University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Discourses of Practice: an examination of KEF and its effects on the AL/HRD community

Ross, Catharine ORCID:, Nichol, Lynn, Elliott, C., Sambrook, S. and Stewart, J. (2021) Discourses of Practice: an examination of KEF and its effects on the AL/HRD community. Action Learning: Research and Practice. ISSN Print: 1476-7333 Online: 1476-7341

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The contribution of scholarship to practice is an on-going concern of the AL/HRD community. This paper explores how one influential discourse may shape AL/HRD’s understanding of that contribution. In 2020 the UK Government implemented the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) to gather data on English Universities’ knowledge exchange activities. Using Gee’s tools of enquiry and building tasks we undertook discourse analysis of two key KEF texts to explore its likely impact on the AL/HRD community’s understanding. We compare the discourses used in those texts with three AL/HRD orders of discourse identified in existing literature to explore which if any are reinforced by the KEF discourses, and the potential material consequences this may have for AL/HRD understandings and practice. We find evidence of performance/performance discourses but no evidence of
learning/emancipatory and critical discourses in the first text, but some limited elements of learning/emancipatory and critical discourses in the second. In contrast to models of interorganisational learning, analysis of other texts referred to in this second source suggests that this change did not arise from the documented formal processes but micro-level informal interactions. We suggest this gives individual AL/HRD community members the space to develop alternative, non-performance discourses and practices of knowledge exchange.

Item Type: Article
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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License
(, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: research-practice gap, discourse, action learning, human resource development, knowledge exchange, knowledge translation, organisational learning, IRWRG
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
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Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Catharine Ross
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2021 07:03
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2023 14:48

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