Close, intensive research collaboration between universities, companies, and the public sector can open up new and different opportunities for qualitative research, and provide analytic and empirical insights that otherwise might be difficult to obtain. The aim of this paper is to explore collaboration as a means of doing research with the intelligence community. Experiences from a research project concerning dilemmas the practitioners face in their organization within the Swedish Armed Forces, serve as a starting point for this reflective discussion. It is argued here that collaboration is suitable when change is required. The mutual learning between the actors feeds into change processes. However, such collaboration raises fundamental ethical issues that are complex and highlight various academic, institutional, and personal perspectives. Collaborations should not be a set of “how-to” recipes, but rather a research activity that can have substantial rewards for researchers and practitioners alike.


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