Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp 409–422 | Cite as

Analytic and Dynamic Approach to Collaboration: A Transdisciplinary Case Study on Sustainable Landscape Development in a Swiss Prealpine Region

  • Michael StauffacherEmail author
  • Thomas Flüeler
  • Pius Krütli
  • Roland W. Scholz
Original Paper


The involvement of stakeholders and the public in societal decision processes has lately received increased attention. We suggest that appropriate and tailored techniques should be selected and integrated to provide the prerequisites for inclusive involvement depending on the issue, type, goals and phase of the decision process in question, i.e. an analytic, systematic and dynamic approach to collaboration. In a transdisciplinary case study design we integrate diverse analytical methods whereby a process of mutual learning between science and people from outside academia is strived for. Our framework for collaboration is illustrated by a case study on sustainable landscape development in the Swiss prealpine region of Appenzell Ausserrhoden.


Societal decision process Involvement of stakeholders and the public Collaboration Transdisciplinary case study design Sustainable development 



We thank the participants of the workshop “Formalised and Non-Formalised Methods in Resource Management—Knowledge and Learning in Participatory Processes” in Osnabrück, and especially Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Jens Newig and the anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments to earlier versions of this paper. We are grateful to Sebastian Helgenberger for his collection of verbatim statements gathered in his diploma thesis (Helgenberger 2006; see as well Walter et al. 2007).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Stauffacher
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Flüeler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pius Krütli
    • 1
  • Roland W. Scholz
    • 1
  1. 1.ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions, Natural and Social Science InterfaceZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Umweltrecherchen & -gutachtenHausen (AG)Switzerland

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