

Williams, S., Radnor, Z. ORCID: 0000-0002-1624-5729, Aitken, J. , Esain, A. & Matthias, O. (2021). Transferring, Translating and Transforming knowledge: The role of brokering in healthcare networks. Journal of Health, Organization and Management, 35(7), pp. 924-947. doi: 10.1108/JHOM-02-2021-0063


Purpose: This research examines how knowledge and information is managed within two care networks. We develop a conceptual framework drawing on the notion of brokering and the 3T framework, which is used to describe the relative complexity of boundaries (referred to in the framework as syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic) as well as capabilities and processes required to exchange information within the network. Previous research on brokering has focused on healthcare managers and professionals this research extends to patients and caregivers. Understanding knowledge exchange and brokering practices in healthcare is critical to the delivery of effective services.

Design/methodology/approach: For this case research non-participant observation and experienced-based interviews were undertaken with healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers within two care networks.

Findings: Our findings reveal brokering roles occupied by healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers support the transfer, translation and transformation of knowledge and information across functional and organisational boundaries. Enablers and disablers to brokering and the exchange of knowledge and information are also identified.

Research limitations/implications: The study is limited to two care networks for long term conditions within the UK. Further research opportunities exist to examine similar care networks that extend across professional and organisational boundaries.

Practical implications: This research informs healthcare professionals of the brokering capabilities that occur within networks and the enabling and disabling factors to managing knowledge across boundaries.

Originality: This paper provides a conceptual framework that categorises how increased levels of knowledge and information exchange and brokering practices are managed within care networks.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Publisher Keywords: Professionals, Health care, Broker, Knowledge sharing, Patients, Networks
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School
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