The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of instruments defined as artefacts, rules, models or norms, in the articulation between knowing‐in‐practice and knowledge, in learning processes.
The paper focuses on a distributed, knowledge‐intensive and instrumented activity at the core of any collective action: qualification. The particular case of breeding activities in the livestock sector has been studied, where collective practices of animal qualification for collective breeding have been studied. Qualitative data stemming from in‐depth interviews and observation of daily practices have been analysed, combining practice‐based approaches on knowing processes and science philosophers' theories on the use of instruments during action.
The study of instruments used in daily practices allows us to go beyond the dichotomy between opposite types of knowledge, i.e. scientific knowledge seen as a stock, and sensible knowledge seen as purely tacit and equated to non‐instrumented practices. Instruments are not merely mediators in learning processes; they also take an active part in shaping and activating knowledge and learning processes.
Further research is needed on the designing of reflexive instrumentation, which takes knowing and knowledge articulation into account better.
Using instruments as a key concept to analyse knowing‐in‐practice processes has both methodological and managerial implications for identifying those instruments that favour learning processes.
This paper complements more classical practice‐based approaches by proposing a new perspective on instruments in learning processes, which is particularly relevant to the study of pluralistic organisations where power is diffuse.
Labatut, J., Aggeri, F., Astruc, J., Bibé, B. and Girard, N. (2009), "The active role of instruments in articulating knowing and knowledge: The case of animal qualification practices in breeding organisations", The Learning Organization, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 371-385. https://doi.org/10.1108/09696470910974162Download as .RIS
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