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Rethinking capacity building for knowledge mobilisation: developing multilevel capabilities in healthcare organisations

Kislov, Roman, Waterman, Heather, Harvey, Gill and Boaden, Ruth 2014. Rethinking capacity building for knowledge mobilisation: developing multilevel capabilities in healthcare organisations. Implementation Science : IS 9 , 166. 10.1186/s13012-014-0166-0

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Abstract

Background Knowledge mobilisation in healthcare organisations is often carried out through relatively short-term projects dependent on limited funding, which raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of implementation and improvement. It is becoming increasingly recognised that the translation of research evidence into practice has to be supported by developing the internal capacity of healthcare organisations to engage with and apply research. This process can be supported by external knowledge mobilisation initiatives represented, for instance, by professional associations, collaborative research partnerships and implementation networks. This conceptual paper uses empirical and theoretical literature on organisational learning and dynamic capabilities to enhance our understanding of intentional capacity building for knowledge mobilisation in healthcare organisations. Discussion The discussion is structured around the following three themes: (1) defining and classifying capacity building for knowledge mobilisation; (2) mechanisms of capability development in organisational context; and (3) individual, group and organisational levels of capability development. Capacity building is presented as a practice-based process of developing multiple skills, or capabilities, belonging to different knowledge domains and levels of complexity. It requires an integration of acquisitive learning, through which healthcare organisations acquire knowledge and skills from knowledge mobilisation experts, and experience-based learning, through which healthcare organisations adapt, absorb and modify their knowledge and capabilities through repeated practice. Although the starting point for capability development may be individual-, team- or organisation-centred, facilitation of the transitions between individual, group and organisational levels of learning within healthcare organisations will be needed. Summary Any initiative designed to build capacity for knowledge mobilisation should consider the subsequent trajectory of newly developed knowledge and skills within the recipient healthcare organisations. The analysis leads to four principles underpinning a practice-based approach to developing multilevel knowledge mobilisation capabilities: (1) moving from `building¿ capacity from scratch towards `developing¿ capacity of healthcare organisations; (2) moving from passive involvement in formal education and training towards active, continuous participation in knowledge mobilisation practices; (3) moving from lower-order, project-specific capabilities towards higher-order, generic capabilities allowing healthcare organisations to adapt to change, absorb new knowledge and innovate; and (4) moving from single-level to multilevel capability development involving transitions between individual, group and organisational learning.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1748-5908
Date of Acceptance: 18 September 2014
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2019 14:09
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/75740

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