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Who are the key players in a new translational research network?

Long, Janet, Cunningham, Frances C., Carswell, Peter and Braithwaite, Jeffrey (2013). Who are the key players in a new translational research network?. BMC Health Services Research,13:338-1-338-11.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID cmartelxPUB106
NHMRC Grant No. DP0986493
568612
Title Who are the key players in a new translational research network?
Author Long, Janet
Cunningham, Frances C.
Carswell, Peter
Braithwaite, Jeffrey
Journal Name BMC Health Services Research
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 13
ISSN 1472-6963   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84883200318
Start Page 338-1
End Page 338-11
Total Pages 1
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background
Professional networks are used increasingly in health care to bring together members from different sites and professions to work collaboratively. Key players within these networks are known to affect network function through their central or brokerage position and are therefore of interest to those who seek to optimise network efficiency. However, their identity may not be apparent. This study using social network analysis to ask: (1) Who are the key players of a new translational research network (TRN)? (2) Do they have characteristics in common? (3) Are they recognisable as powerful, influential or well connected individuals?

Methods
TRN members were asked to complete an on-line, whole network survey which collected demographic information expected to be associated with key player roles, and social network questions about collaboration in current TRN projects. Three questions asked who they perceived as powerful, influential and well connected. Indegree and betweenness centrality values were used to determine key player status in the actual and perceived networks and tested for association with demographic and descriptive variables using chi square analyses.

Results
Response rate for the online survey was 76.4% (52/68). The TRN director and manager were identified as key players along with six other members. Only two of nine variables were associated with actual key player status; none with perceived. The main finding was the mismatch between actual and perceived brokers. Members correctly identified two of the three central actors (the two mandated key roles director and manager) but there were only three correctly identified actual brokers among the 19 perceived brokers. Possible reasons for the mismatch include overlapping structures and weak knowledge of members.

Conclusions
The importance of correctly identifying these key players is discussed in terms of network interventions to improve efficiency.

Additional Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Description for Link Link to CC Attribution 3.0 License
Link to published version
URL https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/legalcode
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6963/13/338/abstract


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