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Transfer or emergence: strategies for building design knowledge through knowledge transfer partnerships

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Tom Inns
  • Seaton Baxter
  • Emma Murphy
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>The Design Journal
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)34-44
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The business of design is clearly a knowledge-based activity. Governments have introduced a variety of mechanisms to support knowledge transfer. One approach in the UK is the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme, which supports collaboration between universities and businesses. This paper reflects on experiences of running design related KTP programmes. Firstly, examples of KTP programmes with non-design experienced Company Partners are reviewed. These KTP programmes have concentrated on transferring knowledge of tools, techniques and processes. Recent experience of a KTP programme between with a Company Partner highly experienced in design is then examined. This KTP programme has been based on creating tools within the Company Partner through codifying existing tacit knowledge. Reflection on both approaches suggests that attention needs to be paid to the types of knowledge that might be involved in design related KTPs. The paper concludes by suggesting ways of structuring KTP programmes to support tacit knowledge emergence.