Inter-professional Barriers and Knowledge Brokering in an Organizational Context: The Case of Healthcare

Graeme Currie, Leroy White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Our study examines brokering of situated knowledge within an organizational context, characterized by professional hierarchy. We examine how professional affiliation and associated power differentials impact upon knowledge brokering at the individual and group levels within an organization. Our empirical case, which combines social network analysis and qualitative fieldwork, is set in healthcare with a focus upon integration of management, psychosocial and clinical component knowledge domains deemed necessary for treatment of a long-term condition. Our study shows that peer-to-peer knowledge brokering, which is framed by professional hierarchy, remains pervasive with respect to medical knowledge brokering. However, social structures might be mediated through developing architectural knowledge, reflected in both formal and informal organizational routines and schema, which engenders community tendencies that transcend professional hierarchy, so that knowledge brokering is more widely distributed to benefit patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1361
Number of pages29
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • communities of practice
  • healthcare
  • knowledge broker
  • professions
  • social network analysis
  • teamworking

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