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Collective knowledge brokering: The model and impact of an embedded team

Le May, Andr�e; Wye, Lesley; Cramer, Helen; Beckett, Kate; Farr, Michelle; Le May, Andree; Carey, Jude; Robinson, Rebecca; Anthwal, Rachel; Rooney, James; Baxter, Helen


Andr�e Le May

Lesley Wye

Helen Cramer

Profile Image

Kate Beckett
Occasional Associate Lecturer - Allied Health Professions

Michelle Farr

Andree Le May

Jude Carey

Rebecca Robinson

Rachel Anthwal

James Rooney

Helen Baxter


Background: The Bristol Knowledge Mobilisation (KM) Team was an unusual collective brokering model, consisting of a multi-professional team of four managers and three academics embedded in both local healthcare policymaking (aka commissioning) and academic primary care.

Aims and objectives: They aimed to encourage ‘research-informed commissioning’ and ‘commissioning-informed research’. This paper covers context, structure, processes, advantages, challenges and impact.

Methods: Data sources from brokers included personal logs, reflective essays, exit interviews and a team workshop. These were analysed inductively using constant comparison. To obtain critical distance, three external evaluations were conducted, using interviews, observations and documentation.

Findings: Stable, solvent organisations; senior involvement with good inter-professional relationships; secure funding; and networks of engaged allies in host organisations supported the brokers. Essential elements were two-way embedding, ‘buddying up’, team leadership, brokers’ interpersonal skills, and two-year, part-time contracts. By working collectively, the brokers fostered cross-community interactions and modelled collaborative behaviour, drawing on each other’s ‘insider’ knowledge, networks and experience. Challenges included too many taskmasters, unrealistic expectations and work overload. However, team-brokering provided a safe space to be vulnerable, share learning, and build confidence. As host organisations benefitted most from embedded brokers, both communities noted changes in attitude, knowledge, skills and confidence. The team were more successful in fostering ‘commissioning-informed research’ with co-produced research grants than ‘research-informed commissioning’.

Discussion and conclusions: Although still difficult, the collective support and comradery of an embedded, two-way, multi-professional team made encouraging interactions, and therefore brokering, easier. A team approach modelled collaborative behaviour and created a critical mass to affect cultural change.


Le May, A., Wye, L., Cramer, H., Beckett, K., Farr, M., Le May, A., …Baxter, H. (2020). Collective knowledge brokering: The model and impact of an embedded team. Evidence and Policy, 16(3), 429-452.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 22, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2019
Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 28, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 26, 2020
Journal Evidence and Policy
Print ISSN 1744-2648
Electronic ISSN 1744-2656
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 3
Pages 429-452
Keywords co-production, collective brokering, knowledge brokering, knowledge mobilisation
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Evidence and Policy. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [Wye, L. , Cramer, H. , Beckett, K. , Farr, M. , Le May, A. , Carey, J. , Robinson, R. , Anthwal, R. , Rooney, J. and Baxter, H. and UWE, UoB, Bristol CCG (2019) Collective knowledge brokering: The model and impact of an embedded team. Evidence and Policy. ISSN 1744-2648] is available online at:
Corporate Creators : UWE, UoB, Bristol CCG


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