Policy Learning And Knowledge Perceptions


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From seminar arranged by the EU FP Project Understanding the Relationship between Knowledge and Competitiveness in the Enlarging European Union” and the Research Council of Norway February 1 2008.

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Policy Learning And Knowledge Perceptions

  1. 1. Policy learning and knowledge perceptions <ul><li>Per Koch, Director for Analysis and Strategy Development, the Research Council of Norway </li></ul><ul><li>Seminar arranged by the EU FP Project “Understanding the Relationship between Knowledge and Competitiveness in the Enlarging European Union” and the Research Council of Norway February 1 2008. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Understanding the Relationship between Knowledge and Competitiveness in the Enlarging European Union <ul><li>Workpackage on policy learning and knowledge policies for science/industry relations </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding how different concepts of knowledge and different understandings of how knowledge works lead to different policies </li></ul>
  3. 3. Good NIP <ul><li>Good Practices in Nordic Innovation Policies </li></ul>STEP Centre for Innovation Research (NIFU STEP) www.step.no/goodnip
  4. 4. Part of the Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration on &quot;Improving the human research potential and the socio-economic knowledge base,1998-2002&quot; under the EU 5th Framework Programme Supported by the Norwegian Ministry for Education and Research Innovation in the Public Sector www.step.no/publin
  5. 5. What is knowledge, really? <ul><li>Information (a message containing structured data) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge (information absorbed and given meaning) </li></ul><ul><li>Competence (knowledge put into practice) </li></ul><ul><li>Wisdom (knowledge honed by experience, empathy and the ability to transcend simplistic dichotomies) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Typologies of knowledge <ul><li>Know h ow : the ability to do something (competence) </li></ul><ul><li>Know what : knowledge about facts </li></ul><ul><li>Know why: knowledge about principles and laws </li></ul><ul><li>Know who: knowledge about who knows what </li></ul><ul><li>(Johnson and Lundvall 2001) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Tacit knowledge <ul><li>Knowledge rooted in practice and experience (competences) that is hard to articulate or communicate in codified form. </li></ul><ul><li>Embodied in human beings and transmitted by apprenticeship and training. </li></ul>Tacit knowledge
  8. 8. Learning <ul><li>You learn if, through the process of information, your range of potential behaviors is changed. </li></ul><ul><li>(Huber 1991) </li></ul><ul><li>Institutions learn from their experiences through accumulating historical experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operating procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rules of thumb </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The development of a common framework of reference (belief systems) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Expanding life worlds <ul><li>Learning is not about adding facts to an internal knowledge bank. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is a complex process that expands your internal repository of knowledge and changes your understanding of nature or culture. </li></ul><ul><li>This expansion makes new learning possible. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Innovation is change of behavior with a specific objective in mind <ul><li>Innovation is a social entity’s implementation and performance of a new specific form or repertoire of social action that is implemented deliberately by the entity in the context of the objectives and functionalities of the entity’s activities </li></ul><ul><li>Johan Hauknes </li></ul><ul><li>A deliberate change of behavior at the level of institutions that includes a new or improved service, process, technology or administrative tool. </li></ul><ul><li>Publin </li></ul><ul><li>“ innovation is not merely synonymous with change. Ongoing change is a feature of most… organizations. For example the recruitment of new workers constitutes change but is an innovative step only where such workers are introduced in order to import new knowledge or carry out novel tasks”. </li></ul><ul><li>Green, Howells and Miles </li></ul>
  11. 11. The role of belief systems A belief system is a historically conditioned common understanding of how reality is constructed. Related concepts: rationality, mentality, mental model, life world, reality matrix, cognitive model
  12. 12. Belief systems makes it possible to think <ul><li>Pre -judices are necessary in order to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>A common language and common life experiences are needed in order to communicate and reach a common understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>Still: to innovate you need a fresh perspective. When belief systems collide, innovation may occur. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Policy learning <ul><li>Policy learning: A relatively enduring alteration of thought or behavioral intentions that are concerned with the attainment (or revision) of a policy belief system. (Sabatier) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Publin: Resistance to change <ul><li>The systemic impact of innovation and change is often viewed as an unwelcome perturbation to the overall functioning of the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>A tendency to adopt the “not invented here” attitude with an unwillingness to accept novel ideas from outside the immediate organizational peer group. </li></ul><ul><li>Turf wars, struggles for power and money </li></ul><ul><li>Tendency to recruit likeminded people </li></ul><ul><li>Those that think outside the box feel unappreciated and leave </li></ul>
  15. 15. The role of belief systems in research and innovation policy development ( Good NIP) <ul><li>The macroeconomic rationality </li></ul><ul><li>The science base rationality </li></ul><ul><li>The entrepreneurship rationality </li></ul><ul><li>The planning rationality </li></ul><ul><li>The systemic rationality </li></ul>
  16. 16. The macroeconomic rationality <ul><li>Neoclassical economics </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on public finance, interest rates and monetary policies </li></ul><ul><li>Market failure arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation takes place ”outside” the economy (”Black Box”) </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Finance </li></ul>
  17. 17. The planning rationality <ul><li>An active state </li></ul><ul><li>Corporative </li></ul><ul><li>Weakened by globalization and a lack of faith in human understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Agriculture </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Entrepreneurship Rationality <ul><li>SMEs </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on individuals (entrepreneurs or ”gründer”) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on regional development </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Regional Development </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Industry </li></ul>
  19. 19. The science based rationality <ul><li>Focus on universities </li></ul><ul><li>Science push </li></ul><ul><li>Tendency towards linear thinking </li></ul><ul><li>R&D as a measure of innovation </li></ul><ul><li>University ideology </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Education and Research </li></ul>“ Advances in science when put to practical use mean more jobs, higher wages, shorter hours, more abundant crops, more leisure for recreation, for study, for learning how to live without the deadening drudgery which has been the burden of the common man for ages past. Advances in science will also bring higher standards of living, will lead to the prevention or cure of diseases, will promote conservation of our limited national resources, and will assure means of defense against aggression. But to achieve these objectives - to secure a high level of employment, to maintain a position of world leadership - the flow of new scientific knowledge must be both continuous and substantial. “ Vannevar Bush: The Endless Frontier 1945
  20. 20. The systemic rationality <ul><li>Interaction in the national innovation system </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on the company </li></ul><ul><li>Evolutionary (Lamarckian) </li></ul><ul><li>A broad portfolio of policy instruments </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on several types of innovation (R&D, design, marketing, learning) </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Industry and Economics </li></ul><ul><li>Ministries of Regional Development </li></ul>
  21. 21. Do these different belief systems hinder or foster policy learning and innovation? <ul><li>They make communication easier within the belief system </li></ul><ul><li>They make communication harder across the borders of some of these belief systems, especially if fundamental principles differ. </li></ul><ul><li>Interest groups have a tendency of adopting belief systems that give conclusions that further their interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Policy makers may make use of rhetoric developed in other belief systems in order to strengthen their case </li></ul>
  22. 22. Barrier to innovation: Heritage and legacy <ul><li>Publin: The size and complexity leads to the development of internal barriers and, in the worst case scenario, the development of “silo mentalities” wherein parallel systems maintain their own organisational norms, beliefs and practices with little communication with each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Public sector organisations are frequently prone to entrenched belief systems, practices and procedures – that which has worked in the past is seen as good practice. </li></ul>
  23. 23. The knowledgebase for research and innovation policy – traditional model Research and statistics Policy-analysis and policy develop-ment Funding and regulations Indepen-dent and objective researcher Bureacraut Politiican Oppdrag
  24. 24. The ideal model ignores three factors: <ul><li>The researcher, the bureaucrat and the politician do not necessarily share </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the same understanding of reality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the same interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the same belief systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the same priorities </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. The world of policy and politics <ul><li>The discourse of the social scientists is to give a critical appraisal of the existing social reality. </li></ul><ul><li>The policy maker must also take other factors into consideration. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The struggle within and between policy-organisation for power, funding and language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political dynamics </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Bureaucracy is changing <ul><li>From bureaucrats to civil servants </li></ul><ul><li>From bureaucracy to political secretariats </li></ul><ul><li>Higher level of competences (research experience, Masters, </li></ul><ul><li>Civil servants have become experts and analysts within their own field of expertise. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Publin on combating institutional lock-in <ul><li>Develop quality leadership that creates the right climate for change, &quot;walk the talk&quot; and institute &quot;cultural change&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Combat silo mentalities and turf wars </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage staff mobility between institutions in order to avoid the tendency of hiring “clones” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discuss overall objectives for welfare and the quality of life and the effects of changes in one part in the public sector for another </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is also beneficial to co-opt staff members and create “agents of change” to overcome potential resistance from the (professional) staff </li></ul><ul><li>On the policy level: Reach for a good balance between “competent bureaucrats” and “creative policy entrepreneurs”. </li></ul><ul><li>Shake the system. Yes, sometimes a reorganisation is exactly what the doctor orders against lock-in and stagnant waters </li></ul>