Framework for Externalization of Tacit Knowledge in Participatory Agricultural Research in Ethiopia: The Case of Farmers Research Group (FRG)

AbstractThe externalization of tacit knowledge is an important phase for knowledge creation, diffusion & utilization. The purpose of this study is to explore how different forms of tacit knowledge are externalized by taking a participatory agricultural research group as a case study for the surfacing, codifying and transferring of tacit knowledge. We conducted a qualitative case study that used semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, observation and document analysis. The study revealed that the dominant forms of tacit knowledge externalized in this participatory agricultural research group fall under a low degree of tacitness (practical skills, lived experiences, rules-of-thumb and expertise) and a medium degree of tacitness (judgments, insights, practical intelligence and indigenous knowledge). Tacit knowledge externalization mechanisms identified include metaphor, storytelling, dialogue, apprenticeship or mentoring, experimentation and evaluation, observation, learning by doing, lessons learnt, modeling technique, localization and on-farm demonstration. A tacit knowledge externalization framework is proposed for the study context.

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