Knowledge Transfer Work: A Case of Internationally Mobile Medical Professionals



This article addresses the relationship between highly skilled international mobility and knowledge by focussing on knowledge transfer work. Empirically, this study is based on interviews of professionals in the Swedish medical field who returned to Sweden after a period of work in other countries. The medical field harbours many transnationally valid competences and standardised lines of work, but even in this field, knowledge transfer is a process requiring effort, skills, negotiation, translation and adjustment to the specific organisational and cultural contexts. The studied professionals’ knowledge transfer work showed a spectrum, ranging from smooth, almost friction-free transfers to the ones where much translation and transformation was required, depending on the context and the professional’s status in the workplace. The professionals also developed and made use of knowledge transfer skills, such as the ability to observe, analyse and adjust to cultural differences between workplaces, healthcare systems or academic systems, as well as the ability to translate knowledge to make it relevant and viable in the specific context.


Highly skilled mobilityMedical professionalsKnowledgeKnowledge transfer workKnowledge transfer skillsSweden
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 10 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 36–49
  • DOI: 10.33134/njmr.136
  • Submitted on 1 May 2018
  • Accepted on 1 Apr 2020
  • Published on 28 May 2020
  • Peer Reviewed