Knowledge sharing and learning across community boundaries in an arena for energy efficient building
Journal article, 2013
Within the field of sustainable development, collaborative and interdisciplinary actions are imperative for the development and implementation of proactive holistic renovation solutions. In an attempt to enhance cross-disciplinary and inter-organisational knowledge sharing, a project aimed at developing an arena for sharing knowledge pertaining to energy-efficient renovations of multi-family buildings was initiated. The authors have followed the development and implementation of this knowledge arena over a period of three years. The aim of this paper is to understand how knowledge sharing between different professional groups and practices may be facilitated: in this case between various research organisations, municipal housing companies, energy suppliers and governmental organisations. Specific focus has been on identifying mechanisms for interaction and knowledge sharing between actors that normally do not meet in their everyday practice. The theoretical approach adopted concerns social processes related to the sharing of knowledge in and between organisations and professional groups and individuals. Findings show that in the arena knowledge was mainly shared within a pilot project where researchers and practitioners were jointly engaged in the planning and renovation of a building. Interaction within the arena was enabled by the individuals’ mutual willingness to adapt and attempt to translate the disciplinary discourses and modes of communication of researchers and of practitioner specialists. Moreover, the motivation to share knowledge was related to their expectations of, and invested interest in, various arena activities. By empirically highlighting the facilitators and hindrances for knowledge-sharing in an arena for cleaner production, the paper contributes to increased understanding of inter-disciplinary communication and collaborative interaction.
Renovation of residential housing