Knowledge Sharing Networks for Global Health

In this Bill & Melinda Gates funded project, we examine how health innovations scale-up across organizational boundaries. Sophia Fu, Noshir Contractor, and Michelle Shumate collaborated on this project. We surveyed 9,119 government healthcare workers across 1,849 state health agencies in Bihar, India. We found that organizational decision-makers consider different things than non-decision makers when evaluating an innovation. Organizational decision-makers are influenced by members of their advice network (i.e., the group of people they ask for advice). Those advisors typically work for other organizations. In contrast, non-decision makers use many more sources of information to evaluate an innovation. They are primarily concerned about what others in their organization think and how much those people agree with one another about the innovation. The paper describing these findings received the top paper award from the Organizational Communication division at the International Communication Association in 2017 and is currently under review at a journal.

Knowledge Sharing Networks for Global Health

This collaborative research project focuses on enabling leaders to persuade health care officials to adopt innovative practices designed to improve health outcomes for women and children in India. Surveys, conducted with thousands of health care workers, will enable the research team to map the social networks, attitudes, and motivations of these health care officials.

This unique combination of network methodologies and social influence strategies examines not only who, but also how individuals should be targeted in order to scale up healthcare solutions.

  • Funded by The Gates Foundation
  • Data collection: India
  • Estimated number of participants: 14,000+
  • Collaborative project with Noshir Contrator (Northwestern University, SONIC Lab), Leslie DeChurch (Georgia Institute of Technology), Paul Leonardi (UC-Santa Barbara), and Larry Prusak.