An institutional perspective on programme integration

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Integration is an approach used in practical evidence-based policy development to learn and share insights between different disciplines, models, policy arenas, methods, audiences, researchers and policy makers. The aim of this article is to use an institutional perspective to investigate an integrative research programme, the Murray-Darling Basin Futures Collaborative Research Network based at the University of Canberra, Australia, analysing the actors, resources and rules used to deliver integration outcomes. This innovative examination of integration provides some new insights for the integration literature as well as for policy makers and academics involved in integration programmes. Specifically the paper identifies that both the formal and informal rules are significant in facilitating the process of integration across research teams, themes and projects. The case study highlights the merits of multiple integration activities structured to encompass diverse integration approaches, modes of communication, actors and media across both social and cognitive outcomes. It also identifies that the set of necessary institutional conditions for integration (i.e. favourable institutional arrangements, suitable integrating framework and available resources) are not sufficient for delivery unless values and behaviour and incentives for action are also achieved.

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Pearson, L. J., Norman, B., O’Brien, P., & Tanton, R. (2017). An institutional perspective on programme integration. Policy Studies, 38(5), 418–431.

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