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Evolving the Theory and Praxis of Knowledge Translation through Social Interaction: A Social Phenomenological Study

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Implementation Science





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Background: As an inherently human process fraught with subjectivity, dynamic interaction, and change, social interaction knowledge translation (KT) invites implementation scientists to explore what might be learned from adopting the academic tradition of social constructivism and an interpretive research approach. This paper presents phenomenological investigation of the second cycle of a participatory action KT intervention in the home care sector to answer the question: What is the nature of the process of implementing KT through social interaction? Methods: Social phenomenology was selected to capture how the social processes of the KT intervention were experienced, with the aim of representing these as typical socially-constituted patterns. Participants (n = 203), including service providers, case managers, administrators, and researchers organized into nine geographically-determined multi-disciplinary action groups, purposefully selected and audiotaped three meetings per group to capture their enactment of the KT process at early, middle, and end-of-cycle timeframes. Data, comprised of 36 hours of transcribed audiotapes augmented by researchers' field notes, were analyzed using social phenomenology strategies and authenticated through member checking and peer review. Results: Four patterns of social interaction representing organization, team, and individual interests were identified: overcoming barriers and optimizing facilitators; integrating 'science push' and 'demand pull' approaches within the social interaction process; synthesizing the research evidence with tacit professional craft and experiential knowledge; and integrating knowledge creation, transfer, and uptake throughout everyday work. Achieved through relational transformative leadership constituted simultaneously by both structure and agency, in keeping with social phenomenology analysis approaches, these four patterns are represented holistically in a typical construction, specifically, a participatory action KT (PAKT) model. Conclusion: Study findings suggest the relevance of principles and foci from the field of process evaluation related to intervention implementation, further illuminating KT as a structuration process facilitated by evolving transformative leadership in an active and integrated context. The model provides guidance for proactively constructing a 'fit' between content, context, and facilitation in the translation of evidence informing professional craft knowledge.

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