Full citation

Swan, J., Bresnen, M., Robertson, M., Newell, S. & Dopson, S. (2010). When Policy Meets Practice: Colliding Logics and the Challenges of 'Mode 2' Initiatives in the Translation of Academic Knowledge.Organization Studies, 31(10-11), 1311-1340.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: The authors use the case study of the UK-based Genetics Knowledge Parks research initiative to reveal the challenges associated with transitioning a research system and its stakeholders from an emphasis on Mode 1 knowledge production to a new focus on Mode 2 knowledge production.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: University

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Policy Makers, Researchers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings

Barriers:

  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. While stakeholders may support the transition, they often need additional time and facilitation to adequately align their thinking, adjust their organizational cultures, and render associated processes and practices compliant.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. When more than one government department is involved, which is often the case, competing mandates (e.g., health’s requirement for applied research, industry’s demand for commercialization and an overall government need to demonstrate legitimate public engagement) or cumulative mandates (as opposed to a joint, over-arching mandate) may challenge the capacity and resources of parties considering the submission of research proposals.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. For example, institutional ethics approval committees, which are typically guided by Mode 1 logic, could find it difficult to respond to research proposals that are structured with Mode 2 logic.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. For example, formal disciplinary boundaries may reinforce Mode 1 knowledge production thinking and practices.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. For example, it may be simplistic to think that system-wide, stakeholder-specific Mode 2 knowledge production could replace all instances of Mode 1 knowledge production. It is more likely that Mode 1 and Mode 2 knowledge production would co-exist and co-mingle, with contradictory logics at play — across and within stakeholder groups. This can lead to ‘artful mobilization’ and ‘taken-for-granted practices,’ where stakeholders commit to Mode 2 knowledge production, but take advantage of contradictions inherent in the co-mingling to reinforce Mode 1 knowledge production
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. For example, research governance bodies, whose practices are often guided by Mode 1 logic, could find it difficult to provide oversight on research proposals that are structured with Mode 2 logic.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. For example, project-related progress reporting, evaluation, and performance assessment criteria for Mode 2 production would be radically different from those currently associated with Mode 1 production.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3
  • Transitioning a public research system and its stakeholders from traditional academically-focused, science-oriented production of knowledge (Mode 1 basic knowledge production — where scientists control their own means of production) to transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge (Mode 2 applied knowledge production — where a collaborative, heterogeneous, multidisciplinary group is involved in production, and often includes potential knowledge users) can be challenging. For example, transitioning to a Mode 2 way of thinking may produce its own internal contradictions that could trigger retrenchment to Mode 1 practices.
    Literature review and case study of the transition from Mode 1 knowledge production to Mode 2 knowledge production.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: KTA Stage 1, KTA Stage 2, KTA Stage 3