Transfer – From Knowledge to Action. The Sense of Being a Competent Partner to Persons with Congenital Deafblindness


  • Helle Buelund Selling
  • Flemming Ask Larsen
  • Anne V. Nafstad


transfer, interviews, staff development, I-positions, partner competence


The aim of this study is to investigate the transfer process from knowledge to action in order to propose interventions that foster sustainable environments at deafblind organizations. According to theories on congenital deafblindness it is vital for the well being and growth of people with congenital deafblindness that they have competent communication partners within reach. Staff development is considered essential for the development of partner competences. However, international studies show that only 10 – 15 % of knowledge learned at courses is transferred into action. A qualitative study using interviews was designed to investigate and understand where knowledge, enthusiasm and energy go when course participants return to work. During winter and spring 2010 18 interviews with eight staff were held and data were exposed to thematic methodology and models from cognitive semiotics. The findings show that a strong feeling of a potential I-position as a competent partner is essential for the transfer process. Barriers that impeded the transfer process could be characterized as deep underlying structures in shape of social positions that stabilizes the known. These barriers lay within the individual as well as the culture. The study concludes that dialogical theories add a social psychological dimension to the notions on transfer that helps us to understand some of the mechanisms that are in play in the transfer process. The study proposes interventions that nurse a proactive culture towards staff development.