Norwegian version

INTEGRATE - Pathways to work

With INTEGRATE we are building a core research group aimed at developing research-based and user-focused knowledge about coordinated assistance to enable integrated and coherent pathways to work for groups on the margins of the labour market.

Coordination is needed between public services and employers because the workplace is the key to employment. Coordination is also needed between health services and labour and welfare services because somatic, mental and vocational rehabilitation often are parallel, not sequential, processes. Finally, coordinated assistance involves collaboration with the marginalized individuals themselves.

The core group involves researchers from OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, in collaboration with relevant user groups and international experts from acknowledged institutions in Europe and beyond. INTEGRATE is linked to OsloMet's Centre for Work Inclusion (KAI), established in partnership with the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Service.

To stay up-to-date on our work see our blog (

Heads of research group

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  • More about the research group

    INTEGRATE has both research goals and capacity building goals. In the first phase, capacity building has been prioritised, such as recruiting PhD and postdoc researchers, collaborating with the international expert panel and engaging internationally renowned researchers in adjunct positions. In addition, we have established a longitudinal database, surveyed the research field, and organised a conference on service integration and work inclusion.

    Our research is organized in eight work packages that include different theoretical perspectives and methodical considerations. Hence, we answer questions about coordination and collaboration across professions and organizations from several research traditions such as Integrated Care, Public Administration, Organizational networks, and Inter-organizational collaboration. The following examples illustrate some of the perspectives used to describe organizations and collaborations:

    Public Value Theory assist in understanding the institutional innovations required to convene an appropriate authorizing structure for handling global wicked problems, like forced migration. Likewise, Service Design is applied as a practical approach to innovation in public service organisations. It provides insight into how service users perceive and experience services, which then can be a source for improvements and innovation.

    Differing views on what counts as valuable knowledge can make dialogue and collaboration difficult when it comes to development of research-based knowledge about interventions to increase labour market participation of marginalized groups. In social policy discussion concerning activation for example, the focus is on supply-side approaches, directed towards jobless individuals. Less attention is given to demand-side approaches aimed at engaging employers, or to combined workplace-oriented approaches from the field of disability policy and vocational rehabilitation.

    By viewing them as coupled, these approaches could form a more comprehensive base for further development of labour market integration. Such a combined approach, called ‘support side approach,’ more clearly outlines the kind of competence needed at the workplaces in inclusion processes of vulnerable citizens, and puts heavier emphasis on interaction between the workplaces and the support system.

    A practical perspective concerns support provided at the workplaces. Success in integration of immigrants for example require distributed competence, meaning that several types of competence participate in a professional community based on trust and respect. Better understanding these collaborative practices could avoid that the various bodies involved largely operate as silos. These different perspectives are some examples of how INTEGRATE consider issues related to collaboration across and within services, professions and organisations from multiple angles.

  • Members

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    • Core group

      INTEGRATE's core group is interdisciplinary and transverse and contributes new knowledge to develop education programs, service innovation, and policy.

      The core group consists of

      • Espen Dahl, Professor of Health and Social Policy, OsloMet. Disciplines: Sociology, health inequality, effect evaluation, social and welfare policy analysis, comparative research, and quantitative methods.
      • Tone Alm Andreassen, Professor at the Centre for Professional Studies, OsloMet. Disciplines: organizational science, public services, political reforms and implementation, interorganisational relations, and the involvement of users.
      • Ivar Lødemel, Professor, OsloMet. Disciplines: social work, comparative and international social policy, poverty, and activation.
      • Kjetil A. van der Wel, Professor of Social Policy, OsloMet. Disciplines: sociology, social differences in work, and health and comparative social policy analysis.
      • Sølvi Helseth, Professor, OsloMet. Disciplines: nursing science, health care, quality of life, children, youth, pain, mixed methods, complex interventions, and online interventions.
      • Øystein Spjelkavik, Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Labour Research (AFI), OsloMet. Disciplines: sociology, inclusion in the labour market, supported employment, and employer perspective.
      • Eric Breit, Research Professor at the Norwegian Institute of Labour Research (AFI), OsloMet. Disciplines: organizational science, organizational change, political reforms, and implementation.
      • Rolf Rønning, Professor of Social Policy at the Centre for Innovation in Services, INN. Disciplines: social policy, public services, public innovation, user-driven innovation, and service dominant logic.
      • Ira Malmberg-Heimonen, Professor of Social Policy, OsloMet. Disciplines: Evidence-based practice, program assessment, randomised controlled trials, and program theory.
      • Trond Petersen, Professor at the University of California, Berkely and Professor II at OsloMet. Disciplines: organisations, social stratification, inequality, comparative studies, and quantitative methods.
      • Åsmund Hermansen, Associate professor of social work and social policy at OsloMet. Disciplines: Political science, inclusive working life, effect evaluation, social and welfare policy analysis, comparative research, and statistical modelling.
      • Mette Sønderskov, researcher at Østlandsforskning, INN. Disciplines: Innovation in public services, democratic and political innovation, co-creation, local political leadership, organisation and management of welfare services, and qualitative methods.
      • Anne Grete Tøge, Senior Researcher, Institute of Labour Research, Centre for Welfare, and Labour Research, OsloMet. Disciplines: Social policy, social work, health inequality, effect evaluation, quantitative methods, panel data and longitudinal methods.

      Postdocs and ph.d. fellows

      • Line Fossum Skogstad, Ph.D.-fellow at the Centre for Professional Studies. Disciplines: Sociology, work and health, interorganisational cooperation, implementation, and qualitative methods.
      • Therese Saltkjel, Postdoctoral fellow at INTEGRATE and Associate Professor of Social Work. Disciplines: Social policy, comparative social policy analysis, and quantitative methods.
      • Marie Rønshaugen
      • Anurajee Rasalingam
      • Brita Aasprang, Ph.D.-fellow at the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy, OsloMet. Disciplines: Social policy, sociology, inclusion in the labour market and quantitative methods.
      • Andreas Roaldsnes, Ph.D.-fellow at Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen. Roaldsnes is invited to assist with quantitative analysis of NAV-data. Disciplines: quantitative methods, children’s cultural participation and public interventions.
      • Marthine Thøgersen, Ph.D. Fellow at the Centre for Professional Studies.
      • Hege Hesselberg, Ph.D. Fellow at the Centre for Professional Studies.
      • Francis Adu-Mensa, Ph.D. Fellow at the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy.
      • Julie Ulstein, Ph.D. fellow at the Work Research Institute, OsloMet. 
      • Erik Oftedal, Ph.D. fellow at the Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS).
      • Johanna Gustafsson, postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS).
    • User panel

      The Centre for Work Inclusion (KAI) and the research group INTEGRATE have a joint user panel consisting of representatives from several relevant national organisations. The user panel is important for ensuring interdisciplinary cooperation and contact with the practice field in the further development of KAI and INTEGRATE.

      • Inger Elisabeth Salvesen - City Council Department for the Elderly, Health and Social Services, Section for Work, Health and Welfare, Oslo Kommune
      • Torhild Stimo - Fontenehuset Norge
      • Johan Lothe - Leader of Wayback
      • Joachim Sagen - Norsk revmatikerforbund (NFR)
      • Kjersti Bratlien - Chairman of LAR –Nett Norge (LNN)
      • Elin Stoermann-Næss - Norwegian Cancer Society
      • Wenche Steen - Leader, NAV Asker
      • Solrun Rørvik - Supervisor, NAV Asker
      • Reidar Mysen - NTL NAV (Oslo NTL)
      • Inger Anne Speilberg - County Director, NAV Akershus
      • Michael Falck - Business Growth Strategist, Tege IA 
      • Elisabeth Erlandsen - Administration Director, Spir Oslo
      • Gry Gundersen - Adviser, LO Norway
      • Ann Torill Benonisen Indreeide - Special Adviser, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise - NHO
      • Marte Buås - Senior Adviser, Virke
      • Maj Sandum Thrane - SENO Norge (Union)
      • Egle Juodziukynaite - Student Parliament, OsloMet – storbyuniversitetet
      • Lena Heitman -Project Leader, Helse Stavanger HF, Stavanger University Hospital
      • Kari Saastad - Spekter, IA Council, Oslo og Akershus
      • Nada Andelic - Oslo University Hospital
      • Kathrine Haugland Martinsen - Norwegian Union of Social Educators and Social Workers (FO)
      • Nina Furuvald - Psychiatric Nurse, Vinderen DPS – distriktspsykiatriske senter
      • Nita Steinung Dahl - Adviser, Kompetanse Norge
      • Helene Ugelstad - Department Manager, Fagsenteret for NAV Hjelpemidler og tilrettelegging
      • Marianne Løvstad - Sunnaas Rehabilitasjon Hospital
      • Stian Reinertsen - NAPHA, Kompetansesenter for psykisk helsearbeid
      • Bodil Myhr - CEO, Friskgården Stjørdal
      • Ole Petter Gravningen - Department Manager, NAV arbeid og ytelser ved NAV Vestfold
      • Ann Kristin Løe - Gruppen for forskning- og utdanning, NAV Sør-Trøndelag
      • Binh Nguyen - Senior Adviser, Integration and Diversity Directorate - IMDi
      • Jan-Kåre Berglid - NAV Gjerdrum
    • Work Packages

      The research activities in INTEGRATE are organized in eight different work packages (WP). These apply different academic perspectives, approaches and research methods concerning individuals, workplaces, and services in a common aim of refining and testing theories about factors that affect pathways to work.

      Work package eight ensures integration between the other subprojects' research topics and perspectives, lay the foundation for development, and ensure transferability of research results. In all project areas, new research is developed in cooperation with relevant partners from areas such as labour and welfare services, health services and employers.

      WP 1) Integrated roads to work? Life cycle for individuals

      The work package is led by Associate Professor Åsmund Hermansen of the Faculty of Social Sciences at OsloMet. The aim of the sub-project is to study how different factors (in the form of institutions, configurations of service deliveries and the labour market) contribute to variations in inclusion for marginalised in the labour market.

      WP 2) Integration of employers in the work of inclusion

      The work package is led by Senior Researcher Øystein Spjelkavik at the Norwegian Institute of Labour Research (AFI) at OsloMet. The aim of the sub-project is to create new knowledge about the role of the workplace in the inclusion process based on an understanding of the workplace as an arena for qualification and integration.

      WP 3) Organization of integrated services

      The work package is led temporarily by Research Professor Tone Alm Andreassen at OsloMet. The aim of the sub-project is to study key organisational mechanisms that contribute to or inhibit integrated services aimed at including marginalised groups in the labour market. The focus is on exploring interdisciplinary and inter-organisational coordination of pathways to work through analytical approaches from organizational theory.

      WP 4) Opportunity for individuals to manage illness or disability

      The work package is led by Professor Sølvi Helseth of the Faculty of Health Sciences at OsloMet. The aim of the sub-project is to promote quality of life and participation in education, work, and community for people with long-term health challenges by identifying needs, as well as developing and testing methods to support them and their families in handling these challenges. The target-group are people in different age groups with varying needs, and with a broad spectrum of health-challenges.

      WP 5) Integration of users in collaboration on service development

      The work package is led by Researcher Mette Sønderskov at Østlandsforskning, INN. The aim is to develop applicable models to include marginalised groups in the labour market. It is based on a "service-dominant logic" in which "service" is created in the interaction between service users and service providers.

      WP 6) Integration that works? RCT studies of complex interventions

      The work package is led by Professor Ira Malmberg-Heimonen of the Faculty of Social Sciences at OsloMet. The aim of the sub-project is to initiate research projects where quality studies (RCT) of complex interventions will be set up to evaluate the effects of key components of efforts to achieve coordinated assistance for work inclusion.

      WP 7) Innovative research design in integrated services studies

      The work package is led by Professor Trond Petersen of the University of California, Berkely. Petersen is also Professor II at OsloMet. The aim of the work package is to develop and test innovative ways to use administrative data and link data on individual life cycles to data about organisations (e.g. Workplaces or service providers) and location and regions (e.g. Municipalities, labour market regions, administrative regions).

      WP 8) Management of the core group and integration across research topics

      The work package is led by Professor Tone Alm Andreassen and Professor Espen Dahl at OsloMet. The aim of the work package is to lead the development process of the core group and ensure that capacity building targets are achieved. The work package will ensure that the group is well prepared to develop, search and carry out INTEGRATE's research projects and ensure cooperation with international experts. Ivar Lødemel, who has extensive expertise in comparative welfare policies and extensive international research networks, will be a valuable resource in internationalisation.

    • Collaborators

      International cooperation is an important and integral part of INTEGRATE. It is organized through a panel of international experts. In addition, Professor Trond Petersen of the University of California, Berkeley, leads work package seven. Furthermore, the project will focus on recruiting international candidates for Professor II positions and further development of already established networks and research collaborations between institutions and researchers.

      The international expert panel consists of well-known researchers and represents important research traditions, including in the organization of services and integrated care to marginalized groups.

      The INTEGRATE expert panel consists of: 

    • Essential works