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Title: Knowledge acquisition in knowledge transfer partnerships : an activity theory based study of business process improvement using process mapping
Author: White, Gareth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 927X
Awarding Body: University of the West of England, Bristol
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Knowledge and its acquisition are seen to be an increasingly important aspect of business management. Universities, through initiatives such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), are influential in the effective co-production and transfer of business management knowledge, however the mechanisms of knowledge acquisition within KTPs have been under researched. This thesis explores the acquisition of knowledge in three KTPs where process mapping was used in order to deliver business process improvements. It utilises Activity Theory as its research framework, adopting a Participatory Action Research approach with multi-site triangulation and employing cyclic data capture and analysis. Data is captured using semi-structured interviews and instantaneously sampled field notes. The research identifies the organisational community in which the KTP is conducted to be the most significant source of tensions or disturbances that impinge upon the work that is being undertaken. It makes a contribution to knowledge by classifying a source of tensions or disturbances that are not currently identified by Activity Theory and proffers an extension to the framework to include the ‘Tacit Skills’ of the individual undertaking an activity. It also identifies issues of governance, such as the stewardship of public funds that pervade KTPs and threaten to undermine the stated aims of the KTP initiative. Furthermore it highlights the complexities of KTPs and emphasises the need to support the psychological, emotional and training needs of those that are involved in their execution.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: knowledge acquisition ; knowledge transfer partnership ; activity theory ; business process improvement ; process mapping