This article looks at Rose's theory of lesson drawing and its possible use and application in social science research. It identifies the contingencies necessary for its application and also identifies how a lesson may be transferred between cases. The use and viability of Rose's theory of lesson drawing is evaluated. The lesson drawing approach would be appropriate to most comparative social science research. It lends itself to tourism research and the establishment of circumstances in which lessons can be imported or exported between regions or countries. It recently has been used in a comparative study of islands and lesson drawing. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.