Using Network Analysis to Understand Knowledge Mobilization in a Community-based Organization
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BACKGROUND: Knowledge mobilization (KM) has been described as putting research in the hands of research users. Network analysis is an empirical approach that has potential for examining the complex process of knowledge mobilization within community-based organizations (CBOs). Yet, conducting a network analysis in a CBO presents challenges. PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value and feasibility of using network analysis as a method for understanding knowledge mobilization within a CBO by (1) presenting challenges and solutions to conducting a network analysis in a CBO, (2) examining the feasibility of our methodology, and (3) demonstrating the utility of this methodology through an example of a network analysis conducted in a CBO engaging in knowledge mobilization activities. METHOD: The final method used by the partnership team to conduct our network analysis of a CBO is described. RESULTS: An example of network analysis results of a CBO engaging in knowledge mobilization is presented. In total, 81 participants completed the network survey. All of the feasibility benchmarks set by the CBO were met. Results of the network analysis are highlighted and discussed as a means of identifying (1) prominent and influential individuals in the knowledge mobilization process and (2) areas for improvement in future knowledge mobilization initiatives. CONCLUSION: Findings demonstrate that network analysis can be feasibly used to provide a rich description of a CBO engaging in knowledge mobilization activities.
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