Handbook on the Knowledge Economy
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Handbook on the Knowledge Economy

Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Abraham Ninan

This fascinating Handbook defines how knowledge contributes to social and economic life, and vice versa. It considers the five areas critical to acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge economy: the nature of the knowledge economy; social, cooperative, cultural, creative, ethical and intellectual capital; knowledge and innovation systems; policy analysis for knowledge-based economies; and knowledge management.
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Chapter 1: Knowledge: Concepts, Policy, Implementation

David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Abraham Ninan


David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Abraham Ninan This handbook is for those interested in how knowledge contributes to social and economic life and vice versa. In particular, its aim is to assist those who want to have a better knowledge of knowledge and who want to implement useful initiatives in light of the results of contemporary knowledge research. Most importantly, the structure and content of the handbook are informed by the observation that the real opportunity presented by the possibility of a knowledge-based economy or society is not simply that we can become more technologized and more commercialized but that knowledge can be put to use across the whole spectrum of human activity to yield important benefits. While there is increasing discussion of knowledge-based economies, knowledge management and knowledge societies, little attention has been given to what knowledge really means in these contexts. Indeed, research on the assumptions underpinning contemporary knowledge-related public policy discourse (Graham and Rooney 2001) shows little evidence that it is well informed by any adequate explanation of knowledge, and that as a consequence basic conceptual shortcomings in policy formulation are common. Evidence for this is seen in policy prescriptions that focus on science, technology and engineering to the effective exclusion of non-technical knowledge. Knowledge embodied in culture, the arts and humanities, the social sciences, social skills, entertainment, spirituality and many other aspects of everyday life are not currently considered central knowledge policy concerns. These same criticisms can also be levelled against knowledge management. The common assumption...

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