Empowering Participatory Learning and Expert-Local Knowledge Transfer: Using Dynamic Models to Jump the Culture Barrier

By:
Dr. Robert E. Bateman,
Dr. Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
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Knowledge flows among dissimilar cultures are now an integral element of the global economy, but attempts to superimpose foreign practices on local context meet with mixed success and create ongoing concerns that local knowledge is routinely devalued in its interaction with expertise from abroad. External consultants and trainers struggle to convey new concepts and ideas across barriers of language and culture. For their part, members of the local work force may resent their lack of ability to participate in key decisions impacting their work, but even when foreign experts do attempt to adapt their recommendations to local context and worker concerns they find their ability to extract useful information to be limited by communication factors outside of their control. This presentation explores the use of visually-oriented simulations to facilitate cross-cultural knowledge flows. Example cases from projects in a variety of settings illustrate how dynamic models can 1) contribute to rapid comprehension of abstract concepts, 2) support increased participation in local implementation decisions, and 3) help local professionals and foreign experts to participate in mutually reinforcing learning.


Keywords: Expert-Local Interaction, Organizational Learning, Knowledge Transfer, Dynamic Models
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Robert E. Bateman

Assistant Professor, School of Business and Management, American University of Sharjah
United Arab Emirates

Rob Bateman teaches public administration and business management at the American University of Sharjah, located near Dubai. His interests center on enabling the transfer of technology and public policy approaches between cultures. Dr. Bateman has served in leadership roles with nonprofits, in city and federal government, and in private industry, including as founder of a successful sales and consulting business. In a career spanning long-term assignments in Central and South America, the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East, he has consulted or trained engineers, managers and public officials in more than 40 nations. His current focus is on the use of dynamic models to facilitate participatory learning and enhance expert-local interaction.

Dr. Peregrine Schwartz-Shea

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Utah
USA

Peregrine Schwartz-Shea is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. She published her early research using experimental methods and rational choice theory in such journals as American Political Science Review, Public Choice, Rationality and Society, and Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. While working on an article on the Seneca Women’s Peace Camp (with Debra Burrington) and published in Women & Politics, she changed her research orientation, publishing further feminist research on gendered organization in International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration and on feminism and game theory in Sex Roles. This peregrination through the discipline led her to her current research focusing on methodological and epistemological practices in political science, published in Political Research Quarterly and PS: Political Science and Politics.

Ref: T06P0342