Interdisciplinary research area on collaboration

MDU is currently taking the next step with its collaboration profile by establishing a new interdisciplinary research area in collaboration. Research on and about collaboration is unusual, even though collaboration is key in the academic world. Through this initiative, MDU will both enhance and disseminate knowledge about collaboration while at the same time boosting the University's profile.

Since September 2023, work has started on developing an interdisciplinary research area for collaboration. This is a university-wide research initiative and it will be developed through internal and external collaboration and in an international context. The research will focus on developing knowledge about collaboration, unlike all the excellent research and education that takes place in collaboration with others. Societal challenges cannot be solved in isolation and collaboration is a prerequisite for finding new innovative solutions to current and future challenges. The research area will focus on (1) organisation, management and controlling collaboration and its consequences, (2) impact, and results and (un)desired consequences of collaboration, as well as (3) theories and innovative methods for the scholarly study of collaboration.

An important part of the effort is to create what is known as a Community of Practice where practitioners and researchers meet in a joint knowledge and interest arena for shared learning and achieve knowledge exchange between parties from academia, civil society, the private and public sectors and politicians.

What's underway

  • Call for funding proposals. At the start of 2024, there will be a call for proposals to apply for funding for pilot projects within the three focus areas or funds to make applications for research funding related to collaboration and co-production.

  • During the spring of 2024, we will establish our knowledge and interest arena where practitioners and researchers can meet for shared learning and achieve knowledge exchange on collaboration between parties from academia, civil society, the private sector, the public sector and politicians.
  • Research cooperation with Emma Bell, international visiting research fellow and Professor of Organisation and Leadership at The Open University, UK. She is being funded by the Knowledge Foundation (KK-Stiftelsen) and greatly contributes to the research area with her expertise, networks and research on collaboration. The School of Business, Society and Engineering (EST) at MDU and Professor Lucia Cervani are also cooperating with this initiative.