Foundations of the Knowledge Economy

Foundations of the Knowledge Economy

Innovation, Learning and Clusters

Edited by Knut Ingar Westeren

This book presents new evidence concerning the influential role of context and institutions on the relations between knowledge, innovation, clusters and learning. From a truly international perspective, the expert contributors capture the most interesting and relevant aspects of knowledge economy.

Chapter 2: The Changing Role of Knowledge in the Knowledge Economy: Concepts of Knowledge and Knowledge Management

Hans Siggaard Jensen

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, regional economics, innovation and technology, innovation policy, knowledge management, urban and regional studies, clusters, regional economics


Hans Siggaard Jensen There is a long epistemological tradition attempting to understand our concept of knowledge. This tradition goes back at least to the work of Plato in the dialogue ‘Theaetetus’, where the first presentation is made of the analysis of knowledge as justified true belief. Most subsequent major philosophers have worked with this concept and have given different answers to the question regarding what knowledge is. But the use of the concept of knowledge has changed considerably. The emergence of a successful form of science during the seventeenth century made the results of science the dominant paradigm of knowledge. And it became clear that there is a question concerning the relation between the type of knowledge we have when we know that we have two hands, and when we know a scientific law. Of what nature this difference is exactly, is still being debated. But a large social institution – the research system – has been developed to organize the creation of scientific knowledge. The enormous and rapid growth of the industrial economies is usually ascribed to the new role of knowledge and innovation and the emergence of social institutions that could handle the presuppositions for creation of knowledge and implementations of innovation. Freedoms like free speech, a free press, the free pursuit of learning and of knowledge are here seen as important (Mokyr, 2002). The emergence of concepts such as knowledge economy, knowledge society and knowledge management signals a change of focus from knowledge per se to knowledge in use...

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