Some reflections on a knowledge transfer strategy: a systemic inquiry

Ison, R. L. (2002). Some reflections on a knowledge transfer strategy: a systemic inquiry. In: Farming and Rural Systems Research and Extension, 5th IFSA European Symposium, Apr 2002, Florence, Italy.


This paper presents a case study of a systemic inquiry into a knowledge transfer strategy (KTS) by a division of a UK Ministry. Two main points are made. Firstly that it is possible to 'build' a generalisable form of practice as a response to experiences of complexity by initiating a systemic inquiry that fosters the emergence of a learning system. Secondly, that exploring how metaphors reveal and conceal offers scope for shifting the 'mental furniture' of participants as part of a systemic inquiry.
This inquiry proceeded with a process designed for the circumstances - there are no blue-prints. A key design aspiration was that those participating might experience a coherence between espoused theory and theory in use in relation to considering the KTS as if it were a second-order learning system. In this aim it succeeded. The inquiry suggested two sets of considerations for the design of learning systems and a potentially fruitful line of further inquiry.

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