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The phenomenon of collaboration in a life science network

Torbjörn Friberg (Social Work, Malmö, Sweden)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 11 June 2018

Issue publication date: 16 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to outline the operative meaning of collaboration in a life science network.


Data were collected through participatory observations and interviews between 2014 and 2015. The data presented were derived from field notes from participant observations, interviews and documents within a life science network in the Öresund region (southern part of Sweden and the Copenhagen area).


The findings suggest that collaboration within the life science network should be viewed as a lively, organizational assembly in the process of becoming, in contrast to the idea that it is operating on the basis of organic principles. Collaboration thus could be viewed as consisting of self-subsistent parts (participants and organizations) that are detached and plugged into different collaborative networks.


In the context of the emerging idea of re-building the state welfare system with the economic support of producing and selling knowledge, there seems to be a growing interest, especially from the point of view of policymakers, in the phenomenon of collaboration. This paper offers exclusive ethnographic illustrations into the heterogeneity of collaboration.



Friberg, T. (2019), "The phenomenon of collaboration in a life science network", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 171-184.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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