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The humanities value chain: a framework for knowledge transfer in the modern university

By Lisa Mooney Smith

Abstract

The research described in this thesis presents a body of material generated over four years of close\ud observation of research and knowledge transfer practices in one Russell Group university institution. It\ud attempts to contextualise knowledge transfer (hereafter KT) within the arts and humanities\ud environment, as well as situate learning about the reception and adoption of KT with reference to the\ud individual scholar and the organisation in which they operate. Within this context, little has been\ud written explicitly about the character of the arts and humanities, and particularly the historical\ud antecedence of the disciplines and their close relationship to current KT challenges.\ud In the early chapters of the thesis we address the growing interest in KT specific language, the key\ud words that have become landmarks in the extension of the ‘Two Cultures’ debate. In defining some of\ud the parameters by which KT has come to be recognised, we also begin to signal changes in both the\ud lexicon and landscape in which KT has evolved. We suggest that both the institution and their\ud academic inhabitants play an intrinsic part in this evolution, framed by both the political and scholarly\ud tensions of the time.\ud In the latter part of the thesis there is a distinct shift in emphasis from the foundations of the KT debate,\ud to its current inflections at a more grass roots level within the academic institution. We frame this shift\ud in the context of the key investor in research within these disciplines and suggest that the Arts and\ud Humanities Research Council is equally challenged to articulate and underpin the adoption of KT and\ud its impacts at the heart of academic practice. In order that we might better animate how these practices\ud are emerging, we observe one particular case study that lays down a possible framework for closer\ud observation of KT in what we term the ‘Humanities Value Chain’. In focusing on a collection of\ud players connected in the successful pursuit of collaborative research, we attempt to uncover a the\ud perspective of individuals within the institution and the way in which organisations might support or\ud hinder their pursuit of KT based research.\ud In concluding the thesis we suggest that the culmination of this knowledge might offer a useful\ud framework for considering how KT occurs in arts and humanities led teams, and at the same time how\ud 3\ud it might act as a possible tool from which KT players and practices might be better observed. In\ud presenting a possible framework for consideration, we suggest that the current preoccupation with\ud impacts might at the same time be better understood by observing more closely the roles researchers\ud play during the collaborative research process

Topics: X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Publisher: University of Nottingham
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:3637

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