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Journal Article

Organisational Knowledge Transfer: Turning Research into Action through a Learning History  pp73-80

Robert Parent, Julie Béliveau

© Mar 2007 Volume 5 Issue 1, ECKM 2006, Editor: Charles Despres, pp1 - 130

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Organisational learning and knowledge management experts are searching for more appropriate research tools to tackle the difficult concepts of organisational learning and knowledge. This paper provides an overview of the learning history methodology, first proposed by Kleiner and Roth, in studying knowledge transfer activities. The learning history methodology, typically used within an action research environment, is designed to allow recognition of what has been learned in the past to guide stakeholders in the dialogical generation of a new future. It is a qualitative measurement tool of what has been learned, and remains sensitive to contextual factors, since it is based on the perceptions of the organisation's actors and the theoretical sensitivity of the researcher. This paper surveys the learning history literature to determine the roots, benefits and challenges of this research method. We will then demonstrate the advantages of using this approach to studying organisational knowledge transfer by presenting a case study where it is being used within participatory action research logic. Finally, we will provide lessons learned from our ongoing research and draw on implications for practice and future theorising.


Keywords: knowledge transfer, learning history, organisational learning


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