A framework to explain the role of boundary objects in sustainability transitions
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 2020, 36 34-48. 10.1016/j.eist.2020.04.010
Our modern society is characterized by increasing diversity and complexity, leading to over-whelming challenges like climate change or environmental degradation. These problems areposing impracticable ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest among an expanding range ofinstitutional logics. While this cognitive, ideological, scientific, and political diversity can re-present a major barrier for the collaborative work that sustainability transitions require, it is alsoa necessary resource for innovation and adaptation. It is then natural to wonder how diversityand collaboration among institutional logics can be accommodated and balanced. In this article,we develop a framework to explain the role ofboundary objects in sustainability transitions(BOISTframework), which describes how ambiguous artefacts (boundary objects) can be deliberatelyemployed by actors to drive transitions through bridging conflicting logics without constrainingtheir diversity. The applicability of the framework is demonstrated with an in-depth case study ofthe Copenhagen municipality’s transition to more sustainable stormwater management.