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Alignment Work: Facilitating the Movement of Knowledge in Occupational Health

Sat, September 7, 2:45 to 4:15pm, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Floor: Five, Grand Ballroom E


How well knowledge moves between different epistemic cultures depends to a great extent on organizational conditions, personal relations, continuous relations and maintenance – factors that either interrupt or facilitate the movement of knowledge from one site to another. For example, for evidence-based guidelines and standards to be relevant and acceptable for practitioners they, as mediators, must take practical complexities into consideration, such as the different and sometimes contradictory interests of employers and employees in occupational health.
This paper investigates how knowledge is moved between experts as well as experts and laypersons within occupational health. By using the theoretical concept ‘alignment work’ this paper highlights 1) the continuous - and often invisible – work that takes place besides the actual movement of knowledge and how it unites evidence-based guidelines and standards with local conditions and prerequisites, and 2) the alignment work that needs to be established and maintained to facilitate the movement of knowledge between different contexts. Hence, this paper shed light on interruptions for the movement of knowledge in everyday practice and the work that needs to be in continuous progress for knowledge to be moved.