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Valuing the project: A knowledge-action response to network governance in collaborative research

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    Rights statement: © 2016 The author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
JournalPublic Money & Management
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


The delegation of research to self-directed networks is a relatively new strategy to focus academic endeavour on public priorities. Networks involve policymakers, knowledge producers and knowledge users in unfamiliar governance and management relationships. Here we reflect, as practitioners, on research networks as complex governance systems and on their projects as knowledge-action systems designed to deliver public value. Projects represent the currency in which delegated research is issued, but their conversion into monetary grants and awards diverts attention from their potential as boundary organisations or communities of practice in the production of societal knowledge and understanding. Recognising and supporting projects as scalable components of enduring knowledge-action systems, rather than as transient instances of research funding, is key to sustaining delivery of public value under conditions of network governance.

    Research areas

  • boundary organisations , communities of practice, Networks, complex governance systems, knowledge-action systems, collaborative research, projects

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