The object of knowledge: The role of objects in biomedical innovation

  • Swan J
  • Bresnen M
  • Newell S
 et al. 
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Understanding innovation in the biomedical field requires an appreciation of its highly interactive nature and of the many professional and organizational boundaries that create barriers to interaction and the sharing of knowledge. Yet, research to date has directed much less attention to understanding the intricacies of interactive biomedical innovation in practice, than it has to exploring the factors influencing innovation at an institutional level. Drawing upon empirical research and taking an approach informed by symbolic interactionism and a practice-based perspective on knowledge and learning, this article offers insights into the processes involved in supporting knowledge sharing by focusing on 'objects' and the varying roles they play ( instrumental and symbolic) in enabling ( or potentially disabling) interaction amongst groups and organizations involved in biomedical innovation projects.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biomedical
  • Boundary objects
  • Innovation
  • Practice-based perspective
  • Symbolic interactionism

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  • Jacky Swan

  • Mike Bresnen

  • Sue Newell

  • Maxine Robertson

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