Empirical Analysis of Knowledge Exchange in Higher Education Partnerships: Using Knowledge Elicitation Methods and Techniques
AbstractThis research identified knowledge management challenges that academics experience when exchanging both forms of knowledge, tacit and explicit, in collaborative projects. The research was conducted qualitatively through the use of consecutive data collection strategies of the large-scale survey; expert panel review; and semi-structured interviews with elite participants in order to gather a deep understanding of the type of challenges academics, working across different disciplines and institutional levels, experience when exchanging tacit and explicit knowledge. Furthermore, the research elicited experts’ knowledge indicating that depending on the expertise and size of the institutions and the timeframe of the partnership, academics can encounter challenges of a strategic, tactical and operational nature. While the institutional leadership and shared vision were seen as a challenge of a strategic nature, the misalignment of expertise and abilities was presented as a tactical challenge. Additionally, the findings show that arrangement of staff, logistics, and facilities required to support the delivery of academic products and services is another challenge which needs addressing in order to support the exchange of knowledge. The crux of this research is the novel use of a tri-part, consecutive data gathering technique, which has been shown to be very useful in providing an effective knowledge elicitation methodology. Notwithstanding that fact, of which purposeful knowledge has been elicited using such techniques, this paper also highlighted that the adopted methodology used should not be seen as a panacea for all qualitative research but, moreover, be adopted as a useful technique in the qualitative researchers’ armory.
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