Metagovernance of co-creation in city–university partnerships: How to avoid being stuck in the middle?

Jacob Torfing*, Håkon Sivertsen, Hans Torvatn

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


This article contributes to public administration research on collaborative governance in partnerships by exploring local efforts to metagovern a multi-layered interorganizational collaboration between a city and a university. Hence, to further explore the prospect for developing city–university partnerships (CUP) into local platforms for the co-creation of innovative public value outcomes, we ask: How can metagovernance contribute to aligning different actors and levels in a CUP aiming to enhance public value production? This question is answered based on a mixed-method case study of cutting-edge experiences from the City of Trondheim, Norway, where a transformative partnership was formed in 2017. The main finding is that the efforts to metagovern the CUP are deficient as they fail to prevent it from being stuck in the middle with a tactical level that is disconnected to strategic leadership and has limited operational impact. Some remedial strategies are offered, and the future of CUPs is discussed.
TidsskriftPublic Administration
Vol/bindEarly view
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2024


  • Governance
  • Metagovernance
  • Co-creation
  • University
  • Partnership

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