There is wide agreement about the importance of transdisciplinary research to address complex sustainability issues. Although there is a growing body of literature about the management of transdisciplinary research programmes as well as the challenges relating to the collaboration between academic researchers and practitioners, empirical research has to date paid little attention to the challenges related to the variation of practitioners involved in these programmes. This paper presents a comparative analysis of three transdisciplinary programmes addressing climate change and sustainability and identifies factors that contribute to fruitful collaboration between heterogeneous practitioners. Contrary to what could be expected from the literature, differences between the practitioners involved have only created significant issues in one of the programmes, and this programme has developed a way to cope with this difficulty. Effective strategies to avoid and limit tensions among practitioners include a focus on bilateral collaborations, the careful selection of programme participants, and the appointment of dedicated project monitors who are responsible for social learning processes.
- programme management
- INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH