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Knowledge sharing: insights from Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Festival volunteers

Gillian Ragsdell (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Allan Jepson (University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 14 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a British Academy funded project that investigated the knowledge sharing activities of volunteers within three Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) festivals.


Three case study festivals were selected based on factors such as longevity and size. Rich qualitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with volunteers in key festival roles and focus groups with a range of other volunteers.


A range of inhibitors and enablers to sharing festival knowledge were identified, some of which have not yet featured in the knowledge management (KM) literature. Riege's categorisation of individual, organisational and technological barriers to knowledge sharing was used to frame discussion of the findings.

Research limitations/implications

Volunteer-led festivals are a novel context for knowledge sharing research yet the principles of volunteer working and the project-based approach to most festivals means they are a fertile arena for lessons in KM.

Practical implications

Insights into knowledge sharing activities were generated from this study which could improve KM practices in festivals. They included the use of the master-apprentice model, raising the value of post-project reviews and designing festival layout with knowledge sharing in mind.


The study of knowledge sharing is an original contribution to the field of event management.



The authors are grateful to the British Academy for funding this study with a Small Research Grant.


Ragsdell, G. and Jepson, A. (2014), "Knowledge sharing: insights from Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Festival volunteers", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 5 No. 3, pp. 279-296.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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