Knowledge Co-Production and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development: An Engaged Scholarly Approach

Knowledge Co-Production and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development: An Engaged Scholarly Approach

Robert Tweheyo
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8873-3.ch001
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This chapter illuminates the significance of researcher-practitioner engagement in knowledge production and the impact it has on socioeconomic development. Knowledge production and sharing have a significant impact on the transformation of society. It highlights the importance of knowledge co-production through engaged scholarship research that achieves the twin goals of rigor and relevance. Engaged scholarship research creates a more pleasant relationship between scholars, non-academic practitioners and communities in creation of knowledge. This research approach however, is rarely applied in many research institutions and universities. Engaged scholarship research approach is therefore preferred because it empowers local communities to participate and contribute in making decisions that affect their lives. The chapter concludes by reiterating collaboration and stakeholder involvement that generate knowledge based on practical experiences and which are mutually beneficial and relevant in solving society problems.
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The Concept of Knowledge

Knowledge is a concept that has been debated with regard to who possess it and how it is used and also with regard to issues of evidence, authority and expertise of the owner (Holland et al, 2010; Lloyd et al, 2005). Knowledge may be regarded as a public good: one person’s use of a particular piece of knowledge does not preclude the use of that same knowledge by others, and when a piece of knowledge is already in the public domain, it is difficult for its creator to prevent others from using it. As Abdelrahman and Papamichil (2016) put it, knowledge is so important but cannot be effective unless it is shared, utilized and integrated in any given organizational culture. In reality, knowledge, cannot be easily acquired and applied individually. It has to be shared with others. Bock et al (2005), refer to knowledge sharing as a voluntary process of transferring and disseminating knowledge from one person to another or group of persons in an organization.

Tacit Knowledge and Explicit Knowledge

Knowledge is broadly categorized as tacit and explicit. Tacit knowledge is a mix of mounted experience, values, contextual information and expert insights that provides an individual with a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information (United Nations (UN), 2005). It is acquired through one’s own experience or reflections on the experiences of others. It is intangible, without boundaries and dynamic. It is highly personal and hard to formalize, making it difficult to communicate or share with others. Subjective insights, intuitions and feelings are all in the category of tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge can easily be communicated in group discussions.

Explicit knowledge refers to “justified belief” that is codified in a formal and systemic language. It can be stored, retrieved and transmitted with relative ease and through various means, including modern Information Communication Technology (UNESCO, 2012). While explicit knowledge can be easily transferred across time and space, tacit knowledge, which is in people’s minds, can be accessed on a first-person basis, and it takes time to develop. Effective creation and application of knowledge depends on the broader context; cultural institutions and governance Mugadas et al, 2016). Knowledge must be integrated into effective systems of research institutions, innovation-driven enterprises, universities, and other establishments. Because knowledge is considered as one of the key factors of production and is expensive to create, rich countries have broadened the protection of intellectual property rights (especially patents) and thus, have increased the amount of knowledge that is secured and monopolized (Mugadas et al 2016). Such actions contribute to an unequal distribution of knowledge across and within countries, a situation that has led to knowledge gap between the rich and poor countries. This justifies the need for knowledge co-production among local institutions and communities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Collaborative Decision-Making: This is used in this chapter to refer to a process of engagement in which people from varying backgrounds and with different perspectives agree to work together to solve a given problem.

Socioeconomic Development: This may refer to the transformation of a society with regard to social and economic dimensions.

Knowledge Creation: This is a continuous process of generating and sharing of new ideas through social interactions, collaboration, education, and practice. Knowledge creation is usually supported by information and data sharing to inform decisions and serve as building blocks in problem solving.

Sustainable Development: Sustainable development is development that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and capabilities.

Engaged Scholarship: This is a research approach that involves researchers, practitioners and key stakeholders and leverages their varying knowledge perspectives to study and solve a given problem. It is viewed as a form of inquiry between academics and practitioners that enhances generation of useful knowledge.

Knowledge Co-Production: This is used to refer to a form of knowledge production based on dynamic and interaction between academic and non-academic community practitioners. People with differing expertise come together with their varying ways of viewing and analyzing issues in the process of generating new and robust knowledge and technologies.

Knowledge Society: Knowledge society is such a society that generates, processes, shares and makes knowledge available to all members. It is a society in which the creation, dissemination and utilization of information and knowledge are the most important factor of production. Intellectual capital is the most powerful producer of wealth in societies.

Knowledge: Knowledge is expertise and skills acquired by a person through experience or education in theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. Knowledge is information in context which is interpreted and acted upon by those who must perform a given function. Organizational knowledge unlike individual or personal knowledge, is of value only if it is shared with those that are in need of it.

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