KTA Tip 6.1: Develop tools to demonstrate how the invention will benefit each KU group and to help each KU group apply/use the invention.
One of the factors that knowledge users (e.g., clinicians) may site as an impediment to applying research-based knowledge is the absence of resources that provide a synthesis of the findings and context-specific vehicles for their application. Knowledge producers should directly link their finding to specific practitioner uses.
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.
An important aspect of knowledge transfer is enhancing the knowledge application process. This can be achieved through rich communication and collaboration (theory of communication). A knowledge transfer process model can encourage knowledge users to answer some key questions, such as: Who needs the knowledge (receiver)? What organizational units are involved in the knowledge transfer process? What is the most appropriate “source” to acquire the required knowledge (awareness)? What is/are the type(s) of knowledge to be transferred? How should it be transferred (modes of knowledge transfer)? What are the factors that will influence the process of knowledge transfer and what are their potential impacts? What can be done to enhance the factors that positively influence the process of knowledge transfer and what can be done to avoid/lessen negative impacts? What approaches can the receiver take to apply the knowledge? Did the knowledge transfer process achieve its goals (performance measurement)?
Knowledge application is considered by many to be the most significant stage of the knowledge transfer process.It is the phase during which acquired knowledge is brought to bear on a specific problem or opportunity. Value is created only when knowledge that is transferred from its original site is successfully applied where it is needed.
Provided that both receiver and source have the willingness and the ability to do so, facilitate the knowledge acquisition process. This refers to “an organisation’s capability to identify and acquire externally generated knowledge that is critical to its operations.” Zahra and George introduce three main attributes that can influence the process of knowledge acquisition, i.e. intensity, speed, and direction. The intensity and speed of an organisation’s efforts to identify and gather knowledge can determine the quality of a knowledge acquisition process. The greater the effort, the more quickly the organisation will build its knowledge-base. Sometimes, there are limits to an organisation’s ability to achieve this speed. The direction of accumulating knowledge can also influence the paths that the organisation follows in obtaining external knowledge. These activities vary in their richness and complexity.
Typically, acquired knowledge requires some sort of a conversion in order to make it “useful” for the knowledge receiver. This is a complicated process as it involves ensuring that the knowledge receiver has a knowledge-base heterogeneous enough to be able to take in new knowledge while still making sure existing knowledge is well leveraged and developed.The process of converting knowledge into “useful” knowledge at the receiver’s end involves two steps. The first step is “knowledge transformation.” Transformation of knowledge can be accomplished by simply adding or deleting knowledge or by means of “translation.” The second step of knowledge conversion involves relating the transformed knowledge to internal needs of the organisation. This step is called “knowledge association.”
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.
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.
One of the factors practitioners may cite as an impediment to engaging in the knowledge translation process is a discomfort with evaluating research-based knowledge (evidence). As one example, limited understanding of statistical analysis can be an impediment.
One of the factors practitioners may cite as an impediment to engaging in the knowledge translation process is a discomfort with evaluating research-based knowledge (evidence). As one example, research-based knowledge (e.g., scholarly literature) may be scattered across multiple sources and it may be challenging for the practitioner to assess its relevance and applicability
One of the factors practitioners may cite as an impediment to engaging in the knowledge translation process is a discomfort with the perceived rigidity of some research products (e.g., clinical reviews, clinical practice guidelines, care maps and critical pathways). Practitioners may be concerned that the products will reduce their autonomy and supersede their clinical judgement.
Peer-reviewed journals can be challenging sources of knowledge for practitioners. One factor that can impede knowledge translation is a misalignment between the knowledge (evidence) context and a specific practice context.
Peer-reviewed journals can be challenging sources of knowledge for practitioners. One factor that can impede knowledge translation is the practitioner’s ability to critically evaluate the available knowledge (evidence).
Peer-reviewed journals can be challenging sources of knowledge for practitioners. One factor that can impede knowledge translation is the sheer volume of available knowledge (evidence).
Peer-reviewed journals can be challenging sources of knowledge for practitioners.One factor that can impede knowledge translation is the ability of the knowledge (evidence) to be applied in practice.
Systematic reviews are considered to be a trustworthy means of examining the rigour of evidence and its readiness to be translated into practice. Although there are several systems developed to evaluate the strength of evidence, there is no agreement in the research and healthcare communities as to what level of evidence justifies action. One issue associated with systematic reviews is that they generally focus on the research context rather than the practicalities of implementation. In spite of these potential shortcomings, basing knowledge translation efforts on rigorous systematic reviews can help to reduce bias, increase accuracy and be time-effective.