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.
Beiluch, Karen H.; Bell, Kathleen P.; Teisl, Mario F.; Lindenfeld, Laura; Leahy, Jessica; and Silka, Linda, "Transdisciplinary research partnerships in sustainability science: an examination of stakeholder participation preferences" (2016). Publications. 17.
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
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