Paper info: Learning to give in a network context: applying theories of the gift to examine network learning
Learning to give in a network context: applying theories of the gift to examine network learning
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2018.
The aim of this paper is to study episodes of network learning using the theory of gift exchange to explore how those episodes unfold. The research was conducted using a qualitative approach by conducting 28 semistructured interviews and non-participant observations in three learning networks in North West England over a period of 18 months. This paper shows that network members share knowledge based on mutual expectations, that knowledge circulates across the network back and forth that may create tension thus hindering learning, and that sharing knowledge is dependent on how symmetrical knowledge repositories are. This paper informs practitioners of ways in which they can maximise learning benefits from network participation. By using the theory of gift exchange, this paper opens up and deepens our understanding of the complexities of gift giving and receiving, and how these in turn help sustain and suppress learning in these networks, which in turn provides more insights into how networks develop and perhaps even decline.