Local cadres in China form innovation partnerships with social workers from Hong Kong (HK) to learn new knowledge regarding public service delivery. How do cadres perceive and process information from HK social workers? How do cadres influence meaning construction towards a preferred redefinition? How do cadres repro-duce new knowledge to guide real practice? This study answers these questions by scrutinizing the interactions between local cadres and HK social workers in their sense-making of three concepts, namely, innova-tion, indigenization, and professionalism. This study finds that mainland local cadres’ views regarding the three concepts considerably differ from the views held by HK social workers. Thus, cadres exert strenuous efforts to reshape social workers’ understanding to ensure that the introduction of new knowledge by this group of professionals conforms to the government’s prior-set objectives and agenda. The dominance of cadres reduces the uncertainty involved in learning and, thus, enhances their receptivity to new knowledge but simultaneously curtails diversity and elasticity in government knowledge absorption, which decreases the prospect of double loop learning. Moreover, the serious power asymmetry between government cadres and social workers (both overseas and local) is reinforced in the knowledge absorption and reproduction processes.
|Number of pages||30|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2020|
Scopus Subject Areas
- Cultural Studies