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Bridging gaps: a systematic literature review of brokerage in educational change


Rechsteiner, Beat; Kyndt, Eva; Compagnoni, Miriam; Wullschleger, Andrea; Maag Merki, Katharina (2024). Bridging gaps: a systematic literature review of brokerage in educational change. Journal of Educational Change, 25(2):305-339.

Abstract

Bridging gaps between educational stakeholders at the classroom, school, and system levels is essential to achieve sustainable change in primary and secondary education. However, transferring knowledge or building capacity within this network of loosely coupled stakeholders is demanding. The brokerage concept holds promise for studying these complex patterns of interaction, as it refers to how specific actors (brokers) link loosely coupled or disconnected individuals (brokering). However, different research traditions, in terms of theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches, and various stakeholders examined in their role as bridge builders make understanding the role of brokers, brokering, and brokerage in changing educational practice challenging. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the current literature on these concepts in educational change research. In a systematic literature review based on 42 studies, we analyzed each study’s theoretical assumptions, methodological approach, scope in terms of stakeholders involved, and empirical findings. First, the literature review revealed that research on educational change refers to four different theoretical frameworks when focusing on brokers, brokering, or brokerage. Second, our results indicate that predominantly qualitative approaches have been applied. Third, using content network graphs, we identified teachers and principals as among the most frequently analyzed brokers. Fourth, four relevant aspects of the empirical findings are presented: brokers’ personal characteristics, conditions that enable brokering, successful brokering strategies, and outcomes of brokerage. Finally, we outline a future research agenda based on the empirical evidence base and shortcomings.

Abstract

Bridging gaps between educational stakeholders at the classroom, school, and system levels is essential to achieve sustainable change in primary and secondary education. However, transferring knowledge or building capacity within this network of loosely coupled stakeholders is demanding. The brokerage concept holds promise for studying these complex patterns of interaction, as it refers to how specific actors (brokers) link loosely coupled or disconnected individuals (brokering). However, different research traditions, in terms of theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches, and various stakeholders examined in their role as bridge builders make understanding the role of brokers, brokering, and brokerage in changing educational practice challenging. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to provide an overview of the current literature on these concepts in educational change research. In a systematic literature review based on 42 studies, we analyzed each study’s theoretical assumptions, methodological approach, scope in terms of stakeholders involved, and empirical findings. First, the literature review revealed that research on educational change refers to four different theoretical frameworks when focusing on brokers, brokering, or brokerage. Second, our results indicate that predominantly qualitative approaches have been applied. Third, using content network graphs, we identified teachers and principals as among the most frequently analyzed brokers. Fourth, four relevant aspects of the empirical findings are presented: brokers’ personal characteristics, conditions that enable brokering, successful brokering strategies, and outcomes of brokerage. Finally, we outline a future research agenda based on the empirical evidence base and shortcomings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Education
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Uncontrolled Keywords:Brokerage, broker, brokering, educational change, knowledge mobilization, capacity building
Language:English
Date:1 June 2024
Deposited On:11 Oct 2023 07:45
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1389-2843
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10833-023-09493-7
Official URL:https://rdcu.be/dsTWS
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID175872
  • : Project TitleSchool Improvement Capacity for Academic Learning. Eine mehrebenenanalytische Prozess- und Wirkungsanalyse in Primarschulen in unterschiedlichen kantonalen Governance-Systemen
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)