“Individuals who dedicate themselves to supporting, marketing, and ‘driving through’ an [implementation]” [1, p. 182], overcoming indifference or resistance that the intervention may provoke in an organization.
“Individuals who dedicate themselves to supporting, marketing, and ‘driving through an [implementation]’ , overcoming indifference or resistance that the intervention may provoke in an organization. A defining characteristic of champions is their willingness to risk informal status and reputation because they believe so strongly in the intervention . The main distinction of champions from opinion leaders is that champions actively associate themselves with support of the intervention during implementation. There is the old adage that an intervention ‘either finds a champion or dies’ .
Champions may occur at different levels of the organization: 1) Front-line champions who are most effective when they are able to defend and develop cross-functional coalitions within the organization of individuals who strongly believe in the intervention and are able to articulate the benefits in a way to move other individuals to fully embrace the intervention; and/or 2) supervisor or manager champions who empower front-line champion(s) and provide autonomy from rules, procedures and systems of the organization so the front-line champions can establish creative solutions to existing problems and who harnesses support from other members of the organization. Effective champions garner support from those in authority and/or build a broad base of support. There is strong to moderate support for the role of champions  though the literature is mixed on the influence of champions on implementation.
Include statements related to engagement strategies and outcomes, e.g., how the champion became engaged with the innovation and what their role is in implementation. Note: Although both strategies and outcomes are coded here, the outcome of efforts to engage staff determines the rating, i.e. if there are repeated attempts to engage a champion that are not successful, or if the champion leaves the organization and this role is vacant, the construct receives a negative rating. In addition, you may also want to code the “quality” of the champion here – their capabilities, motivation, and skills, i.e., how good they are at their job, and this affects the rating as well.
Exclude or double code statements regarding leadership engagement to Leadership Engagement if a champion is also an organizational leader, e.g., if a director of primary care takes the lead in implementing a new treatment guideline.
- Greenhalgh T, Robert G, Bate P, Kyriakidou O, Macfarlane F, Peacock R: How to Spread Good Ideas. In Book How to Spread Good Ideas (Editor ed.^eds.) City: National Co-ordinating Centre for NHS Service Delivery and Organisation R & D; 2004:424.
- Maidique MA: Entrepeneurs, champions and technological innovation. Sloan Manage Rev 1980, 21:59-76.
- Schon DA: Champions for radical new inventions. Harv Bus Rev 1963, 41:77-86.
- Greenhalgh T, Robert G, Macfarlane F, Bate P, Kyriakidou O: Diffusion of innovations in service organizations: systematic review and recommendations. Milbank Q 2004, 82:581-629.
- Helfrich CD, Weiner BJ, McKinney MM, Minasian L: Determinants of implementation effectiveness: adapting a framework for complex innovations. Med Care Res Rev 2007, 64:279-303.
- Rogers E: Diffusion of Innovations. 5 edn. New York, NY: Free Press; 2003.