Networks of Knowledge: Collaborative Innovation in International Learning


175 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-8371-4
DDC 338.91'07'2071




Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeffrey Moon is head of the Documents Reference/Data Centre at Queen’s


Networks of Knowledge was written in response to a Canadian task force
report on Canada’s role and position in the 21st century. The task
force concluded that Canadian universities have not done much to
“translate knowledge into practical tools for sustainable
development.” The book’s authors undertake to disprove this
conclusion by investigating five examples of Canadian universities’
involvement in “knowledge networks.”

Following a detailed template of interview questions, the authors
examine each knowledge network’s objectives, governance, products and
activities, funding, impacts, benefits, and sustainability. The first
two chapters provide the context for this examination. Chapter 1 looks
at the broad role of academic knowledge networks as producers and
disseminators of knowledge. Chapter 2 brings the idea of knowledge
production into focus through an examination of the synergistic and
symbiotic relationships between “newer networks and older
institutions” (i.e., universities) in producing knowledge; this
chapter alone provides fascinating insights into how these networks help
us not only to know more, but to know differently and more widely than
would otherwise have been the case.

The five knowledge network examples follow the predefined question
template closely, providing a framework for comparison that would not
otherwise be possible. To further facilitate comparison, a concise
tabular summary of each of the five networks is provided. The book is
well indexed and includes a six-page bibliography. As an apologetic for
the role and impact of Canadian universities in knowledge networks, and
the value of such networks more generally, this book succeeds.


Stein, Janice Gross, et al., “Networks of Knowledge: Collaborative Innovation in International Learning,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 24, 2024,