Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 5 of 5 items for

  • Author or Editor: Jennifer Watling Neal x
Clear All Modify Search

We propose transaction cost economics theory as a tool for exploring when school administrators rely on information from two types of sources: internal sources like their own colleagues, and external sources like researchers and government agencies. The theory’s application is illustrated in a comparative case study of two public school districts in Michigan. Consistent with the theory’s predictions, the smaller, homogeneous, high-performing district used more external sources of information, while the larger, diverse, low-performing district used internal sources of information. We conclude by identifying some strengths and limitations of the theory, which can serve as starting points for debate.

Restricted access

Background:

Brokers, intermediaries, and boundary spanners (BIBS) bridge research and policy or practice, and can elevate the role of evidence in decision making. However, there is limited integration of the literature across different sectors to understand the strategies that BIBS use, the skills needed to carry out these strategies, and the expected outcomes of these strategies.

Aims and objectives:

In this review, we characterise the strategies, skills, and outcomes of BIBS across the literature in education, environmental, health and other relevant sectors.

Methods:

We included 185 conceptual and review papers written in English that included descriptions or conceptualisations of BIBS in the context of knowledge transfer or research use in the education, environmental, health, or other relevant sectors (for example, social services, international development). For each included paper, we extracted and coded information on sector, BIBS strategies, skills, and outcomes.

Findings:

Our review revealed five strategies used by BIBS that were emphasised in the literature. Specifically, 79.5% of papers mentioned facilitating relationships, 75.7% mentioned disseminating evidence, 56.8% mentioned finding alignment, 48.6% mentioned capacity building, and 37.3% mentioned advising decisions as strategies used by BIBS. Additionally, papers described skills and expected outcomes that were common across these strategies as well as those that were unique to specific strategies.

Discussion and conclusions:

We discuss implications of these findings for understanding how BIBS interface with knowledge users and producers as well as directions for future research on BIBS and the professionalisation of BIBS roles.

Restricted access

Background:

A growing literature focuses on the roles of brokers, intermediaries, and boundary spanners (BIBS) in addressing the challenges of transferring research evidence between the research and practice or policy communities.

Aims and objectives:

In this systematic review, we examined two research questions: (1) where, how, and when are different BIBS terms (broker, intermediary, and boundary spanner) used? and (2) which BIBS terms get defined, and when these terms are defined, who are BIBS and what do they do?

Methods:

We conducted literature searches designed to capture articles on BIBS and the transfer of research evidence. We extracted information about eligible articles’ characteristics, use of BIBS terms, and definitions of BIBS terms.

Findings:

The search revealed an initial pool of 667 results, of which 277 articles were included after screening. Although we coded 430 separate uses of BIBS terms, only 37.2% of these uses provided explicit definitions. The terms, ‘broker’ and ‘brokerage’, were commonly applied in the health sector to describe a person engaged in multiple functions. The term, ‘intermediary’, was commonly applied in the education sector to describe an organisation engaged in dissemination. Finally, the terms ‘boundary spanner’ and ‘boundary spanning’ were commonly applied in the environment sector to describe people or organisations that engage in relationship building.

Discussion and conclusions:

Results demonstrated that when BIBS were defined, there were important (albeit implicit) distinctions between terms. Based on these results, we identify archetypal definitions for brokers, intermediaries, and boundary spanners and offer recommendations for future research.

Open access

Background:

This study draws on two communities theory to address two major research questions related to conceptions of research in educational practice and policy. First, how do educators conceptualise research? Second, to what extent do educators’ conceptions of research align with recent US federal educational policies?

Methods:

We conducted 90 semi-structured interviews with educators in the US, asking them what comes to mind when they think of research. We used open, axial, and selective coding to characterise educators’ conceptions of research. We also compared educators’ conceptions of research to two US federal educational policies that define scientifically-based research and evidence-based interventions.

Findings:

Findings indicate that educators and policies defined research in similar ways, but each included some unique characteristics.

Discussion and conclusions:

Implications from the study include the need for increased communication between federal policymakers and educators and improved reporting by researchers to better attend to the needs of educators and policymakers.

Full Access

Measuring the use of research evidence (URE) by schools has become a central focus of education researchers. However, it has proven challenging due to low response rates, social desirability bias, and costly or time-consuming data collection methods. To overcome these challenges and meet the needs of research focused on URE, this paper introduces a non-reactive archival measure: Archival Search of Use of Research Evidence (ASURE). ASURE counts references to research or evidence on a school’s or school district’s website to capture the extent of its rhetorical use of research evidence. After illustrating the collection of ASURE in all public school districts in Michigan (N = 595), we use data on these districts to show that ASURE is reliable and valid, and thus offers a promising new strategy for measuring URE in schools. We conclude by considering future steps for exploring ASURE, not simply as a measure of URE in schools, but instead as a measurement strategy for assessing URE in a broad range of organisational contexts.

Restricted access