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Researchers’ approaches to stakeholders: Interaction or transfer of knowledge?

Journal article
Authors Å Knaggård
Daniel Slunge
Anders Ekbom
Maria Göthberg
U. Sahlin
Published in Environmental Science and Policy
Volume 97
Pages 25-35
ISSN 1462-9011
Publication year 2019
Published at Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Pages 25-35
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2019.03...
Keywords Environmental scientists, Interaction model, Knowledge use, Science-society interface, Stakeholder interaction, Transfer model, article, human, interview, scientist
Subject categories Theory of science, Climate Research

Abstract

Stakeholder interaction is important for enabling environmental research to support the societal transition to sustainability. We argue that it is crucial to take researchers’ approaches to and perceptions of stakeholder interaction into account, to enable more clarity in discussions about interaction, as well as more systematic interaction approaches. Through a survey and focus group interviews with environmental researchers at three Swedish universities, we investigate the effects of two models of stakeholder interaction, as well as high and low levels within each. The ‘transfer model’ implies that interaction is understood as communication and should be separated from research. The ‘interaction model’ implies that interaction happens throughout the research process. Our study shows some significant differences between researchers in the two models, but also between high and low levels of stakeholder interaction regardless of model. The result indicates that the transfer model needs to be considered in studies and practice of stakeholder interaction, but also that the low levels of the interaction model consists of a number of different types of approaches. The major difference between the two models was about how large researchers understood the benefits and risks with stakeholder interaction to be. Transfer researchers saw interaction as a threat to the integrity of research, whereas interaction researchers saw it as enabling research. © 2019 The Authors

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