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Title: Multiprofessional communities of practice in a large-scale healthcare knowledge mobilisation initiative : a qualitative case study of boundary, identity and knowledge sharing
Author: Kislov, Roman
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 8054
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores the development of multiprofessional communities of practice within the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester - a large-scale UK-based healthcare knowledge mobilisation partnership between the University of Manchester and local NHS organisations. In particular, it examines the role of pre-existing boundaries and identities in the process of community formation and develops our understanding of knowledge sharing across multiple interconnected communities of practice. The project deploys a qualitative single embedded case study as its research methodology, embracing 45 interviews and 69 hours of direct observation supplemented by documentary analysis, all of which were undertaken in 2010-2011. Three overlapping implementation contexts within the CLAHRC for Greater Manchester are explored, each of them reported in a different empirical paper: (1) a multi-professional community of practice emerging from a specialised project team driving an implementation project; (2) multiprofessional communities of practice operating within and across primary healthcare settings; and (3) the knowledge mobilisation initiative as a constellation of multiple communities of practice. The key theoretical contribution of this thesis is threefold. First, it demonstrates that a multiprofessional team can develop characteristics typical for a community of practice, identifies the mechanisms and consequences of this conversion and argues that teams and communities of practice do not need to be seen as mutually exclusive entities. Second, it introduces a notion of selective permeability of boundaries, whereby boundaries developing around a community of practice enable knowledge exchange between such a community and certain out-groups while impeding knowledge sharing with others. Finally, it enhances our understanding of large-scale knowledge mobilisation initiatives as emerging constellations of interconnected practices, describes a boundary between the fields of applied health research and research implementation and questions the role of implementation as a boundary practice bridging the real-time gap between the producers and users of research. The main practical contribution of this work is the formulation of a developmental approach to communities of practice, which lies midway between the analytical and instrumental perspectives previously described in the literature and can be beneficial in those cases where strong pre-existing boundaries make the emergence of a new community of practice problematic. This approach calls for the maximal utilisation of existing organic communities and for improving communication within and between them rather than attempting to foster a heterogeneous community centred on a time-limited project.
Supervisor: Walshe, Kieran; Harvey, Gillian Sponsor: NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for Greater Manchester ; Your Manchester Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: communities of practice ; multiprofessionality ; boundary ; identity ; knowledge mobilisation ; CLAHRC