Epistemic communities in universities
- Publisher: Elsevier
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences,
The creation of new knowledge, as evidenced by trends in research publications is increasingly a collaborative affair. However, the epistemological assumptions underlying how we see knowledge are predominantly based on a view of knowledge as created and owned by individuals who may then ‘trade’ this ‘commodity’. These assumptions permeate the way we try to manage knowledge creation and dissemination – an issue of increasing centrality for universities. This paper examines the concept of epistemic communities from the strategic view of universities wishing to augment their role as knowledge producers and disseminators. It shines a light on underlying assumptions about the nature of knowledge and offers some alternative more socially oriented views to the prevailing individualist orthodoxy. The paper draws on a range of current studies and quotes expert witnesses to inform how universities could better widen their capacity for novel research, reaching out to a geographically dispersed network of experts and across national and organisational frontiers.