Gabbay, John, le May, Andrée, Jefferson, Harriet, Webb, Dale, Lovelock, Robin, Powell, Jackie and Lathlean, Judith
A case study of knowledge in multi-agency consumer-informed ‘Communities of Practice’: implications for evidence-based policy development in health and social services
Health, 7, (3), . (doi:10.1177/1363459303007003003).
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We report a study that facilitated and evaluated two multiagency Communities of Practice (CoPs) working on improving specific aspects of health and social services for older people, and analysed how they processed and applied knowledge in formulating their views. Data collection included observing and tape-recording the CoPs, interviewing participants and reviewing documents they generated and used. All these sources were analysed to identify knowledge-related behaviours. Four themes emerged from these data: (1) the way that certain kinds of knowledge became privileged and accepted; (2) the ways in which the CoP members transformed and internalized new knowledge; (3) how the haphazard processing of the available knowledge was contingent upon the organizational features of the groups; and (4) the ways in which the changing agendas, roles and power-relations had differential effects on collective sense making. We conclude by recommending ways in which the process of evidence-based policy development in such groups may be enhanced.
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