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FSD3189 Interaction between Knowledge and Decision-Making 2017

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Authors

  • Hellström, Eeva (Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra)
  • Ikäheimo, Hannu-Pekka (Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra)

Keywords

access to information, advice, decision making, information needs, information users, political leaders, right to information, science, science policy, scientific cooperation

Abstract

This study surveyed the interaction between decision-making and knowledge production in Finland as well as the types of development needs that this interaction had at the time of the survey. The study was especially interested in the development of approaches that would help to solve complex challenges facing Finnish society. The survey was part of Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra's "Tieto päätöksenteossa" project. The target population included decision-makers, public officials, researchers and other actors interested in the interaction between knowledge production and decision-making.

First, the respondents were asked to what extent they thought interaction had been successful between knowledge and decision-making, and what types of information and expertise should be utilised more extensively (e.g. scientific studies, extensive opinion polls, academic expertise). The respondents were also presented with a set of attitudinal statements regarding the current state of knowledge production in Finland (e.g. whether a lack of information made it more difficult to solve many problems facing our society, whether expertise based on research was overrated compared with practical experience, and whether knowledge production possibilities facilitated by digitalisation were utilised sufficiently in Finland). Similar statements were presented pertaining to decision-making (e.g. whether the help of experts was used without bias in decision-making and preparatory work, whether decision-makers were able to estimate the quality of provided information and make correct conclusions based on it, and whether too much trust was placed on the objectivity of information in decision-making). The respondents' experiences of the interaction between decision-making and knowledge production were also charted with a set of adjective pairs on a semantic differential scale (e.g. active - passive, tensioned - constructive, one-sided - negotiating).

It was also enquired whether means of advancing the interaction were developed actively in Finland, and what sort of approaches should be developed to assist finding solutions to complex challenges facing our society. In addition, the respondents were asked who should be an active party in the development of cooperation between knowledge production and decision-making. Finally, the respondents were asked what types of measures had already been taken in their organisation, and what measures they had personally taken, to advance this cooperation.

Background variables included the field of the respondent's organisation and the respondent's role in the information provision and decision-making process.

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