Workplace-based knowledge exchange programmes between academics, policymakers and providers in the health and social care sector: a scoping review and mapping exercise

Stephanie Kumpunen, Bernadeta Bridgwood, Greg Irving, Thuvarahan Amuthalingam, Jake Matthews, Luisa M. Pettigrew*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Knowledge mobilisation can be achieved through various routes. This can include immersive, in-person time spent in a different workplace with people from other disciplines or sub-sectors. By doing so participants mobilise and exchange knowledge through observing the dynamics of a different workplace; by learning directly from others with different expertise and/or through sharing their own expertise. We have called this form of knowledge exchange ‘Workplace-based Knowledge Exchange Programmes’ (WKEPs) and have focused on their role in the health and care sector because of the importance of knowledge mobilisation in this field yet their relatively low profile in the literature. This study explores the main characteristics of WKEPs among academics, providers, and policymakers in the health and care sector in the United Kingdom (UK) through a scoping review and mapping exercise. We systematically identified 147 academic articles (between 2010 and 2022) and 74 websites which offered WKEPs as part of, or all of, their knowledge mobilisation activities (between 2020 and 2022). Characteristics were grouped into structures, processes, and outcomes. WKEPs lasted between one day and five years and were mostly uni-directional. Exchange ambitions varied, aiming to benefit both the participants and their working environments. They commonly aimed to build networks or collaborations, improve understanding of another field and bring back knowledge to their employer, as well as improve leadership and management skills. Almost all programmes were for healthcare providers and academics, rather than social care providers or policymakers. In-person WKEP activities could be categorised into four domains: ‘job shadowing’, ‘work placements’, ‘project-based collaborations’, and ‘secondments’. The aims of many of the WKEPs were not clearly described and formal evaluations were rare. We used the findings of this study to develop a framework to describe WKEP activities. We suggest the use of common language for these activities to aid participation and research, as well as recommending principles for the comprehensive advertising of WKEPs and reporting of experiences after participation in WKEPs. We recommend the establishment of an online repository to improve access to WKEPs. These resources are necessary to strengthen understanding and the effectiveness of WKEPs as a mechanism for knowledge mobilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number507
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
Early online date15 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2023


  • Policy


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