The other side of the boundary: Productive interactions seen from the policy side
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The literatures on productive interactions and related frameworks depict impact processes as collaborative efforts to permeate various boundaries between research and societal stakeholders. However, the impact literature is biased towards looking at these processes from the researcher side. This paper analyses policymakers’ interactions with researchers and the different forms of boundary work that ensue, which contributes to improved understanding of the stakeholder side of interactions. Our point of the departure is the interactions related to Research and development (R&D) units and their networks in the central administration in Norway. Using in-depth interviews with twenty-two civil servants in the field of welfare policy, we show how the combination of competitive and collaborative modes of boundary work makes interactions productive. Because research is a strategic asset in the policy domain, control over knowledge production and autonomy to decide when to follow the evidence (or not) is a central feature of knowledge work in policy organisations.