From training to practice: A tripartite model of knowledge transfer

[German title: Von der Ausbildung in die Praxis: Ein dreigeteiltes Modell des Wissenstransfers]

Title: Delimiting knowledge transfer from training 
Author(s): Allan Butler, Phil Le Grice, Matt Reed 
Journal: Education + Training 
ISSN: 0040-0912 
Year: 2006 Volume: 48 Issue: 8/9 Page: 627 – 641 
DOI: 10.1108/00400910610710056 
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited 

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to deepen the understanding of how and to whom knowledge is transferred from training to practice.
Design/methodology/approach – Through recognising the interrelationship between knowledge, social network structure, and relational trust, social network methodology is applied to examine the importance of farmers’ social networks in the process of knowledge transfer after engaging in learning through vocational training. The paper shows a synthesis of knowledge, social network structure and trust in relationships provides the basis for a tripartite model of knowledge transfer for which data was collected by conducting in-depth interviews. Using social network analysis this data maps the personal business networks of individuals that have participated in training explicitly detailing to whom knowledge has been transferred.
Findings – The paper finds that farmers combine training with their tacit knowledge and through discussions with their family, and in some cases with professional contacts, new knowledge initiates various degrees of change within businesses. The familial, social and emotion attributes of business relations may determine the extent that knowledge is transferred in to practice.
Research limitations/implications – Creating a snapshot of knowledge transfer provides valuable insights into the flows of information within a business and how training is deployed. Furthermore, it provides pointers that to improve the injections of knowledge into small land-based businesses requires more focussed intervention than is currently emphasised on programme based support schemes.
Originality/value – The paper shows that applying social network analysis to small agricultural businesses to examine knowledge transfer is in itself innovative, particularly as the research draws upon a peer-group of businesses enabling some comparisons to be made. 

Keywords: Agriculture, Knowledge transfer, Trust, Vocational training 

Article Type: Research paper 

Article URL:

© 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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