Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems: when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?

Gabriele Bammer, Michael O’Rourke, Deborah O’Connell, Linda Neuhauser, Gerald Midgley, Julie Thompson Klein, Nicola J. Grigg, Howard Gadlin, Ian R. Elsum, Marcel Bursztyn, Elizabeth A. Fulton, Christian Pohl, Michael Smithson, Ulli Vilsmaier, Matthias Bergmann, Jill Jaeger, Femke Merkx, Bianca Vienni Baptista, Mark A. Burgman, Daniel H. WalkerJohn Young, Hilary Bradbury, Lynn Crawford, Budi Haryanto, Cha aim Pachanee, Merritt Polk, George P. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Expertise in research integration and implementation is an essential but often overlooked component of tackling complex societal and environmental problems. We focus on expertise relevant to any complex problem, especially contributory expertise, divided into ‘knowing-that’ and ‘knowing-how.’ We also deal with interactional expertise and the fact that much expertise is tacit. We explore three questions. First, in examining ‘when is expertise in research integration and implementation required?,’ we review tasks essential (a) to developing more comprehensive understandings of complex problems, plus possible ways to address them, and (b) for supporting implementation of those understandings into government policy, community practice, business and social innovation, or other initiatives. Second, in considering ‘where can expertise in research integration and implementation currently be found?,’ we describe three realms: (a) specific approaches, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking and sustainability science; (b) case-based experience that is independent of these specific approaches; and (c) research examining elements of integration and implementation, specifically considering unknowns and fostering innovation. We highlight examples of expertise in each realm and demonstrate how fragmentation currently precludes clear identification of research integration and implementation expertise. Third, in exploring ‘what is required to strengthen expertise in research integration and implementation?,’ we propose building a knowledge bank. We delve into three key challenges: compiling existing expertise, indexing and organising the expertise to make it widely accessible, and understanding and overcoming the core reasons for the existing fragmentation. A growing knowledge bank of expertise in research integration and implementation on the one hand, and accumulating success in addressing complex societal and environmental problems on the other, will form a virtuous cycle so that each strengthens the other. Building a coalition of researchers and institutions will ensure this expertise and its application are valued and sustained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalPalgrave Communications
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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Bammer, Gabriele ; O’Rourke, Michael ; O’Connell, Deborah ; Neuhauser, Linda ; Midgley, Gerald ; Klein, Julie Thompson ; Grigg, Nicola J. ; Gadlin, Howard ; Elsum, Ian R. ; Bursztyn, Marcel ; Fulton, Elizabeth A. ; Pohl, Christian ; Smithson, Michael ; Vilsmaier, Ulli ; Bergmann, Matthias ; Jaeger, Jill ; Merkx, Femke ; Vienni Baptista, Bianca ; Burgman, Mark A. ; Walker, Daniel H. ; Young, John ; Bradbury, Hilary ; Crawford, Lynn ; Haryanto, Budi ; Pachanee, Cha aim ; Polk, Merritt ; Richardson, George P. / Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems : when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?. In: Palgrave Communications. 2020 ; Vol. 6, No. 1.
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abstract = "Expertise in research integration and implementation is an essential but often overlooked component of tackling complex societal and environmental problems. We focus on expertise relevant to any complex problem, especially contributory expertise, divided into ‘knowing-that’ and ‘knowing-how.’ We also deal with interactional expertise and the fact that much expertise is tacit. We explore three questions. First, in examining ‘when is expertise in research integration and implementation required?,’ we review tasks essential (a) to developing more comprehensive understandings of complex problems, plus possible ways to address them, and (b) for supporting implementation of those understandings into government policy, community practice, business and social innovation, or other initiatives. Second, in considering ‘where can expertise in research integration and implementation currently be found?,’ we describe three realms: (a) specific approaches, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking and sustainability science; (b) case-based experience that is independent of these specific approaches; and (c) research examining elements of integration and implementation, specifically considering unknowns and fostering innovation. We highlight examples of expertise in each realm and demonstrate how fragmentation currently precludes clear identification of research integration and implementation expertise. Third, in exploring ‘what is required to strengthen expertise in research integration and implementation?,’ we propose building a knowledge bank. We delve into three key challenges: compiling existing expertise, indexing and organising the expertise to make it widely accessible, and understanding and overcoming the core reasons for the existing fragmentation. A growing knowledge bank of expertise in research integration and implementation on the one hand, and accumulating success in addressing complex societal and environmental problems on the other, will form a virtuous cycle so that each strengthens the other. Building a coalition of researchers and institutions will ensure this expertise and its application are valued and sustained.",
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Bammer, G, O’Rourke, M, O’Connell, D, Neuhauser, L, Midgley, G, Klein, JT, Grigg, NJ, Gadlin, H, Elsum, IR, Bursztyn, M, Fulton, EA, Pohl, C, Smithson, M, Vilsmaier, U, Bergmann, M, Jaeger, J, Merkx, F, Vienni Baptista, B, Burgman, MA, Walker, DH, Young, J, Bradbury, H, Crawford, L, Haryanto, B, Pachanee, CA, Polk, M & Richardson, GP 2020, 'Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems: when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?', Palgrave Communications, vol. 6, no. 1, 5. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-019-0380-0

Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems : when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened? / Bammer, Gabriele; O’Rourke, Michael; O’Connell, Deborah; Neuhauser, Linda; Midgley, Gerald; Klein, Julie Thompson; Grigg, Nicola J.; Gadlin, Howard; Elsum, Ian R.; Bursztyn, Marcel; Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Pohl, Christian; Smithson, Michael; Vilsmaier, Ulli; Bergmann, Matthias; Jaeger, Jill; Merkx, Femke; Vienni Baptista, Bianca; Burgman, Mark A.; Walker, Daniel H.; Young, John; Bradbury, Hilary; Crawford, Lynn; Haryanto, Budi; Pachanee, Cha aim; Polk, Merritt; Richardson, George P.

In: Palgrave Communications, Vol. 6, No. 1, 5, 01.12.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems

T2 - when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?

AU - Bammer, Gabriele

AU - O’Rourke, Michael

AU - O’Connell, Deborah

AU - Neuhauser, Linda

AU - Midgley, Gerald

AU - Klein, Julie Thompson

AU - Grigg, Nicola J.

AU - Gadlin, Howard

AU - Elsum, Ian R.

AU - Bursztyn, Marcel

AU - Fulton, Elizabeth A.

AU - Pohl, Christian

AU - Smithson, Michael

AU - Vilsmaier, Ulli

AU - Bergmann, Matthias

AU - Jaeger, Jill

AU - Merkx, Femke

AU - Vienni Baptista, Bianca

AU - Burgman, Mark A.

AU - Walker, Daniel H.

AU - Young, John

AU - Bradbury, Hilary

AU - Crawford, Lynn

AU - Haryanto, Budi

AU - Pachanee, Cha aim

AU - Polk, Merritt

AU - Richardson, George P.

PY - 2020/12/1

Y1 - 2020/12/1

N2 - Expertise in research integration and implementation is an essential but often overlooked component of tackling complex societal and environmental problems. We focus on expertise relevant to any complex problem, especially contributory expertise, divided into ‘knowing-that’ and ‘knowing-how.’ We also deal with interactional expertise and the fact that much expertise is tacit. We explore three questions. First, in examining ‘when is expertise in research integration and implementation required?,’ we review tasks essential (a) to developing more comprehensive understandings of complex problems, plus possible ways to address them, and (b) for supporting implementation of those understandings into government policy, community practice, business and social innovation, or other initiatives. Second, in considering ‘where can expertise in research integration and implementation currently be found?,’ we describe three realms: (a) specific approaches, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking and sustainability science; (b) case-based experience that is independent of these specific approaches; and (c) research examining elements of integration and implementation, specifically considering unknowns and fostering innovation. We highlight examples of expertise in each realm and demonstrate how fragmentation currently precludes clear identification of research integration and implementation expertise. Third, in exploring ‘what is required to strengthen expertise in research integration and implementation?,’ we propose building a knowledge bank. We delve into three key challenges: compiling existing expertise, indexing and organising the expertise to make it widely accessible, and understanding and overcoming the core reasons for the existing fragmentation. A growing knowledge bank of expertise in research integration and implementation on the one hand, and accumulating success in addressing complex societal and environmental problems on the other, will form a virtuous cycle so that each strengthens the other. Building a coalition of researchers and institutions will ensure this expertise and its application are valued and sustained.

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