Knowledge. Learning. Reflexivity. Three words, individually and together, that can change lives, communities, organisations and the world.

Dr Robyn Taylor is interested in the power of knowledge translation as a way to change and develop individuals and organisations. Her research is informed by the importance of reflexivity, and how it can be used to transform healthcare organisations to improve system efficiency, patient access, care process and health outcomes.

“Critical reflexivity and Praxis involve thinking about what is and is not working in an organisation and establishing where organisations are, and are not, meeting stakeholder needs in a way that’s important to them,” said Dr Taylor.

“It also involves actioning that information, for organisational strengthening, resilience and change,” she said.

“When trying to enhance, strengthen and develop organisations, a multi-stakeholder approach is important.” 

Diverse stakeholder groups will all have different perspectives on the issue and are best placed to articulate how to improve.

Dr Taylor has undertaken research into how social service and health NGOs can use reflexivity to develop and maintain their relationships with their corporate partners. She uses an Action Learning approach to co-explore the challenges faced by NGOs in the development and maintenance of their relationships with firms.

“It is about looking at existing strengths and issues, reflecting on them to find solutions, and challenging the existing status quo,” said Dr Taylor. 

We can change organisations for the better by having a greater understanding of what we do well. Appreciative Inquiry is a strength-based approach to organisational development and learning, and a research process used frequently by Dr Taylor.

“Working with stakeholders to identify the strengths of an organisation, and how those strengths can be leveraged to transform and change organisations to best meet people’s needs is a huge part of my research,” she said.

This involves listening, questioning, co-learning and engaging with stakeholders. That’s how it should be. Their voices, ideas, and aspirations should be driving the process.

“I decided I wanted to use knowledge to make a positive difference in the world,” she said. 

“The contribution I could make by collaborating with others to improve the healthcare system drew me to this field.”

It was about the type of contribution I could make in health that lead to my career path. Ultimately, our goal is safe and high-quality care for all.

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