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Knowledge transfer at the science-policy interface: How cognitive distance and the degree of expert autonomy shapes the outcome

Anders Broström and Maureen McKelvey
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Maureen McKelvey: Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Department of Economy & Society, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg.

No 441, Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation from Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies

Abstract: This paper analyzes the conditions for successful knowledge transfer between the spheres of science and public policy. It does so by focusing upon the science-policy interface, specifically the processes of direct interaction between scientists and scientifically trained experts on the one hand and agents of policy-making organizations on the other. The paper defines two dimensions – cognitive distance and expert autonomy – which are argued to influence knowledge exchange, in such a way as to shape the outcome. A case study on the implementation of congestion charges in Stockholm, Sweden illustrates how the proposed framework pinpoints three central issues for understanding these processes: 1) differentiating the roles of e.g. a science-based consultancy firm and an academic environment in policy formation; 2) examining the fit between the organizational form of the science-policy interface and the intended goals; and 3) increasing our understanding of when policy makers themselves need to develop scientific competence in order to interact effectively with scientific experts.

Keywords: organizational learning; science-based policy; evidence-based policy; interaction; cognitive distance; congestion charges (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A14 R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 24 pages
Date: 2016-06-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-knm and nep-net
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0441

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