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A knowledge production mode is a term from the sociology of science which refers to the way (scientific) knowledge is produced. So far, three modes have been conceptualized. Mode 1 production of knowledge is knowledge production motivated by scientific knowledge alone (basic research) which is not primarily concerned by the applicability of its findings. Mode 1 is founded on a conceptualization of science as separated into discrete disciplines (e.g., a biologist does not bother about chemistry). Mode 2 was coined in 1994 in juxtaposition to Mode 1 by Michael Gibbons, Camille Limoges, Helga Nowotny, Simon Schwartzman, Peter Scott and Martin Trow.[1] In Mode 2, multidisciplinary teams are brought together for short periods of time to work on specific problems in the real world for knowledge production (applied research) in the knowledge society. Mode 2 can be explained by the way research funds are distributed among scientists and how scientists focus on obtaining these funds in terms of five basic features: knowledge produced in the context of application; transdisciplinarity; heterogeneity and organizational diversity; social accountability and reflexivity; and quality control.[2][3] Subsequently, Carayannis and Campbell described a Mode 3 knowledge in 2006.[4]

Development of the concept

Gibbons and colleagues argued that a new form of knowledge production began emerging in the mid-20th century that was context-driven, problem-focused and interdisciplinary. It involved multidisciplinary teams that worked together for short periods of time on specific problems in the real world. Gibbons and his colleagues labelled this "Mode 2" knowledge production. He and his colleagues distinguished this from traditional research, labelled 'Mode 1', which is academic, investigator-initiated and discipline-based knowledge production.[1][5] In support, Limoges wrote, "We now speak of 'context-driven' research, meaning 'research carried out in a context of application, arising from the very work of problem solving and not governed by the paradigms of traditional disciplines of knowledge."[6] John Ziman drew a similar distinction between academic science and post-academic science,[7] and in 2001 Helga Nowotny, Peter Scott and Michael Gibbons extended their analysis to the implications of Mode 2 knowledge production for society.[8]

Conceptual differences between Mode 1 and Mode 2 knowledge

In terms of the aim of research, Mode 1 is characterized by theory building and testing within a discipline towards the aim of universal knowledge, while Mode 2 is characterized by knowledge produced for application. In the type of knowledge acquired, Mode 1 knowledge is universal law, primarily cognitive, while Mode 2 knowledge is particular and situational, and in Mode 1 in data is context free but in Mode 2 contextually embedded. In Mode 1, the knowledge is validated by logic and measurement, together with consistency of prediction and control, while in Mode 2 knowledge is validated by experiential, collaborative, and transdisciplinary processes. In Mode 1, the researcher's role is to be a detached, neutral observer, while in Mode 2 the researcher is a socially accountable, immersed and reflexive actor or change agent.[5]

Mode 3

Carayannis and Campbell describe a Mode 3 knowledge, which emphasizes the coexistence and co-development of diverse knowledge and innovation modes, at the individual (micro or local), structural and organizational (meso or institutional), and systemic (macro or global) levels. It describes mutual interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge via concepts such as, at the micro level, creative milieus and entrepreneurs and employees, at the meso level, knowledge clusters, innovation networks, entrepreneurial universities, and academic firms, and at the macro level, the quadruple and quintuple innovation helix framework, the "democracy of knowledge" (knowledge within a democratic system), and "democratic capitalism" (capitalism within a democratic system).[9][10][11]

Reception

While the theory of knowledge production modes and especially the notion of Mode 2 knowledge production have attracted considerable interest, the theory has not been universally accepted in the terms put forth by Gibbons and colleagues. Scholars i

Gibbons and colleagues argued that a new form of knowledge production began emerging in the mid-20th century that was context-driven, problem-focused and interdisciplinary. It involved multidisciplinary teams that worked together for short periods of time on specific problems in the real world. Gibbons and his colleagues labelled this "Mode 2" knowledge production. He and his colleagues distinguished this from traditional research, labelled 'Mode 1', which is academic, investigator-initiated and discipline-based knowledge production.[1][5] In support, Limoges wrote, "We now speak of 'context-driven' research, meaning 'research carried out in a context of application, arising from the very work of problem solving and not governed by the paradigms of traditional disciplines of knowledge."[6] John Ziman drew a similar distinction between academic science and post-academic science,[7] and in 2001 Helga Nowotny, Peter Scott and Michael Gibbons extended their analysis to the implications of Mode 2 knowledge production for society.[8]

Conceptual differences between Mode 1 and Mode 2 knowledge

In terms of the aim of research, Mode 1 is characterized by theory building and testing within a discipline towards the aim of universal knowledge, while Mode 2 is characterized by knowledge produced for application. In the type of knowledge acquired, Mode 1 knowledge is universal law, primarily cognitive, while Mode 2 knowledge is particular and situational, and in Mode 1 in data is context free but in Mode 2 contextually embedded. In Mode 1, the knowledge is validated by logic and measurement, together with consistency of prediction and control, while in Mode 2 knowledge is validated by experiential, collaborative, and transdisciplinary processes. In Mode 1, the researcher's role is to be a detached, neutral observer, while in Mode 2 the researcher is a socially accountable, immersed and reflexive actor or change agent.[5]

Mode 3

Carayannis and Campbell describe a Mode 3 knowledge, which emphasizes the coexistence

Carayannis and Campbell describe a Mode 3 knowledge, which emphasizes the coexistence and co-development of diverse knowledge and innovation modes, at the individual (micro or local), structural and organizational (meso or institutional), and systemic (macro or global) levels. It describes mutual interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge via concepts such as, at the micro level, creative milieus and entrepreneurs and employees, at the meso level, knowledge clusters, innovation networks, entrepreneurial universities, and academic firms, and at the macro level, the quadruple and quintuple innovation helix framework, the "democracy of knowledge" (knowledge within a democratic system), and "democratic capitalism" (capitalism within a democratic system).[9][10][11]

ReceptionWhile the theory of knowledge production modes and especially the notion of Mode 2 knowledge production have attracted considerable interest, the theory has not been universally accepted in the terms put forth by Gibbons and colleagues. Scholars in science policy studies have pointed to three types of problems with the concept of Mode 2: its empirical validity, its conceptual strength, and its political value.[12]

Concerning the empirical validity of the Mode 2 claims, Etzkowitz and Leydesdorff[13] argue that: