nep-knm New Economics Papers
on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy
Issue of 2019‒04‒22
four papers chosen by
Laura Ştefănescu
Centrul European de Studii Manageriale în Administrarea Afacerilor

  1. Knowledge networks in the German bioeconomy: Network structure of publicly funded R&D networks By Bogner, Kristina
  2. Does usable research face higher obstacles within the academy? By Julia Olmos Peñuela; Paul Benneworth; Elena Castro-Martínez
  3. Research University Spaces: The Multiple Purposes of an Undergraduate Education By Brint, Steven
  4. Distance Learning in Higher Education: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment By Cacault, Maria Paula; Hildebrand, Christian; Laurent-Lucchetti, Jérémy; Pellizzari, Michele

  1. By: Bogner, Kristina
    Abstract: Aiming at fostering the transition towards a sustainable knowledge-based Bioeconomy (SKBBE), the German Federal Government funds joint and single research projects in predefined socially desirable fields as, for instance, in the Bioeconomy. To analyse whether this policy intervention actually fosters cooperation and knowledge transfer as intended, researchers have to evaluate the network structure of the resulting R&D network on a regular basis. Using both descriptive statistics and social network analysis, I investigate how the publicly funded R&D network in the German Bioeconomy has developed over the last 30 years and how this development can be assessed from a knowledge diffusion point of view. This study shows that the R&D network in the German Bioeconomy has grown tremendously over time and thereby completely changed its initial structure. While from a traditional perspective the development of the network characteristics in isolation seems harmful to knowledge diffusion, taking into account the reasons for these changes shows a different picture. However, this might only hold for the diffusion of mere techno-economic knowledge. It is questionable whether the artificially generated network structure also is favourable for the diffusion of other types of knowledge, e.g. dedicated knowledge necessary for the transformation towards an SKBBE.
    Keywords: knowledge,dedicated knowledge,knowledge diffusion,social networks,R&D networks,Förderkatalog,sustainable knowledge-based Bioeconomy (SKBBE)
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Julia Olmos Peñuela; Paul Benneworth; Elena Castro-Martínez
    Abstract: The recognition of academic research as a potential source of economic growth and social welfare has attracted the attention of both policy-makers and academics over the past decades. But emphasising the impact of research brings a new set of tensions to scientific governance processes, and raises the risk that academics who engage more with users be hindered in pursuing their research activities. In this paper, we seek to understand whether researchers that meaningfully engage with societal users in their research micro-practices face additional obstacles in their research, whether in terms of the acceptance of that research by academic communities and the absorption of that knowledge by users. To do this, we draw on a recent approach to knowledge production highlighting the importance of ‘openness’ of research practices in influencing the subsequent societal usability of that knowledge. Openness occurs by involving users in research practices, and we therefore ask the question of whether researchers who use open research practices do indeed suffer additional obstacles to their research. Drawing on a questionnaire of 1583 scientists working for the largest Spanish Public Research Organisation, we identify that the greatest obstacles that all researchers face are in administrative structures, which make it harder to engage with users. Less-open users tend to experience fundamental obstacles in their engagement, such as a lack of interest from users or a lack of acceptance by other academics, whilst more open researchers experience problems relating to the practices of managing technology transfer projects. We conclude by arguing that a differentiated support structure is need to assist academics with user engagement reflecting their past experience as well as the need for a rethink of how research organisations situate user engagement in their administrative structure.
    Keywords: societal engagement, obstacles, openness, academic norms, research management
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Brint, Steven
    Abstract: Students, faculty, and the public expect undergraduate education in research universities to contribute to multiple developmental purposes.  While academic purposes remain pre-eminent, a singular focus on knowledge and skills development is no longer adequate. Based on data and analysis from the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Undergraduate Survey, this essay identifies and discusses five widely endorsed purposes of student development during the college years: social, personal, academic, civic, and economic. It also identifies the characteristics of classroom and extra-curricular settings that contribute to the achievement of these purposes. In turn, the resulting SPACES model provides a theoretical framework for SERU intended to guide future survey design and research.
    Keywords: Education
    Date: 2018–10–01
  4. By: Cacault, Maria Paula; Hildebrand, Christian; Laurent-Lucchetti, Jérémy; Pellizzari, Michele
    Abstract: Using a randomized experiment in a public Swiss university, we study the impact of online live streaming of lectures on student achievement and attendance. We find that (i) students use the live streaming technology only punctually, apparently when random events make attending in class too costly; (ii) attending lectures via live streaming lowers achievement for low-ability students and increases achievement for high-ability ones and (iii) offering live streaming reduces in-class attendance only mildly. These findings have important implications for the design of education policies.
    Keywords: distance learning; EduTech; live streaming
    JEL: I20 I21 I23
    Date: 2019–04

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