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The SES-Framework as boundary object to address theory orientation in social-ecological system research: The SES-TheOr approach
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Number of Authors: 2
2015 (English)In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 116, 12-24 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social-ecological system (SES) research is inherently cross-disciplinary which can create multiple challenges for building knowledge of SES. Some of these challenges relate to differences in ontological commitments due to theory orientation of individual disciplines. Frameworks, understood as boundary objects, have been suggested as tools for dealing with this type of challenge. This paper investigates this capacity of frameworks taking Elinor Ostroms' SES-Framework as an example. To this aim, we developed a generic approach (the SES-TheOr approach) to promote disclosure and bridge differences in ontological commitments in SES research. We then applied it for examining the use of the SES Framework as boundary object within a small cross-disciplinary research team. We found that the SES Framework provided a useful common reference and starting point for discussing variables but could not fully deal with theory orientation. We conclude by suggesting that this may partly arise due to a tension between two competing SES Framework aims: on the one hand bridging differences in ontological commitments, and on the other hand ensuring a comparative function across cases.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 116, 12-24 p.
Keyword [en]
Theory orientation, SES Framework, Boundary object, Interdisciplinary knowledge integration, Metaframe
National Category
Biological Sciences Economics and Business Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119529DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2015.03.022ISI: 000357754100002OAI: diva2:847858
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-17 Last updated: 2015-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Schlüter, Maja
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Stockholm Resilience Centre
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