'Best practice' development and transfer in the NHS: the importance of process as well as product knowledge

Newell, S, Edelman, L, Scarbrough, H, Swan, J and Bresnen, M (2003) 'Best practice' development and transfer in the NHS: the importance of process as well as product knowledge. Health Services Management Research, 16 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 0951-4848

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Abstract

A core prescription from the knowledge management movement is that the successful management of organizational knowledge will prevent firms from 'reinventing the wheel', in particular through the transfer of 'best practices'. Our findings challenge this logic. They suggest instead that knowledge is emergent and enacted in practice, and that normally those involved in a given practice have only a partial understanding of the overall practice. Generating knowledge about current practice is therefore a precursor to changing that practice. In this sense, knowledge transfer does not occur independently of or in sequence to knowledge generation, but instead the process of knowledge generation and its transfer are inexorably intertwined. Thus, rather than transferring 'product' knowledge about the new 'best practice' per se, our analysis suggests that it is more useful to transfer 'process' knowledge about effective ways to generate the knowledge of existing practice, which is the essential starting point for attempts to change that practice.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2014 16:57
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2014 16:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/51849
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