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Knowledge exchange: a review and research agenda for environmental management

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2012

School of Geography and Geosciences, North Street, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, UK
School of Geography and Geosciences, North Street, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AL, UK
Aberdeen Centre for Environment and Sustainability, Geography and Environment, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Elphinstone Road, Aberdeen AB24 3UF, UK
Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Robert Gordon University, Schoolhill, Aberdeen AB10 1FR, UK
Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
Climate Change Team, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Falmer BN1 9RE, UK
De Montfort University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Hawthorn Building, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK
The Centre for Applied Linguistics, S1.74, Social Studies Building, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU), Centre for Rural Economy, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences, The James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, UK
University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK
Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Economic and Social Research Council, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1UJ, UK
The Open University, Department of Communication and Systems, Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, The Open University, Walton Hall MK7 6AA, UK
Ty'n Y Caeau Consultants, Tregarth, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 4BD, UK
University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 2RH, UK
Institute of Development Studies, Library Road, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK
Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU), Centre for Rural Economy, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, University of Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK
University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge Edinburgh EH8 9YL, UK
CEDAM, Chancelry 10T, Ellery Crescent, The Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia
*Correspondence: Dr Ioan Fazey e-mail:


There is increasing emphasis on the need for effective ways of sharing knowledge to enhance environmental management and sustainability. Knowledge exchange (KE) are processes that generate, share and/or use knowledge through various methods appropriate to the context, purpose, and participants involved. KE includes concepts such as sharing, generation, coproduction, comanagement, and brokerage of knowledge. This paper elicits the expert knowledge of academics involved in research and practice of KE from different disciplines and backgrounds to review research themes, identify gaps and questions, and develop a research agenda for furthering understanding about KE. Results include 80 research questions prefaced by a review of research themes. Key conclusions are: (1) there is a diverse range of questions relating to KE that require attention; (2) there is a particular need for research on understanding the process of KE and how KE can be evaluated; and (3) given the strong interdependency of research questions, an integrated approach to understanding KE is required. To improve understanding of KE, action research methodologies and embedding evaluation as a normal part of KE research and practice need to be encouraged. This will foster more adaptive approaches to learning about KE and enhance effectiveness of environmental management.

Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2012

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