Halsall, Jamie P. and Powell, Jason (2016) Crafting knowledge exchange in the social science agenda. Cogent Social Sciences, 2 (1). ISSN 2331-1886

To any social science researcher the term “Knowledge Exchange” is a key buzzword in the academic
community and wider society. In an article by Contandriopoulos, Lemire, Denis, and Tremblay (2010,
p. 456) it was pointed out that knowledge exchange “rests on an implicit commonsense notion that
this ‘knowledge’ must be evidence based”. This evidence,
based within a social science context, relies
upon two strands: theoretical data and empirical data. When examining the notion of Knowledge
Exchange it becomes apparent that the concept has deep and meaningful connotations. These connotations
have been driven by the involvements of the public and private sectors. Moreover, work
carried out by Benneworth and Cunha (2015, p. 509) concludes that higher education institutions’
involvement in knowledge exchange “remains dynamic and influenced by universities” own strategic
choices and relationships’. Traditionally, universities have had two key missions: to teach undergraduate/postgraduate
students and to undertake research. Striukova and Rayna (2015, p. 488)
have recently observed that universities now have a third mission, “knowledge exchange”, and that
knowledge exchange plays a vital “integral part of the mix, without which the other two missions
cannot run successfully.” Knowledge exchange is also a fundamental feature of “sustainable communities”
(Powell, 2013) through the partnerships between HEIs and communities by which they
serve. This is a point we will return to.

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