Researchers
June 26, 2020

Understanding the Role that Knowledge Brokers Have in Bridging the Academic Gap

An often overlooked role in academia is that of the knowledge broker. These personnel work with stakeholders and researchers to create successful, productive relationships between all parties. The brokers facilitate a connection between what the stakeholders feel the public needs and what the researchers are willing and able to do, based on the challenges and obstacles they foresee. Without the knowledge broker, the researchers and stakeholder relationship would likely be tenuous.
Source: Unsplash

The knowledge broker has a significant role in bringing researchers and stakeholders together, but most people don’t even know they exist. Those who take on this job bridge a connection between the two main participants to create a productive relationship with common ground.

In general, the knowledge broker learns what the stakeholders believe are necessary ideas for the public good and then share those ideas with the researcher. The researcher responds with potential projects and what they would take, and the knowledge broker brings those ideas, in layman’s terms, back to the stakeholder. It’s a necessary role that lets each person involved do what they do best without the burden of paperwork and communication issues.

Still, there are some challenges the knowledge broker faces as the intermediary between two extreme positions. The researcher’s focus is on science; the stakeholder’s is on the financial return and public interest.

Aiding in the Disconnect

The knowledge broker’s job comes with inherent difficulties. They deal with the tensions between the two sides as a compromise is attempted. They must explain the desires of each side in ways that forge an understanding of the other party’s requirements and reasons why, and they may struggle to pass on the exact knowledge that is intended to reach the stakeholder or researcher clearly.

The role of a knowledge broker is to overcome these challenges, encouraging the exchange of information between multiple parties to create an effective partnership between education and financial concerns, between academics and the red tape that goes along with them.

The Role of the Knowledge Broker

Stepping into this role requires the ability to understand human nature, connect with others, and encourage a neutral compromise as a mediator between often extreme conflicts of interest. A knowledge broker commonly finds themselves engaged in activities such as:

●      Finding and engaging stakeholders for the research involved. As the researcher finds a need to be filled, the knowledge broker approaches potential stakeholders on their behalf.

●      Encouraging collaboration between the stakeholder and the researcher. Strategic techniques that facilitate compromise, promote interest and discussion between the parties involved, and getting the necessary people to join in the collaboration.

●      Comprehending and sharing information. As a knowledge broker, there is a lot of information bandied about from either side. It’s the broker’s job to disseminate that information into categories of relevance and shelved content that may be necessary later. However, if relevant information is miscategorized and not passed on, it could be disadvantageous to the collaboration.

●      Assisting with research analysis. Since the knowledge broker must be able to translate either party’s knowledge and information, they frequently find themselves in the role of attempting to analyze and interpret data.

●      Coordinating development of projects. As both parties step in to design the research and agree on the steps, the knowledge broker helps coordinate these stages to facilitate implementation in a timely manner.

●      Delivering information in tailored contexts to the appropriate party. Not all of the information the broker receives is relevant or packaged in a way that the other party would find receptive. It’s the knowledge broker’s job to adjust what they hear and obtain and deliver in relevantly to the other side.

●      Communicating between both parties. The role of the knowledge broker does not end until the successful publication of the research is completed. They continue to communicate between scholar and stakeholder, encouraging knowledge sharing and information translation through the time the work is shared with the public.

When it’s a question of sharing information in any manner between the researcher and the stakeholder, the knowledge broker has a role involved. These processes vary depending on the parties that are communicating. Some are more willing to listen and compromise; others want autonomy and control of the project and require finesse to handle. Always, though, the knowledge broker’s role is an important part of getting the research project off the ground when scholars and stakeholders are at odds.

Scholars and Stakeholders Agree: Use Impactio for Publication

One thing knowledge brokers don’t have to argue for either side is the fact that both parties want the best programs used to compile the research work. For experts around the world, that program is Impactio.

Impactio is an all-in-one platform that takes the researcher from start to publication and beyond. Easy to access and edit templates are available for academics to demonstrate their research findings. Charts, tables, and graphs are simple to put together to show off academic impacts. And when the profile is complete, Impactio turns the finished product into professional PDF documents and web pages.

When you’re ready to get your academic resume published and shared with the world, use Impactio to create an academic impact with your findings.

Tags Knowledge Brokers Academic Gap
Jason Collins
Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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