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Research use and knowledge mobilisation in third sector organisations involved in health care provision

Rebecca Hardwick (student)

Supervisors: Iain Lang; Mark Pearson; Ken Stein (Director of Studies)

Third sector organisations (TSOs) are important healthcare system stakeholders, they provide services and advocate on behalf of their beneficiaries to decision and policy makers.  They are thought to have distinctive knowledge that can be beneficial to improving local services, and finding ways of 'harnessing' this knowledge is therefore an important activity. 

However, little is known about the nature, status and distinctiveness of this knowledge, how it is created and shared.  In addition, little is known about how TSOs themselves use this and other kinds of knowledge (such as research-based) in their work.

The purpose of my PhD is to explore how third sector organisations use knowledge in their work and why.  I have completed and published a scoping review of the literature (see below), and have conducted a pilot survey and written up the findings for publication.  Currently, I am undertaking ethnographic fieldwork with a third sector mental health service provider in Devon, and through observation, interview and documentary analysis, I am exploring with them what counts as knowledge for TSOs, and how and why TSOs use knowledge in their work.

My work is realist in approach, that is, it is concerned with understanding what the mechanisms are that support knowledge use, how they work, in what circumstances and why. 

For more information, please read the current upgrade report. If you’d like to learn more, please contact Rebecca Hardwick via Email

You can also follow Rebecca on Twitter or read her blog.

Related publications

Hardwick, R. Anderson, R. Cooper, C. (2015) How do third sector organisations use research and other knowledge? A Systematic Scoping Review. Implementation Science 10:84  available at: http://www.implementationscience.com/content/10/1/84.

Lang, I. Hardwick, R. (2016) Knowledge, knowledge mobilisation and the third sector. Voluntary Sector Review 7 (2) pp2019-218   http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/tpp/vsr/2016/00000007/00000002/art00005

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