The Projects

2018/01/11

Knowledge in science and policy: creating an evidence base for converging modes of governance in policy and science (KNOWSCIENCE)

Sweden currently devotes about 2% of GDP (SEK 74.1 billion, 2013 figures) to higher education and research (HER). How does this expenditure translate into ensuring the long term provision of knowledge in Sweden? What type of mechanisms and tools do HER stakeholders and policymakers use and need to ensure the sustainability of HER systems? This project seeks to answer these questions by investigating how the policy and science systems co-produce conditions for sustainable knowledge provision. We will describe and analyse the interplay between policy instruments for governing HER, and the informal rules and processes developed for ensuring the validity and quality of knowledge produced in HER. Our research is organized around three key functional areas through which governance of HER is conducted: (i) priority setting, (ii)funding instruments, and (iii)evaluation. Our research plan aims to realize three ambitions: (i) building capacity in research on HER; (ii) developing useful knowledge for policy, in dialogue with HER stakeholders, and (iii) advancing the frontier of knowledge about the governance of HER.

Researchers:

  • Tomas Hellström (professor), Lund University (PI)
  • Erik Brattström (phd-student), Lund University (affiliated)
  • Dietmar Braun (professor emeritus), University of Lausanne
  • Sarah de Rijcke (associate professor), Leiden University
  • Devrim Göktepe-Hultén (docent), Lund University
  • Merle Jacob (professor), Lunds University
  • Leila Jabrane (doktorand), Lunds University (affiliated)
  • Niilo Kauppi (FiDiPro), University of Jyväskylä
  • Maria Nedeva, (professor), The Universty of Manchester
  • Alexander Rushforth (dr), Leiden University (affiliated)
  • Rikard Stankiewicz (professor emeritus), Lund University
  • Dunkan Thomas (dr), The Universty of Manchester

Further information is to be found at the project's homepage.

 

Transnational Governance of the University Field. The Travel of Global Ideas & the Role of Intermediary Organizations

Our study focuses on the role of transnational and national intermediary organizations in the governance and regulation of an increasingly global university field, relating thus directly to the Call's request for contributions on "the organization of research and higher education". Our aim is to systematically analyse the role of such intermediaries in their position to bridge institutional and organizational borders. In focus are the processes through which global ideas on the function and position of the university in society are circulated by transnational intermediaries; picked up and adopted by intermediaries in the national systems; and on the journey are adjusted and translated to fit the institutional specificities of these systems.

Our theoretical framework combines new institutional organization theory with a strategic action field approach. The empirical study has an integrated multi-method design combining: cluster analysis and database construction using an innovative webcrawling technique; semantic network analysis; qualitative in-depth comparative case studies (in Sweden and Austria). By analysing the role of intermediary organizations as a link between transnationally circulated ideas on the function and position of the university and the domestic university systems, we will contribute new knowledge on the core conditions for shaping, organizing and governing research and higher education in society, today and tomorrow.

Researchers:

  • Filip Wijkström (docent), Stockholm School of Economics (PI)
  • Lisa Maria Dellmuth (dr), Stockholm University
  • Torbjörn Einarsson (ek. dr), Stockholm School of Economics
  • Maria Grafström (docent), Stockholm University
  • Martin Gustavsson (docent), Stockholm University
  • Michael Meyer (professor), Vienna University of Economics and Business
    Institute for Nonprofit-Management at WU Vienna (University of Economics and Business)
  • Renate Meyer (professor) Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Achim Oberg (dr), University of Mannheim / Vienna University of Economics and Business
  • Marta Reuter (dr), Stockholm University / Stockholm School of Economics
  • Tino Schöllhorn, University of Mannheim

Further information is to be found at the project's homepage

 

Performance-based governance in academia: Professional practices and identities in transformation

This research programme analyses fundamental mechanisms determining how core professional practices in academia are affected by the introduction of organisational level systems for performance-based allocation of funding. With academic staff employed at research-intensive Swedish higher education institutions in focus, we study the identity construction of academics in relation to "economistic" forms of organizational governance, and how these interdependent processes affect the behaviour of individuals. In particular, we analyse effects on individuals priorities and time allocation between different activities in their professional activities (within and between broad categories such as teaching, research, leadership and service) and career choices (attractiveness of different types of academic positions in the university sector, attractiveness of jobs in universities vs. in other sectors). In the final phase of the project, theoretical results and empirical findings produced within the context of Swedish academia are related to different institutional settings. That is, we address questions of how and why performance-based funding systems may play out differently in different national settings and identify differences and similarities between higher education institutions and other dedicated research organisations in this respect.

Researchers:

  • Anders Broström (docent), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (PI)
  • Marianne Ekman Rising (professor), KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Lars Geschwind (docent), KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Monica Lindgren (professor), KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Johann Packendorf (professor), KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Further information is to be found at the project's homepage

 

How Engineering Sciences Can Impact Industry in a Global World: A Longitudinal Study of Chalmers’ Interactions with Companies

This project will critically analyze how engineering sciences can impact Swedish industry, to facilitate entrepreneurship and innovation in a globalized world. Chalmers is taken as an extreme case, within Sweden, as a university which is both an international scientific leader and company partner. Our research questions address how and why university-industry collaboration in networks affect the development of new scientific and industrial knowledge, in relation both to scientific excellence and industrial competitiveness. Our research strategy is to focus on a detailed, longitudinal study of networks developing between firm partners and Chalmers University of Technology, from 2000 to 2015. The study provides an overview of companies interaction with Chalmers, using extensive databases as well as case studies. It focuses on three industrial sectors, namely nanotechnology for high tech, control engineering (signals and systems) medium tech and sports for low tech. Cross-industry studies will be conducted of Chalmers stimulation of innovation and entrepreneurship. Theory predicts firms would act differently in collaboration with universities, due to the differing capabilities. Quantitative comparisons of all researchers in Sweden within the corresponding fields/disciplines will constitute a control. This provides opportunities for reflections upon how universities and firms together determine the future of the Swedish knowledge economy.

Researchers:

  • Maureen McKelvey (professor), School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg (PI)
  • Evangelos Bourelos (fil. dr), School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg
  • Linus Brunnström (phd-student), School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg (affiliated)
  • Guido Bünsdorf (professor) School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg / University of Kassel (affiliated)
  • Ethan Gifford (phd-student), School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg (affiliated)
  • Astrid Heidemann Lassen (dr.) School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg / Aalborg University
  • Ida Hermannson (phd-student), University of Borås (affiliated)
  • Daniel Ljungberg (fil. dr), School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg
  • Olof Zaring (docent), School of Business, Economic and Law, Gothenburg

Further information is to be found at the project's homepage.

 

Scientific state or state science? The knowledge-base of Swedish welfare research and welfare policy 1911-2015

The interlacing of decision-makers, experts and researchers are often put forward as a decisive factor in the creation of modern Sweden. Some historians have even labeled the Swedish welfare state as an institutionalized "scientific state". However, research shows that this collaboration has never been without friction, e.g. in the conflict between research commissioned by politicians and the free research idealized by the researchers.

The project analyzes intersections and tensions between the knowledge-base of policy and research within welfare politics, by the example of substance abuse policy. Drawing theoretically on science-policy nexus research and history of science, the project examines the relation between policy and research historically and contextually. Making use of empirical and archival material from different arenas the project analyzes the shifting ways politicians, authorities and researchers have defined the knowledge-base of the field from the 1910s and onwards. In three separate studies knowledge production, knowledge dissemination and knowledge utilization is examined. In a fourth study the results are synthesized and compared. What efforts have been made to ensure the policymakers' need of research-based knowledge and how have researchers responded? In what ways have the status of research as a political reform instrument changed during the last century?

Researchers:

  • Johan Edman (docent), Stockholm University (PI)
  • Helena Bergman (docent), Södertörn University
  • Lena Eriksson (fil. dr), Stockholm University

Further information is to be found at the project's homepage.

 

Beyond the market stalls and ivory towers: A study on integrated science for sustainable provision of knowledge

This research proposal focuses attention on the emerging perspective of integrated science as a method for how to involve various stakeholders in society and jointly contribute to knowledge development; a perspective that has been called for both within research and in the public debate about the role of science in society. While collaboration between academia and other societal sectors is often emphasized as being important it is also filled with conflicting, and sometimes naïve, views of different roles in the knowledge production system, as well as expectations. The aim of this project is to develop an understanding of preconditions for initiatives towards integrative knowledge production, to handle previously identified challenges and to reach the often-stated promises of such collaborations. By examining the dynamic learning processes of three collaborative platforms in Sweden, addressing challenges with environment, health, and social wellbeing in the context of international experiences of integrated science, we will contribute with empirical and theoretical insights into integrated knowledge development for securing long-term and sustainable provision of knowledge in society.

Researchers:

  • Anna Jonsson (docent), Lund University/ Stockholm University (PI)
  • Maria Grafström (docent), Stockholm University
  • Mikael Klintman (professor) Lund University

 

Packaging, Negotiating, Translating: Transforming Knowledge into Practice

How does research based scientific knowledge become practice? And, more precisely, how does knowledge produced in one context become practice in another?

The project studies mediators as the pivot point between the production of (medical) knowledge and its use in practice, focusing on so seemingly disparate professions as veterinarian pathologists, midwives in parental education, and occupational health services providers. Through ethnographic fieldwork, i.e. observing and interviewing mediators and practitioners in order to capture their perspective of their work, as well as analyzing guidelines, the project provides knowledge on how organizational conditions and context affect how knowledge is translated between contexts and transformed into everyday practice. Results from the project will make it possible to both understand the provision of knowledge to society better on a theoretical level and, in consequence, to facilitate for it in practice. In addition, as scientific knowledge plays a central role in society today, suggesting ways to think about how it enters people's lives should be a significant contribution.

Researchers:

  • Corinna Kruse (docent), Linköping University (PI)
  • Jenny Gleisner (fil. dr), Linköping University
  • Hannah Grankvist (fil. dr) Linköping University
  • John Sjöström (fil. dr) IVL

Further information is to be found at the project's homepage.

 

The idea of an evidence based practice within the social services

Since almost two decades the necessity of establishing practices that are based on scientifically secured knowledge, most commonly called evidence-based practice (EBP), have constituted an important and growing political tendency within many different professional fields. The call for a scientific underpinning for professional practice is most clearly developed within the medical field, but it is quite apparent also for psychosocial,l interventions. The issue of what EBP has to offer social work practice and how it ought to be implemented has occupied a central position in the social work debate in Sweden. The project at hand has an overall aim to establish a theoretical and empirical platform for an analysis of the efforts to transform Swedish social work practice through the implementation of EBP, and through this to provide a solid foundation for a critical discussion of the problems and the prospects connected to the ambition of providing a more standardized and scientifically secured practice. Within this broader frame a number of underlying themes are present: The organization of EBP, a theme that includes how EBP is staged in different national contexts. A second theme is directed towards an empirical as well as an analytical appraisal of the basic methodological considerations. A third theme deals with the implementation of EBP, that is how different stakeholders try to secure the fidelity. Thed fourth theme concerns if and how the problems of EBP can be resolved.

Researchers:

  • Anders Bergmark (professor), Stockholm University (PI)
  • Åke Bergmark (professor),Stockholm University
  • Alexander Björk (fil. dr), Stockholm University
  • Karin Helmersson Bergmark (professor), Stockholm University
  • Patrik Karlsson (docent), Stockholm University
  • Lisa Skogens (docent), Stockholm University
  • Ninive von Greiff (docent), Stockholm University
  • Stefan Wiklund (docent),Stockholm University