Anna Jonsson

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.
Final report
Collaboration between academia and practice is often hailed as a solution to complex societal problems and a contributor to greater competitiveness. This research project has focused on the emerging perspective of integrated science as a means for society’s actors to collaborate and jointly contribute to knowledge development.

Our aim has been to develop an understanding of the conditions for integrated knowledge processes, in order to manage the challenges and meet the expectations such collaborations involve. We have studied four Swedish platforms organised in line with integrated science:

• The Delegation for Trust-Based Public Management (TD) in their efforts for a collaboratively developed trust-based steering model for schools and healthcare.
• Ideell Arena (IA), specifically organising for regular collaboration between academia and IA’s member organisations.
• The Environmental Protection Agency (SNV), specifically collaboration on environmental aspects of consumption.
• The Swedish Research Council for Sports Science (CiF), specifically the Bunkeflo project (BP) as an example of successful knowledge collaboration.

Further, we have turned to international examples, and examined the ambiguity of collaboration as a concept. We have also looked inwards in order to understand how Swedish universities organise collaboration between academia and practice.

Our project is one of eight in the Samhällets kunskapsförsörjning research programme. This is an eight-year programme with a budget of 80 MSEK, in which our project has been the smallest in time (3 years, spread over 4 years) and total budget (3.84 MSEK). Some adjustments to the original plan have been necessary along the way, but these have helped widen and extend the generation of knowledge. Certain events have affected the project’s development.

Key research event: Publication of research proposition 2016/17:50 “Kunskap i samverkan” six months after the start date. The metaphor underpinning our application – the researcher as either market trader or isolated in an ivory tower – became a feature of the debate. We saw here an opportunity to contribute to the debate and alert stakeholders to our research project and the aims of the programme.

Adjustment of empirical cases: The opportunities to study TD closely lessened the focus on CiF and IA, in line with our aim to follow the process from planning to final phase in real time. The focus for NSV was narrowed to specific efforts regarding the role of the general public in contributing to sustainable development.

Need for conceptual research overview: We realised early on that there was no overview of the many terms used to describe collaboration. Having an overview of the terms bordering “integrated science” was essential for the project. This resulted in an article, currently being assessed by an international research publication.

Opportunities for international study: In line with our application we have studied international examples in situ: Klintman was a visiting scholar at Oxford University and the London School of Economics & Political Science, 2016-2018, and Grafström at SCANCOR, Stanford University (Jan-June 2018). Our application had stated our further intention to visit INSEAD, but we elected instead to focus on Stanford and Oxford and the opportunity for close study of two cases. The case studies analyse how both universities organise their collaboration with practice, using the examples of two collaborative efforts centred on water supply.

• Stanford: Workshop series on water levels data, run by Water in the West (WiW).
• Oxford: Environmental Competency Group on water levels in the River Kennet, Marlborough.

Klintman’s two-year research stay has further contributed to the project with a greater understanding of knowledge resistance, a recurring theme in our case studies. The realisation that the BP outcome has not been acknowledged, despite media coverage, reinforced our interest in questions of knowledge resistance.

Extended project period: Following the above-mentioned events, our application for more time was granted within the existing budget. We chose to reallocate our time to reflect an equal input of effort, and to reduce the level of activity over a longer period to maintain an even pace with the programme.

To achieve our aim we have conducted qualitative case studies. All the platforms, with the exception of TD, were studied to see how they worked before or at the point of entry. TD was studied longitudinally.

Our empirical work has comprised interviews, documentation studies and observations. We have conducted 67 interviews and 23 observations in total. A significant amount of this work concerns TD. We followed their work for a year and a half, and held interviews with strategically selected persons: the Chair, secretariat representatives, research leaders, researchers, and representatives from other organisations. We observed 21 meetings. As the BP project ended some years ago, the number of interviewees was limited. Interviews were held with key persons and supplemented with document studies. The IA study was intended to create an understanding of how they view their role as knowledge collaboration intermediary. We interviewed office employees, membership representatives and researchers, and read documentation. We also conducted observations on two occasions. At SNV interviews were combined with document analysis. A strict delimitation was necessary for a focused analysis due to the diversity of the activities. In Oxford we conducted documentation studies and interviews with key University staff, and with those who worked with knowledge collaboration in questions of water supply. Documentation studies and interviews at Stanford University and with those who worked with knowledge collaboration within the framework for WiW were conducted in the same way, to enable a comparison between the two universities.

Another important part of our method has been regular participation in conversations on the view of knowledge collaboration. One insight gained from these is that theoretical discussion takes place in relative isolation from practice, in the same way as practical discussion and efforts are often isolated from theory and academia. In an effort to bridge these discussions we took the initiative for an essay anthology to highlight the discussion from the perspective of the researcher, aiming to facilitate a joint conversation on these questions.

1. Understanding of concept of knowledge – product vs process: Most prior studies have focused on the outcome of knowledge collaboration – often understood as the “product”. Our focus on what happens during the collaboration period – the “process” - indicates that what is generally described as a barrier to knowledge collaboration is in fact its prerequisite: differences and boundaries must be maintained if there is to be an object for collaboration. The concept of knowledge must thus be problematised and widened; while in some cases it refers simply to scientifically produced knowledge, in others it refers to other forms.

2. Characteristics and adaption – an inevitable balancing act: In line with the result of understanding and maintaining differences, our results match what is described in organisation studies as “boundary work”. Such studies stress the need to understand the characteristics of actors and their adaption in different types of collaboration activities. This becomes clear when we focus on the process and different actors’ roles and understanding of collaboration. It is also confirmed in the conceptual review, where we have identified a number of tension parameters. By including literature in boundary work we contribute to the literature on integrated science – despite the lack of a theoretical frame of reference.

3. The challenges of understanding and controlling collaboration: One reason collaboration is not straightforward is that the concept itself is ambiguous. It is also value-charged and influenced – in a Swedish context – by the research debate. Our studies show that there are various understandings of collaboration and how such initiatives are best organised. Our conversations with researchers have been almost therapeutic in nature, suggesting that the formal steering does not always correspond to the researcher’s daily practice. The interviews show that researchers are at times reluctant to collaborate with external partners or in multidisciplinary contexts. One explanation is that the joint generation of new knowledge is considered difficult, which is in contrast to the general understanding that a precondition for new knowledge is meetings across boundaries –disciplinary, cultural and professional.

• How does steering of collaboration influence research practice?
• How can collaboration projects be organised to balance different knowledge quality criteria and integrate more critical perspectives?
• What are the implications of researchers studying an ongoing process in which other researchers participate?
• What role does scientifically produced knowledge play at a time when many actors claim knowledge through alternative channels?
• How is research communicated and how does it influence the view of knowledge among the general public?

In line with the intention of the programme our aim has been to describe – and to create understanding of – both our research process and our results. A further aim has been to attempt to understand universities’ efforts to organise collaboration. In order to further contribute to dissemination, we applied for and were granted RJ’s communication project (KOM18-1381:1). We have striven to reach a broad target group, through a breadth of publications. Our project has led to new collaborations and dialogues.
Publication list

Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2019) (red.). Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag.

Jonsson, A. (2020, kommande) Kunskapsproduktion i samverkan - produkt och process: Tillitsdelegationen som en gränsöverskridande rörelse. Bokmanus som kommer att skickas för review till Studentlitteraturs Insikts-serie.

Klintman, M. (2019). Knowledge Resistance: How We Avoid Insight from Others. Manchester: Manchester University Press.


Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2019.) Kunskap mellan elfenbenstorn och marknadstorg, sid. 9-14 i Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (red.). Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag. Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag.

Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2019.) En kamp bortom torg och torn, sid. 145-152 i Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (red.). Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag. Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag.

Grafström, M. (2019) Att värna gränser genom att bygga broar, sid. 55-64 i Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (red.). Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag.

Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2020) Från folkbildning till kunskapsproduktion: Samverkan mellan akademi och samhälle. I Alvesson, M. & Sveningsson, S. (red.) Om styrning och kontroll i högre utbildning. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2021) Aggregative and Integrative processes for transdisciplinary knowledge production: Examples from scholar-practitioner collaborations. Bokkapitel till den antologi som kommer att tas fram inom ramarna för forskningsprogrammet Samhällets långsiktiga kunskapsförsörjning.

Jonsson, A. (2018) Samverkan i ropet. Hur förväntas vi nå ut med vår forskning? I Sjöholm, C. & Jernek, M. (red.) Är det någon konst att vara akademiker? Ett symposium om Academic skills. Lund: Lunds universitet, s. 55-62.

Jonsson, A. (2019) Samverkansjakten: Kanske är vi bara kloka tillsammans, sid. 35-44 i Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (red.). Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag.

Jonsson, A. (2020) Samverkan: Om konsten att veta och skapa tillsammans. I Dunér, D., Jonsson, B. & Rahm, H. (red). I Pallas Athenas huvud. Hundra år av humaniora. Stockholm: Makadam Förlag.

Klintman, M. (2019) Interna olikheter, externa likheter - och vice versa, sid. 105-114 i Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (red.). Kampen om kunskap – akademi och praktik. Stockholm: Santérus Förlag.


Brechensbauer, A., Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2020) Att nå bortom grupptänkandet – ett konststycke! Kommande i Organisation & Samhälle.

Grafström, M., & Jonsson, A. (2020, kommande) Att balansera visionär med konkret: Om gränsobjekts betydelse för kunskapsproduktion i samverkan. Artikel som kommer att skickas till Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift.

Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2020, kommande) Embracing the research-practice gap: Knowledge collaboration through configurational boundary work. I review process för Journal of Management Inquiry.

Jonsson, A., Grafström, M., & Klintman, M. (2020, kommande) Unboxing the black box: Towards an understanding of the knowledge collaboration process between research and practice. Papper som kommer att skickas till Research Policy.

Jonsson, A., Grafström, M., & Klintman, M. (2020, kommande) Organizing cross-sectorial collaborations: Practicing and orchestrating knowledge production within integrated science initiatives. Papper som kommer att skickas till Scandinavian Journal of Management.

Klintman, M, Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Torgilsson, P. University and Society in Collaborative Knowledge Production: Several Schemes – Three Common Crossroads. Papper som kommer att skickas till Science, Technology, and Human Values.



Klintman, M., Grafström, M., & Jonsson, A. (2020) Transdisciplinary knowledge collaboration in water management: Epistemic signaling in an ‘Environmental competency group’ in the UK and an ‘Uncommon dialogue’ in the US. Under granskning för publicering i Scores rapportserie.

Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2017) University-society collaboration on the agenda: The rhetoric of expectations. Papper som presenterades vid NFF konferensen, Bodö, Norge.

Grafström, M., Jonsson, A. & Klintman, M. (2020) Kunskapssamverkan kräver gränser och olikheter. Policytext framtagen för publikation och distribution inom ramarna för forskningsprogrammet Samhällets långsiktiga kunskapsförsörjning.


”Därför är vi mer lyhörda för sådant vi redan tror på”. Intervju med Mikael Klintman i Dagens Nyheter (Insidan, 2020-02-12).

”Ny kunskap krockar alltid med det som redan finns”. Intervju med Anna Jonsson i Tidningen Curie, 2020-01-29.

”Conspiracy Theories and Climate Denial: How to Change the Minds of Climate Deniers and Conspiracy Theorists”. Artikel av Mikael Klintman I den brittiska tidningen The Independent, 2020-01-08).

"Samverkan ett medel - inte ett mål". Intervju med Anna Jonsson i LUM 2019:5.

"Risk för ökad misstro när forskare tvingas förenkla". Debattartikel av Axel Brechensbauer, Maria Grafström, Anna Jonsson & Mikael Klintman i DN 2019-10-20.

"Svenskt näringsliv behöver se bortom sin egen tårtbit". Debattartikel av i Anna Jonsson i DN 2018-08-03.

"Samverkan bortom torghandel och elfenbenstorn". Debattartikel av Maria Grafström, Anna Jonsson & Mikael Klintman i Tidningen Curie 2016-12-12

"Naiva föreställningar om samverkan". Debattartikel av Maria Grafström, Anna Jonsson & Mikael Klintman i DN 2016-11-29.

DELTAGANDE I SAMTAL, SEMINARIER OCH DYLIKT (Aktivitet för att sprida information om vår forskning):

Frukostsamtal om samverkan. Anna Jonsson och Maria Grafström medverkar i panelsamtal, arrangerat av Ideell Arena och Vetenskap & Allmänhet, Stockholm, den 3 juni 2020.

Vetenskapssocietetens 100-årsjubileum, Anna Jonsson medverkar med anledning av essän ”Samverkan: Konsten om att veta och skapa tillsammans”. Lund, den 6 maj 2020.

Samverkanskonferens vid Lunds universitet, Anna Jonsson modererar samtal om utmaningar och möjligheter med samverkan. Lund, den 22 april 2020.

Temadag om faktaresistens i vården, Maria Grafström medverkar med föredrag om samverkan och medialisering, Örebro Region län, Örebro, 3 april, 2020.

Samverkan och kampen om kunskap med Maria Grafström hos Misum, Handelshögskolan, Stockholm den 14 februari 2020.

Samverkan och kampen om kunskap med Anna Jonsson vid UniLinks styrelsemöte, KTH, Stockholm den 21 januari 2020.

Samverkan och kampen om kunskap med Anna Jonsson hos LU Futura, Lunds universitet, Lund den 5 november 2019.

Oslipat med bland annat Mikael Klintman, Babel, Malmö den 8 november 2019.

Outreach and collaboration - for whom and for what purpose, föreläsning och workshop med Anna Jonsson & Maria Grafström på Företagarforskarskolan, Umeå universitet, 24 oktober 2019

Kampen om kunskap: Akademi och praktik, boksläpp och panelsamtal med Anna Jonsson, Axel Brechensbauer, Maria Grafström & Mikael Klintman, Score, Stockholm, 22 oktober 2019.äpp-vid-score-kampen-om-kunskap-akademi-och-praktik-1.450479

Från samtal till samverkan, medverkan av Anna Jonsson i VA-dagen, Stockholm, 8 oktober 2019.

Kampen om kunskap: Akademi och praktik, samtal och bokpresentation på flera scener av Axel Brechensbauer och Anna Jonsson vid Bokmässan, Seriescenen, Forskartorget, Santérus Förlag, Göteborg, 27 september 2019.

Civilsamhällsmingel i Ideella trädgården, samtal med Anna Jonsson, Almedalen den 2 juni 2019.

Vetenskap & Allmänhets Kunskapskiosk, samtal med Anna Jonsson, Almedalen den 1 juni 2019.

Samverkan - mellan elfenbenstorn och marknadstorg. Presentation av Maria Grafström och Anna Jonsson, tillsammans med forskningsprogrammet Samhällets kunskapsförsörjning, vid enhetsdag vid Utbildningsdepartementet, Stockholm den 25 januari 2019.

Samverkan - ’verk' eller ’värk’?, presentation av Anna Jonsson vid workshopen Kan man bedriva samverkan kritiskt, och i så fall hur? i Lund, Ekonomihögskolan den 18 december 2018.

Vad ska vi börja med och sluta med för att främja samverkan? panelsamtal med Anna Jonsson vid Forum Tillit Samverkan i Stockholm den 11 december 2018.

Samverkan - ord eller praktik, seminarium med Anna Jonsson vid IVA i Stockholm den 23 maj 2018.

Samverkan bortom torghandel och elfenbenstorn, presentation av Anna Jonsson vid Nätverket för samverkansforskning i Stockholm 24 april 2018.ätverksmöte-180424.pdf

Forskningsbaserat beslutsfattande - är det möjligt?, lunchseminarium med Anna Jonsson och Corinna Kruse (i samarbete med RIFO) i riksdagen 24 januari 2018.

Kunskapsproduktion i samverkan, presentation av Anna Jonsson vid workshop om samverkan, Forte, Stockholm, den 5 december 2017.

Vetenskap och kunskap i praktiken, föredrag av Anna Jonsson hos Region Skåne 24 oktober 2017.

Samverkan i ropet: En diskussion om att verka och veta tillsammans, panelsamtal arrangerat av Anna Jonsson och Maria Grafström vid Företagsekonomiska ämneskonferensen i Malmö 18 oktober 2017.

Samverkan i ropet: Hur förväntas vi nå ut med vår forskning, föredrag av Anna Jonsson vid symposiet Academic skills i Lund 17 oktober 2017.

Vetenskap och kunskap i praktiken, föreläsning och panelsamtal arrangerat av Anna Jonsson i Lund 3 april 2017.
Grant administrator
Stockholm University
Reference number
SEK 3,840,000.00
Long-Term Provision of Knowledge
Business Administration