Create the right conditions

What?

The people who participate in a joint knowledge production projects have very varied backgrounds. As a result, the significance of various issues and problems concerning the focus of the project is evaluated differently, and assumptions and competences differ. It cannot, therefore, be taken for granted that the team will work together smoothly and effectively merely by meeting and beginning to talk.

How?

I. Create favourable preconditions for cooperation
In order to be able to work effectively, we need to feel respected and to respect others, for everyone's specific competence. We need to develop a feeling that the project group is a "secure framework" to be in. Everyone must also agree with allotted roles and responsibilities, and accept decision-making procedures and norms and rules which apply to work in the project.

II. Pay attention to, and support, interaction in the group
For constructive interaction to take place, we need to develop open and trusting communication which helps us to focus the work on a manageable number of tasks which are worked through in a sensible order. Learn to deal with conflicts and differences of viewpoint as they arise.

III. Produce knowledge
One major task consists of formulating problems and issues, designing work plans, gathering and analysing information/data and drawing conclusions. This work normally requires expert competence, but in a group consisting of practitioners and researchers, where the purpose is joint knowledge production, this task is dependent on a process of collaborative learning. The big challenge is that of finding ways to integrate and incorporate contributions from a number of different perspectives in a way that benefits the whole project.

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