A vibrant core culture based on collegial cooperation

One of the premises of Strategy 2030 is that we need to take seriously the signs of a weak shared internal culture and a lack of common purpose. A strong sense of community (what we call our “we-ness”) is needed to be able to take on the evolving demands of a changing world.

Researchers, teachers or administrators – we’re all part of Karolinska Institutet. If we’re to maintain a university of the highest possible standards and meet the challenges facing scientific and academic endeavour, we need to have effective cooperation between individuals, groups and operational units based on a common set of values. In other words: we need each other.


By creating opportunities for a solid sense of community at KI, both as a whole and for our different operational units, we also make possible a vibrant core culture. But to achieve this, we need well-developed collegial collaboration.

Actions carried out or planned with the aim of achieving a greater sense of  "we" and a living set of values at KI

Recruitment, introduction, internal courses and development work

  • Recruitment, preboarding and onboarding - Common process for recruitment and induction of new employees including an interactive induction day based on the core values.
  • In leadership development, KI-wide collaborations have been expanded and deepened. Leadership programmes and individual initiatives are based on KI's mission, values and Strategy 2030. Programmes and leadership development initiatives are designed to foster cross-professional and cross-business forums for dialogue and learning. Content is jointly designed and is based on the shared challenges of the activities and professions.
  • To further stimulate peer exchange and inter-organisational learning, cross-cluster networks and joint management and leadership development activities are planned.
  • Trust-based leadership and co-management in practice and a focus on flexible working.
  • HR work is clearly anchored in the core values. Ongoing activities both at central HRA and local HR
  • Special training for teachers and education managers (programme managers, GUAs, etc.) on values and students.

Proven methods to support managers and change leaders

  • "Train the trainer" - internal efforts to raise skills and promote learning in facilitation, large group methodology and coaching approaches..

Support for management and operations

  • The importance of values and internal culture in a complex reality.
  • Offering support to organisations in the context of their own development work and on-demand business planning.
  • Work environment - dialogue on the importance of work environment work for a sense of 'we' and a living set of values.
  • Working group initiated to coordinate work on internal culture, ethics, quality and values
Some of KI’s managers on Karolinska Institutet’s advanced management programme (KIHLP). Collegial learning, dialogue on complexity and situational leadership.

About “we-ness” and collegial cooperation

The concept of collegiality is key to us at KI. It means that while KI is a public authority, we have collegial decision-making and academic autonomy. It denotes healthy internal debate in the interests of maintaining high academic standards and, above all, the relationship between colleagues at KI as a whole, that we at KI contribute generously to each other’s professional development. It is a working community in which we lead each other and engage in fruitful discussion to create strong, closely-knit environments for our research, education and support activities.

Collegiality means that colleagues are attentive, caring and respectful towards each other. We cooperate frictionlessly and independently coordinate ourselves into collective units without being told to do so. We can adapt to shifting and complex conditions. Collegiality means that we show an interest in each other at KI. We generously share what we can with our colleagues. We solve problems together and engage with each other. Cooperation and collaboration are essential ingredients of research and education.

“We-ness” is based on values of collegiality that lead to smooth-running cooperation and collaboration, which extend further within KI as a whole than within one’s own team. It’s also about a greater “We”: pride in KI and what we achieve together. The concept of “we-ness” can be defined as follows: A cohesive and interwoven system of practices, legal principles, ethical norms, identities and psychological mechanisms that interact to enable collegial cooperation and collaboration.

Karolinska Institutet´s value statements