SPECIAL Episode 12

From the Organisational Learning, Knowledge and CAPABILITIES (OLKC) 2016 Conference

"What is the value/role of conferences in facilitating exchange of knowledge?"

with Special Guests: Paul Duguid and Emma Bell


In late April 2016 Dmitrijs and Ralph happened to co-attend a conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities together. Even though this was not a podcast-centred event, they decided to take the opportunity to try something different and record an episode in situ (as opposed to our regular, geographically distributed model) AND with two guests. On top of this they video-taped the whole thing! Below is a chronicle of those pioneering events...

A few words about the Conference first! The OLKC annual conference provides a meeting point for scholars and practitioners interested in the field of Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (hence the name!). It is a comparatively small, supporting yet growing and dynamic community that brings leading scholars, young researchers, and scholar-practitioners together to present and discuss their research and practice. In many ways, OLKC is a fantastic compromise between smaller events aimed at only a very specific sub-group of scholars, and huge events where people see each other at the reception and then never again. For Talking About Organizations, OLKC holds special significance as this is where Dmitrijs and Pedro met Ralph back in 2014, thus cementing the future cast of this pod (pod + cast, right?).

Paul Duguid

OLKC 2016, which was held in St. Andrews, Scotland, by the lovely people out of the University of Saint Andrews, bore witness as Dmitrijs and Ralph were joined by Professors Paul Duguid and Emma Bell to talk about the value and form of conferences in promoting, disseminating and facilitating knowledge. The four of us shared some personal conference-attending experiences, considered the current format and emergent alternatives, and pondered on the nature of knowledge as such. In addition, we learned that Paul, just like Ralph, came into academia as a practitioner (unlike Dmitrijs and Emma who are 'pure' academics), and what that experience was like!

Paul is an adjunct full professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was formerly Professorial Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, and has held visiting positions in Denmark and France as well as honorary positions at the universities of York and Lancaster. From early work on formal education, to studies of organizational learning, through historical investigation of trade marks, to recent work on the concept of “information,” Paul has sought to investigate problems that arise from reducing human communication to the mere exchange of information.

Emma Bell

Emma is a Professor of Management and Organization Studies at Keele Management School. Her approach to understanding management draws on insights from the social sciences and humanities to critically explore meaning-making in organizations. She is current Co-Chair of the Academy of Management Critical Management Studies Division and joint Editor-in-Chief of the journal Management Learning. Her early working life included a period as a graduate trainee in the UK National Health Service. Recently, Emma has been involved in projects related to visual organizational analysis, understanding craft work, and the production of management knowledge on the periphery. 

Also, a great, big Thank you goes to the Board of OLKC, who kindly allowed us to make this episode happen and provided an unexpected degree of support! Also, we are grateful to Dr Gail Greig, Dr Kevin Orr and Christopher Mueller for their direct assistance!



We hope you will enjoy our very first Special Episode! Do get in touch using the form below to let us know what you think, like and do not like, so that we can continue improving our podcast!

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