Purpose – The present chapter discusses how qualitative research can assist in rethinking and transcending the limitations of the notion of oneway knowledge transfer, which is still a dominant ontological paradigm of organizational learning in China.
Approach – The authors first present their critiques of the dominant knowledge transfer research paradigm. Then, using a recent case example, they illustrate how qualitative research, coupled with the alternative ontological paradigm of knowledge translation can provide context-sensitive insights into how cultural barriers and other knowledge boundaries can be crossed and how breakthroughs in knowledge transfer can be achieved.
Findings – Qualitative methods are highly appropriate for understanding complex social processes involving political and cross-cultural dynamics. They are ideal for gathering and making sense of the various perceptions, feelings, assumptions, aspirations, motives, and attributions that are held by members of different groups. They can track the sequence of key events and critical choices, and they can provide insights into the anatomy of social networks and power structures.
Copyright r 2012 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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