A house for knowledge: using metaphors to guide knowledge sharing

  • Bernike Pasveer
Keywords: organizational learning, knowledge management, radio, radio services, metaphors, Netherlands, knowledge sharing, organizational strategy

Abstract

This article is based on the author's two-year period of designing and facilitating a knowledge sharing and learning process at the Radio Netherlands Training Centre (RNTC). This process was aimed at providing more effective internal sharing and learning. Based on this experience, an approach has been developed for making more visible the intangibles surrounding knowledge and learning within organisations. This approach is based on the metaphor of a ‘house of knowledge.’ Following the introduction, the metaphor of the ‘house of knowledge’ is described, together with the different components of the approach involving rooms and corridors. Next, the two main phases of work within RNTC are reviewed, namely the diagnostic scan and the transformation process. The example of the RNTC process is then used to reach some general conclusions on issues of importance to knowledge sharing and learning for other development organisations.

References

Argyris, C. and Schön, D., 1978. Organisational learning: a theory of action perspective. Reading:
Addison-Wesley.
Beaulieu, A., 2010. Research note: from co-location to co-presence: shifts in the use of ethnography
for the study of knowledge. Social Studies of Science, 40 (3), 453–470.
Bijker,W. and Law, J., 1992. Shaping technology/building society: studies in sociotechnical change.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Duguid, P., 1996. Material matters, the past and the futurology of the book. In: G. Nunberg, ed.
The future of the book. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 63–102 [online]. Available
from: http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/∼duguid/SLOFI/Material_Matters.htm [Accessed 7
January 2010].
Hackett, E., et al., eds., 2007. New handbook of science, technology, and society. Cambridge, MA:
MIT Press.
Kwa, C., 1985. De mobiliserende kracht van metaforen. Krisis, 5 (1), 9, 7–18.
Latour, B., 1999. Pandora’s hope: essays on the reality of science studies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.
Mueller Rockstroh, B., 2005. Ultrasound travels. Thesis (PhD): Maastricht: Maastricht University.
Pasveer, B., 2009. Weg van leren. Unpublished report.
Pasveer, B., forthcoming. Knowledge@.... midterm review of the Hivos Knowledge Programme.
Powell, M., 2006. Guest introduction. Which knowledge?Whose reality? An overview of knowledge used in the development sector. Development in Practice, 16 (6), 1–17.
RNTC, 2009. Multi-year plan 2009–2012. Hilversum: RNTC.
Smit, M., 2007. We’re too much in ‘to do’ mode: action research into supporting international NGOs to learn. INTRAC Praxis Paper No. 16, Oxford: International NGO Training and Research Centre [online]. Available from: http://www.impactalliance.org/ev02.php?ID=20281_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC [Accessed December 2010].
World Development Report, 1999. Knowledge for development. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1.
Published
2019-08-16
Section
Papers