The New Zealand dairy industry is viewed, and views itself, as having a progressive approach to scientific research and the acquisition and adoption of technology. It is also generally accepted that, in order to remain competitive in international markets, technological improvement is a continual necessity. In each component of the industry/system - producer (farms), processor (co-operatives, manufacturing), researchers, extensionists/consultants and marketers (NZ Dairy Board, statutory authority) - practitioners deal regularly with issues requiring solution. However each has a different W (world view) and successful outcomes for one are not necessarily so for the others. For producer practitioners the management issue may be one of seeking solutions to problematic situations by adapting known technology to their own production circumstances. The dairy industry model for this process is the research-consultant/extensionist-producer system. The industry view is that this process has been effective in “transferring” only some of the technologies which are viewed as important for the survival and development of the industry. The paper builds on a project in which a group of dairy-farming women worked with two researchers on a particular technical problem. Using action research (AR) as a framework the group devised a problem-solving process that was structured around three elements; consultancy advice, research findings and self-directed learning in a structurally coupled action researching system. The paper describes the model that was developed, where AR provided a framework for client-centred research and consulting. The authors suggest that this model may contribute to the growth of the dairy system in a way that builds on the respective strengths of consultants, researchers and producers.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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