The challenge of inclusive coproduction: the importance of situated rituals and emotional inclusivity in the coproduction of health research projects

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Previous studies highlight that coproduced research initiatives are influenced by how individuals interact together and that group inclusivity amongst diverse members is crucial. However, it is not fully understood how inclusivity is sustained over time, particularly through routine encounters. Our study examines how coproduction occurs through routine and ritualistic patterns of everyday practices, which have the potential to facilitate sustainable and inclusive research initiatives. Using ethnographic data with four applied health research projects, we explored how everyday rituals generate and sustain inclusivity. Informed by interactional ritual change theory, we identify two types of interlinked inclusivity: relational, individuals routinely engaging together; and emotional, the feeling of being included. The process of producing and maintaining both types requires ongoing reflexivity from members. Groups with sustained inclusivity build interpersonal momentum through situated practices that enable them to mitigate external pressures and internal disagreements. Where groups experience a breakdown in inclusivity, they also experience a loss of momentum that makes them vulnerable to disintegration and collapse. Building and sustaining inclusivity are worked out through everyday interactions and operate as a feedback loop that sustains the cohesiveness of the network and supports coproduction of knowledge.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-248
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number2
Early online date28 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • coproduction of knowledge, inclusivity, interaction rituals, situated practice, sustainability, translational research