Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Colin McFarlane

McFarlane, C. Knowledge, learning and development: a post-rationalist approach. Progress in Development Studies. 2006;6:287-305.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The relations between knowledge, learning and development are of growing importance in development, but despite the growth of interest in this area since the mid-1990s, key issues have yet to be explored. This review argues the need to attend to how knowledge and learning are conceived in development and how they are produced through organizations. Drawing on mainstream development literature, the review argues that there is a pervasive rationalist conception of knowledge and knowledge transfer as objective and universal, which has political implications. By contrast, the review argues for a post-rationalist approach that conceives development knowledge and learning as partial, social, produced through practices, and both spatially and materially relational.

References

Agnew, J. 1979: Instrumentalism, realism and research on diffusion of innovation. Professional Geographer 31, 364–70.
Allen, J. 2000: Power/economic knowledges: symbolic and spatial formations. In Bryson, J., Daniels, P.W., Henry, N. and Pollard, J., editors, Knowledge, space, economy. Routledge, 15–33.
— 2002: Living on thin abstractions: more power/economic knowledge.
Environment and Planning A 34, 451–66.
Alter, N. 2002: Diffusion, sociology of. International Encyclopaedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences.
Retrieved November 2003 from http://www.
sciencedirect.com
Amin, A. and Cohendet, P. 1999: Learning and adaptation in decentralised business networks Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 17, 87–104.
— 2000: Organisational learning and governance through embedded practices. Journal of Management and Governance 4, 93–116.
— 2004: Architectures of knowledge: firms, capabilities, and communities. Oxford University Press.
Appadurai, A. 2002: Deep democracy: urban governmentality and the horizon of politics. Public Culture 14, 21–47.
Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) 2000:
Face-to-face: notes from the Network on Community Exchange. Asian Coalition for Housing Rights.
January 2000.
Briggs, J. and Sharp, J. 2004: Indigenous knowledge and development: a postcolonial caution. Third World Quarterly 25, 4661–76.
British Overseas NGOs for Development (BOND)
2002: Knowledge management. Retrieved October
2003 from http://www.bond.org.uk/pubs/guidance/
5 km.pdf
— 2003: Learning from work: an opportunity missed or taken? BOND survey.
Retrieved July 2003 from http://www.bond.org.uk/lte/think.htm
Brown, L.A. 2002: Diffusion: geographical aspects.
International Encyclopaedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Retrieved November 2003 from http:// www.sciencedirect.com Bruner, J.S. and Haste, H.
1987: Making sense.
Methuen.
Chambers, R. 1997: Whose reality counts? Putting the first last. IT Publications.
Chapman, R. and Slaymaker, T. 2002: ICTs and rural
development: review of the literature, current interventions and opportunities for action. ODI Working Paper 192. Overseas Development Institute Retrieved July
2003 from http://www.odi.org.uk/publications
Contu, A. and Willmott, H. 2000: Comment on Wenger and Yanow. Knowing in
practice: a ‘delicate flower’ in the organizational learning field.
Organization 7, 269–76.
Coyle, E. 2001: Consensus and dissent in Washington:
negotiating change in the World Bank and IMF.
MPhil Thesis. Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge.
Department for International Development (DFID)
2000: Doing the knowledge: how DFID compares with best practice in knowledge management. Retrieved July
2003 from http://www.dfid.gov.uk
Development Gateway 2003: World Bank. Retrieved May 2006 from http://www.developmentgateway.
org
Development in Practice 2002: Development and the learning organisation.
In Roper, L. and Petit, J., editors, Development in Practice 12, 3–4.
Edwards, M. 1994: NGOs in the age of information.
IDS Bulletin 25, 117–24.
Ellerman, D. 2002: Should development agencies have Official Views?
Development in Practice 12, 285–97.
Environment and Urbanization 2001: Slum/shack dwellers international. In Mitlin, D. and Satterthwaite, D., editors, Environment and Urbanization 13.
Escobar, A. 1995: Encountering development: the making and unmaking of the Third World. Princeton University Press.
Ferguson, J. 1994: The anti-politics machine: ‘development’, depoliticization, and bureaucratic power in Losotho. University of Minnesota Press.
Fine, B. 2000: Social capital versus social theory: political economy and social science at the turn of the millennium.
Routledge.
Finger, M.J. and Schuler, P., editors 2004: Poor people’s
knowledge: promoting intellectual property rights in developing countries.
World Bank and Oxford University Press.
Freire, P. 1970: Pedagogy of the oppressed. Continuum.
Gherardi, S. 2000: Practice-based theorizing on learning and knowing in organizations. Organization 7, 211–23.
Gherardi, S. and Nicolini, D. 2000: To transfer is to
transform: the circulation of safety knowledge.
Organization 7, 329–48.
Global Development Network 2003: Global development learning network.
Retrieved December 2003 from http://www.gdln.org/ Hagerstrand, T. 1968:
Innovation diffusion as a spatial process. University of Chicago Press.
Hailey, J. and James, R. 2002: Learning leaders: the key to learning organisations. Development in Practice 12, 398–408.
Haraway, D. 1991: Simians, cyborgs and women: the reinvention of nature.
Free Association Books.
Harriss, J. 2002: Depoliticizing development: the World Bank and social capital. Anthem.
Hobart, M. 1993: Introduction: the growth of ignorance.
In Hobart, M., editor, An anthropological critique of development: the growth of ignorance.
Routledge, 1–30.
Holland, J. and Blackburn, J., editors 1998: Whose voice? Participatory research and policy change.
Intermediate Technology Publications, Ltd.
Homeless International 2000: Homeless International:
Community exchanges. http://www .homelessinternational.
org/standard_1. aspx?id 0:908&id 1:
28500&id 0:263 (June, 2006).
— 2001: Istanbul 5: creating a space for all voices? 25 slum dwellers go to the UN. Homeless International.
Retrieved May 2002 from http://www.
theinclusivecity.org/resources/publications/
publications.htm
Hovland, I. 2003: Knowledge management and organisational
learning: an international development perspective.
Working paper 224. Overseas Development
Institute. Retrieved September 2003 from http://www.odi.org.uk/publications/working_ papers/ index.html King, K.
2001: Knowledge agencies: making the globalisation of development knowledge work for the world’s poor? Learning to Make Policy Working Paper 9.
Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh.
Retrieved July 2003 from http://www.eldis.org/ fulltext/concept.rtf Laporte, B. 2002: Knowledge management profile of the World Bank:
interview with Bruno Laporte and Ron Kim. World Bank. Retrieved July 2002 from http:// www.worldbank.org/ks/km_profile_July
2002.html
— 2004: The knowledge bank in action. World Bank (copy available from author).
Latour, B. 1986: The power of association. In Law, J., editor, Power, action and belief: a new sociology of knowledge? Routledge and Kegan Paul.
— 1999: Pandora’s hope: essays on the reality of science studies.
Harvard University Press.
Lave, J. and Wenger, E. 1990: Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press.
Law, J. 2000: Transitivities. Environment and Planning D:
Society and Space 18, 133–48.
Law, J. and Hassard, J. 1999: Actor-network theory and after.
Blackwell/Sociological Review.
Madon, S. 1999: International NGOs: networking, information flows and learning. Journal of Strategic Information Systems 8, 251–61.
Mawdsley, E. and Rigg, J. 2003: The world development reports II:
continuity and change in development orthodoxies. Progress in Development Studies 3, 271–86.
Mawdsley, E., Townsend, J.G., Porter, G. and Oakley, P. 2002: Knowledge, power and development
agendas: NGOs North and South. International NGO Training and Research Centre.
McFarlane, C. 2004: Geographical imaginations and spaces of political
engagement: examples from the Indian Alliance. Antipode 36, 890–916.
McNeill, D. 2004: Social capital and the World Bank. In Boas, M. and McNeill, D., editors, Global institutions and development: framing the world? Routledge, 108–23.
Mehta, L. 1999: Knowledge for development: World Development Report 1998/99. Journal of Development Studies 36, 151–61.
— 2001: The World Bank and its emerging knowledge empire. Human Organization 60, 89–96.
Mohan, G. 2002: Participatory development. In Desai, V. and Potter, R., editors, The companion to development studies. Arnold, 49–53.
Moore, H. 1996: The changing nature of anthropological
knowledge: an introduction. In Moore, H., editor, The future of anthropological knowledge.
Routledge.
Mosse, D. 1994: Authority, gender and knowledge:
theoretical reflections on the practice of participatory rural appraisal.
Development and Change 25, 661–76.
— 2001: ‘People’s knowledge’, participation and patronage:
operations and representations in rural development. In Cook, B. and Kothari, U., editors, Participation - the new tyranny? Zed Press, 16–35.
Musujima, K. 2004: Good governance and the Development Assistance
Committee: ideas and organisational constraints. In Boas, M. and McNeill, D., editors, Global institutions and development: framing the world?
Routledge, 151–63.
Nonaka, I., Toyama, R. and Konno, N. 2000: SECI, Ba and leadership: a unified model of dynamic knowledge creation. Long Range Planning 33, 5–34.
Patel, S. and Mitlin, D. 2001: The work of SPARC, the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan.
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED): Poverty Reduction in Urban Areas Series, Working Paper 5. IIED.
— 2002: Sharing experiences and changing lives.
Community Developmental Journal 37, 125–36.
Patel, S., Bolnick, J. and Mitlin, D. 2000: Squatting on the global
highway: community exchanges for urban transformation. In Edwards, M. and Gaventa, J., editors, Global citizen action. Earthscan, 396–409.
Patel, S., Burra, S. and D’Cruz, C. 2001: Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) – foundations to treetops.
Environment and Urbanization 13, 45–59.
Power, M. 2003: Rethinking development geographies.
Routledge.
Roper, L. and Pettit, J. 2002: Development and the learning organisation:
an introduction. Development in Practice 12, 258–71.
Serres, M. 1974: La Traduction, Hermes III. Les Editions de Minuit.
Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) 2003:
Slum/Shack Dwellers International. Retrieved August
2003 from http://www.sdinet.org
Stiglitz, J. 1998: Knowledge for development: economic science, economic policy and economic advice. Address to the World Bank’s Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics. World Bank, Washington DC, 20 April.
Stone, D. 2003: The ‘knowledge bank’ and the global development network. Global Governance 9, 43–61.
Thrift, N. 1998: Steps to an ecology of place. In Massey, D., Allen, J.
and Sarre, P., editors, Human geography today. Polity Press, 295–322.
— 2000: Afterwords. Environment and Planning D:
Society and Space 18, 213–55.
Tomlinson, R. 2002: International best practice, enabling frameworks, and the policy process: a South African case study. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 26, 377–88.
Urry, J. 2004: Connections. Environment and Planning
D: Society and Space 22, 27–37.
von Hippel, E. 1994: Sticky information and the locus of problem solving:
implications for innovation.
Management Science 40, 429–39.
Wenger, E. 1998: Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity.
Cambridge University Press.
Wilks, A. 2001: A Tower of Babel on the Internet? The World Bank’s Development Gateway. Bretton Woods Project. Retrieved July 2002 from http://www.
brettonwoodsproject.org/topic/knowledgebank/k22
gatewaybrief.pdfWilson, G. 2002: Technology, knowledge and development.
In Desai, V. and Potter, R., editors, The companion to development studies. Arnold, 219–23.
World Bank 1999: World development report 1998/9:
knowledge for development. World Bank/Oxford University Press.
— 2002: Knowledge sharing.World Bank. Retrieved July
2002 from http://www.worldbank.org/ks/ km_profile_ July2002.html —
2003:
Sharing knowledge: innovations and remaining
challenges: an OED evaluation. World Bank Operations Evaluation Department, World Bank.