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A network case of knowledge brokering

Joelle Rodway (Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada)
Stephen MacGregor (Queen's University, Kingston, Canada)
Alan Daly (Department of Education Studies, University of California, La Jolla, California, USA)
Yi-Hwa Liou (Educational Management, National Taipei University of Education, Taipei, Taiwan)
Susan Yonezawa (CREATE, University of California, La Jolla, California, USA)
Mica Pollock (Department of Education Studies, University of California, La Jolla, California, USA)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 15 March 2021

Issue publication date: 24 March 2021




The purpose of this paper is two-fold: (1) to offer a conceptual understanding of knowledge brokering from a sociometric point-of-view; and (2) to provide an empirical example of this conceptualization in an education context.


We use social network theory and analysis tools to explore knowledge exchange patterns among a group of teachers, instructional coaches and administrators who are collectively seeking to build increased capacity for effective mathematics instruction. We propose the concept of network activity to measure direct and indirect knowledge brokerage through the use of degree and betweenness centrality measures. Further, we propose network utility—measured by tie multiplexity—as a second key component of effective knowledge brokering.


Our findings suggest significant increases in both direct and indirect knowledge brokering activity across the network over time. Teachers, in particular, emerge as key knowledge brokers within this networked learning community. Importantly, there is also an increase in the number of resources exchanged through network relationships over time; the most active knowledge brokers in this social ecosystem are those individuals who are exchanging multiple forms of knowledge.


This study focuses on knowledge brokering as it presents itself in the relational patterns among educators within a social ecosystem. While it could be that formal organizational roles may encapsulate knowledge brokering across physical structures with an education system (e.g. between schools and central offices), these individuals are not necessarily the people who are most effectively brokering knowledge across actors within the broader social network.



The project was supported by funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Rodway, J., MacGregor, S., Daly, A., Liou, Y.-H., Yonezawa, S. and Pollock, M. (2021), "A network case of knowledge brokering", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 148-163.



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