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What should researchers do about knowledge transfer? By Réjean Landry Faculty of Business Laval University Notes prepared for presentation and discussion.

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Presentation on theme: "What should researchers do about knowledge transfer? By Réjean Landry Faculty of Business Laval University Notes prepared for presentation and discussion."— Presentation transcript:

1 What should researchers do about knowledge transfer? By Réjean Landry Faculty of Business Laval University Notes prepared for presentation and discussion at the Workshop on Knowledge Transfer, STIRRHS, Ottawa, April 30, 2007

2 Key messages Research knowledge is never ready for application Knowledge need to be transformed in order to become applicable Every researcher is involved to some extent in knowledge transfer The question is: Is there a need or a willingness to become more involved in KT? If the answer is yes, then, there are a few simple actions to undertake and they need to take into account the context into which researchers operate in order to develop an efficient knowledge transfer strategy

3 Outline 1.What is knowledge? 2.What are the major knowledge transfer strategies? (direct or interactions strategies?) 3.What are the major target of knowledge transfer? (individuals or organizations?)

4 What is knowledge? 1.Codified (documented) knowledge: Documents (articles, systematic reviews, guidelines, etc), databases, programs 2.Tacit knowledge (undocumented knowledge in the heads of people): experience, know-how, skills 3.Legally protected knowledge: patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets

5 Lack of Integratation of the Different Types of Knowledge When addressing issues related to KT, experts have the inclination to depend almost exclusively on codified documented knowledge. The other types of knowledge, especially tacit knowledge, are especially important with respect to knowing how to perform a particular task and solve unfamiliar problems. By itself, codified knowledge is incomplete because it deals with the know-what, but not with the know-how provided by the other types of knowledge. Hence, the proposition that, Proposition 1: the greater the level of integration of different types of knowledge transferred for a particular application is, the greater the benefits that organizations derive.

6 What do researchers usually care about? About the transfer of one form of codified knowledge: knowledge documented in articles, systematic reviews, guidelines, etc. from a research milieu to a practice milieu About the findings of a single study

7 What is the target of intervention in knowledge transfer? The individual : then, the focus is on the factors explaining the uptake of research by individual users: the health professionals--- the dominant view in health The organization: then, the focus is on the capabilities of organizations to manage knowledge from creation up to impacts on results and outcomes (the management of the knowledge value chain)--- the dominant view in large private organizations

8 Researchers can rely on two major strategies to move knowledge from research to practice 1.Direct Strategy: research is moved directly from the research milieu to the practice milieu 2.Interaction Strategy: research transfer is caused by interactions and movement of people

9 Four contexts of Knowledge Transfer Individual targets Organizational targets KT through direct strategy Evidence-based medicine Technology transfer KT through interactions strategy Community of practice Management of the knowledge value chain

10 Two images … About how to cover the distance between abstract scientific principles and concrete applications needed in the practice milieu.... A pessimistic view …. A more optimistic view

11 (Branscomb and Auerswald, 2002)

12 Sources (Branscomb and Auerswald, 2002)

13 Research knowledge is never ready for transfer Research knowledge (articles, systematic reviews, guidelines, etc) is about generic principles These principles work in your laboratory You need to show how they work in a practice milieu NB: first and foremost: you need to have something to transfer: research knowledge

14 Elements of the Direct knowledge transfer strategy When you attempt to move research directly from the research milieu to the practice milieu

15 How to win support for your research knowledge? Gaining support and investment for application of your research knowledge requires proofs at seven levels: 1.Technical proof 2.Control proof 3.Safety proof 4.Value proof 5.Economic proof 6.Attractiveness proof 7.Ethical proof

16 Technical Proof To what extent did you demonstrate that your concept (for a new technology, new product, new process, new practice), is technically feasible at each stage from theory through manufacturability and delivery to customers?

17 Control proof To what extent did you demonstrate that the intellectual property of your proven concept (for a new technology, new product, new process, new practice), can be closely held by the recipient company?

18 Safety Proof To what extent did you demonstrate that your technology, product, process or practice is safe and that you minimize liabilities due to choice of materials and construction?

19 Value Proof To what extent did you demonstrate that a finished product or service based on your technology, product, process, or practice will deliver benefits to customers in excess of their costs?

20 Economic Proof To what extent did you demonstrate that enough customers exist and can be served to clearly generate a profit from the your technology, product, process, or practice over time? (This is the business case)

21 Attractiveness Proof To what extent did you demonstrate that the current technology and final product or service fit the corporate mission, goals, and strategy of the organization to which your technology, product, process, or practice is transferred?

22 Ethical Proof To what extent did you demonstrate that your technology, product, process, or practice meet the organization ethical criteria?

23 Knowledge worth applying? Proposition 2: Successful transfer or uptake requires that you demonstrate that the knowledge proposed for transfer work at the seven distinct levels

24 Knowledge transfer services In order to help you to demonstrate that your technology, product, process or practice meet proof criteria at the different levels, you may benefit from using services provided by specialized organizations, research centres, and technology transfer offices

25 Interaction Strategy The direct strategy where reseachers attempt to transfer directly their research knowledge to users without the involvement of users may not always be the most efficient KT strategy. Then you need to consider the interaction Strategy In this second strategy, research transfer is caused by interactions and movement of people Here is an illustration of a check list of factors to consider in the implementation of an interaction strategy to KT

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43 What exactly is being transferred through the interactions strategy In principle: the projects are designed to transfer the knowledge developped in single studies… In practice: you transfer knowledge resulting from your « informal review of literature », you provide information and knowledge that help your partner to have a better understanding of his decision making situation …

44 From knowledge transfer to knowledge management Instead of focusing primarily on individual users of research, WHO and large private organizations focus on organizations, more precisely, on the capabilities of organizations to manage knowledge from creation up to impacts on results and outcomes, It has led to the emergence of the management of the knowledge value chain

45 Landry, R. et al "The Knowledge Value Chain: A Conceptual Framework for Knowledge Translation". The Bulletin of The Word Health Organisation 84 (8):

46 Final remarks Research knowledge is never ready for application Knowledge need to be transformed in order to become applicable Every researcher is involved to some extent in knowledge transfer The question is: Is there a need or a willingness to become more involved in KT? If the answer is yes, then, there are a few simple actions to undertake and they need to take into account the context into which researchers operate in order to develop an efficient knowledge transfer strategy

47 Thank you for your attention Questions? Comments?


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