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Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4760; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124760

Collaboration between Heterogeneous Practitioners in Sustainability Research: A Comparative Analysis of Three Transdisciplinary Programmes

1
KWR Watercycle Research Institute, P.O. Box 1072, 3430 BB Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
2
Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
3
Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, Kolffpad 1, 2333 BN Leiden, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 10 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 13 December 2018
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Abstract

There is wide agreement about the importance of transdisciplinary research to address complex sustainability issues. Although there is a growing body of literature about the management of transdisciplinary research programmes as well as the challenges relating to the collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners, empirical research has to date paid little attention to the challenges related to the variation of practitioners involved in these programmes. This paper presents a comparative analysis of three transdisciplinary programmes addressing climate change and sustainability and identifies factors that contribute to fruitful collaboration between heterogeneous practitioners. Contrary to what could be expected from the literature, differences between the practitioners involved have only created significant issues in one of the programmes, and this programme has developed a way to cope with this difficulty. Effective strategies to avoid and limit tensions among practitioners include a focus on bilateral collaborations, the careful selection of programme participants, and the appointment of dedicated project monitors who are responsible for social learning processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: transdisciplinarity; practitioners; programme management; collaboration transdisciplinarity; practitioners; programme management; collaboration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hessels, L.K.; De Jong, S.P.; Brouwer, S. Collaboration between Heterogeneous Practitioners in Sustainability Research: A Comparative Analysis of Three Transdisciplinary Programmes. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4760.

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