Situating organisational learning and public participation: stories, spaces and connections

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This paper gives one of the first in-depth ethnographic accounts of organisational learning in a public participation organisation, the UK Government-funded Sciencewise programme. It develops the concept of ‘organisational spaces’, highlighting the often diverse spaces found within organisational networks, and positing a co-productionist relationship between these different spaces and the kinds of learning processes that occur. The approach taken affirms the significant and active role of space in organisational learning processes, in a science policy context, as well as demonstrating the importance of connections between different organisational spaces in enabling more transformative learning processes. Two organisational spaces are described based on in-depth ethnographic and qualitative research in and around the Sciencewise programme 2013–2014. It is argued that informal, temporary and experimental organisational spaces have the potential to co-produce more transformative instances of learning, making an understanding of their connectedness to more formal and routinised organisational spaces vital for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • organisational learning
  • organisational spaces
  • story-telling
  • public participation
  • organisations of participation

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