From Economics of Knowledge to the Learning Economy
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This chapter is about the production, diffusion and use of knowledge seen in an economic perspective. Fundamental distinctions between tacit and explicit knowledge and between knowhow, know-why, know-what and know-who are related to distinctions between public/private and local/global knowledge. It is argued that the idea of the economy as being knowledge based in its current stage is misleading and that it is more enlightening to assume that we have moved into a learning economy where interactive learning is a key to economic performance of firms, regions and nations. This is one reason why a narrow economics perspective is insufficient. The most serious weakness of standard economics is that it abstracts from the fact that agents are more or less competent and that learning processes enhancing competence are fundamental for the economic performance of organisations and regions. When it comes to understand industrial dynamics in the learning economy it is necessary to bring in other disciplines than economics in the analysis.