Invitation to a Research Dissemination Event: theorizing innovation tranlsation

'Theorizing Innovation Translation: the case of Collaborative Partnerships between a University and the surrounding NHS Organisations"
21st of May
Imperial College Business School
British Academy of Management/Special Interest Group on Public Management and Governance

Keynote speakers:
Prof Rifat Atun (Imperial College London, Business School, UK)
Prof Graeme Currie (Warwick Business School, UK, formerly Director CLAHRC NDL)
Prof Ewan Ferlie (King's College London, Management, UK)
Call for contributions

There is an emerging discourse of translational research in the UK that advocates partnerships between healthcare providers and universities. For instance, in 2008 nine NIHR CLAHRCs (National Institute for Health Research Collaboration in Applied Health Research and Care) were established, each with an initial £10m of government funding, matched by local NHS resources. The imperative for this initiative was to speed up the time it takes to translate innovation into better patient care. The NIHR CLAHRCs have been evaluated extensively using single and comparative case study designs.

Additionally, five Academic Health Science Centres have also been established through the integration of universities with care providers. These represent another translational healthcare initiative that aims to explore how to translate research in practice more effectively.

A new funding for up to twelve NIHR CLAHRCs around the country has now opened. £120m will be available for the scheme.

Holding this one-day conference at a time when the government is committed to putting the UK at the forefront of health research is a great opportunity to bring together researchers interested in making new contributions on this field. There have been several practice based events on innovation translation in the NHS but not much on the academic side.

We invite innovative management papers that contribute to our understanding of translation of innovation in healthcare. We welcome theoretical, conceptual, comparative and empirically‐based papers from a range of theoretical frameworks, in one of the priority areas described in the following section. We are currently exploring with British Journal of Management if they would be interested in a special issue.

We are interested in papers that explore the intended and unintended outcomes of hybrids for innovation translation in healthcare. These hybrids can be conceptualized as blurred organizational forms in technological and organizational configurations (Bloomfield & Hayes 2009; McNulty & Ferlie, 2004) that may display bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic features (Clegg, Courpasson et al. 2006), mixed patterns of communication (Atun, 2003), multiple identities and knowledge systems that operate between fluid epistemic communities set for in the notion of ‘becoming’ (Tsoukas & Chia, 2002). For example, activities such as quality improvement, knowledge management and organizational change are no longer seen as a core task of a particular professional group. Rather, such activities can be appropriated by service managers, health professionals and increasingly new ‘professional projects’ (Larson, 1977) – i.e. SDO fellows, Diffusion fellows, Improvement Science Fellows etc.
Finally, evidence based management tools and techniques that shape strategic processes during the innovation translation are key components of business school strategy curricula and research. However, for a long period there has been a debate over the actual use and usefulness of these tools and techniques of evidence based management in healthcare (Alvesson & Kärreman 2001; Rousseau, 2006;Walshe & Rundall 2001).
We wish to invite papers that explore the consequences, theory and practice of hybrids, fluid epistemic communities and evidence based management tools and techniques for innovation translation in health care. Papers could draw on a broad range of theoretical perspectives including institutional theory (Reay &Hinings, 2009; Currie, Lockett et al. 2012)  post bureaucratic theory (Reed, 2011), the sociology of the professions and occupational control (Noordegraaf  2007, Calnan and Gabe, 2009), social identity theory (Ashforth & Johnson, 2001), organizational learning and communities of practice (Brown and Duguid, 1991), boundary objects and sociomateriality (Orlikowski and Scott, 2008) with its stress on the role of technology in organizational life (this list is not exhaustive).

The conference is limited to a maximum of 40 participants to ensure the conference is conducive to discussion and exchange.

Please submit full papers (5000-6000 words, excl. references) by 2nd of April, 2013 by email to:
Each contributor should indicate their name and affiliation(s) at the top of their submission.

For any questions concerning this event or the submission process, please contact Dimitri Spyridondis (

We will follow up later with additional information about the research seminar programme. Again, thank you so much for submitting a paper to the seminar; we look forward to seeing you in London.


Alvesson, M. and Kärreman, D. (2001). Odd Couple: Making Sense of the Curious Concept of Knowledge Management. Journal of Management Studies 38(7): 995-1018.
Ashforth, B. E. and Johnson, S. A. (2001). Which hat to wear? The relative salience of multiple identities in organizational contexts. In M. A. Hogg and D. J. Terry (eds) Social identity processes in organizational contexts, Philadelphia, Psychology Press: 31-48.
Atun, R.A. (2003). Doctors and managers need to speak a common language.  British Medical Journal, 326(7390), 655–6
Brown, J. S. and Duguid, P. (1991). Organizational Learning and Communities-of-Practice: Toward a Unified View of Working, Learning, and Innovation. Organization Science 2(1): 40-57.
Bloomfield, B. P. and Hayes, N. (2009). Power and Organizational Transformation through Technology: Hybrids of Electronic Government. Organization Studies 30(5): 461-487.
Calnan, M. and Gabe, J. (2009). The Restratification of Primary Care in England - A Sociological Analysis., in . J. Gabe and M. Calnan  (eds) A New Sociology of the Health Service, Abingdon, Routledge: 56-78.
Clegg, S. R., Courpasson, D., Phillips, N. (2006). Power and Organizations. London, SAGE.
Currie, G., Lockett, A. et al. (2012). Institutional Work to Maintain Professional Power: Recreating the Model of Medical Professionalism. Organization Studies 33(7): 937-962.
Currie, G. and White, L. (2012). Inter-professional Barriers and Knowledge Brokering in an Organizational Context: The Case of Healthcare. Organization Studies 33(10): 1333-1361.
Larson, M. S. (1977). The Rise of Professionalism: a Sociological Analysis. Berkeley: University of California Press.
McNulty, T. and Ferlie E. (2004). Process Transformation: Limitations to Radical Organizational Change within Public Service Organizations. Organization Studies 25(8): 1389-1412.
Noordegraaf, M. (2007). "From “Pure” to “Hybrid” Professionalism: Present-Day Professionalism in Ambiguous Public Domains." Administration & Society 39(6): 761-785.

Orlikowski, W. J. and Scott, Susan V. (2008) Sociomateriality: challenging the separation of technology, work and organization. The Academy of Management annals, 2 (1). pp. 433-474.
Reay, T. and Hinings, C. R. (2009). Managing the Rivalry of Competing Institutional Logics. Organization Studies 30(6): 629-652.
Reed, M. (2011) The Post Bureaucratic Organisation and The Control Revolution, in Clegg, S., Harris, M. and Hopfl, H. (eds) Managing Modernity – Beyond Bureaucracy?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 230-256.
Rousseau, D. M. (2006). Is there such a thing as" evidence-based management"? Academy of Management Review 31(2): 256-269.
Tsoukas, H. and Chia, R. (2002). On Organizational Becoming: Rethinking Organizational Change. Organization Science 13(5): 567-582.
Walshe, K. and Rundall, T. G. (2001). Evidence-based Management: From Theory to Practice in Health Care. Milbank Quarterly 79(3): 429-457.

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