Knowledge is power: How networks generate, foster, and manage knowledge

What do we mean by knowledge?

Before we can understand network knowledge functions, we need to be clear about what we mean by “knowledge”. We can define three different types of knowledge:

Defining our knowledge objectives

Networks can work across all types of knowledge to fulfill knowledge functions of codifying, organizing, and sharing existing knowledge and creating and ensuring the effective application of new knowledge. Within that frame, networks will define their own specific knowledge-related objectives that will likely fall into one of two categories:

Implications for network structure and processes

Different knowledge-related objectives will have implications for network structures, processes, and activities. The implications will depend on the levels of formality desired for knowledge exchange processes, the participants within those (i.e. individuals, organizations), the resources required, the partnerships established, and the expectations across various stakeholders, among other things. However, the strength of network knowledge functions lies in their productivity and their impact on decision-makers. Structures and processes should align behind whatever forms ensure that productivity and impact.



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