The purpose of this article is to illustrate through a case study how Bernstein's discussion of horizontal discourse can be used to inform processes of management development and organizational learning in multi‐functional organizations.
The approach taken is to reflect on a particular case of management development in which the author was instrumentally involved, using Bernstein's concepts of “repertoire”, “reservoir”, and the “circulation” and “exchange” of knowledge and strategies to further the understanding of the nature of learning and development interventions that aim to recognise, refine and disseminate tacit managerial knowledge.
The article discusses the background to internal management development interventions of this type, and briefly evaluates the outcomes of the case study against original objectives. Although much progress was made with an initial group of participants, in terms of realising and sharing tacit managerial knowledge and strategies, the organization did not take the second phase of the intervention forward.
The case study develops a conceptually informed approach to internal learning and development interventions that can inform future initiatives.
The discussion of this case is valuable in that it illustrates how concepts from the sociology of knowledge can be used to provide new insights into internal learning and development interventions that seek to make better use of the knowledge and practice of individual employees.
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