Document Type


Publication Title

Sustainability Science


Springer Verlag

Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


Publisher location

Berlin, Germany

First Page


Last Page


Abstract/ Summary

Sustaining coupled natural and human systems requires multiple forms of knowledge, experiences, values, and resources be brought into conversation to address sustainability challenges. Transdisciplinary research partnerships provide the opportunity to meet this requirement by bringing together interdisciplinary scientists with stakeholders in some or all stages of the knowledge production process. However, building partnerships to produce sustainability outcomes is a complex process requiring an understanding of the social psychological and contextual variables impacting partnerships. Here, we explore local government officials’ (LGOs’) preferences for participation in these partnerships. Using data from a statewide survey, we develop a theoretically and empirically derived model to test the relationship between a suite of factors and LGOs’ preferred transdisciplinary partnership style. We find collaboration preferences are influenced by LGOs’ confidence that researchers can help solve problems, experience with researchers, the severity and type of problem(s) occurring in the community, and partner trust. Assessing stakeholder partnership expectations may assist partners with co-designing flexible research processes that address collaboration expectations, foster dialog and social learning among project partners, and that increase the potential of research to influence change.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Bieluch, K.H., Bell, K.P., Teisl, M., Lindenfeld, L.A., Leahy, J., & Silka, L. 2016. Transdisciplinary research partnerships in sustainability science: an examination of stakeholder participation preferences. Sustainability Science, first online: 21 March 2016, pp 1-18

Publisher Statement

©2016 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0360-x


post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.