Our Research

The Division of Quality Science is running a number of research projects related to different aspects of sustainability and sustainable destination development. Part of sustainability research is about creating organisations that are sustainable in the long term. Research with a focus on sustainable destination development involves creating destination experiences that enrich the local community economically and socially and minimise the environmental impact.

Research into quality science with a focus on processes and stakeholders is also being carried out at the Division. This includes research into organisational development and maturity, with the goal of an improved sustainability focus and performance.

List of our research projects (link to article further down the page)


Uppsala University’s multidisciplinary Graduate School in sustainable development, located at Campus Gotland, started in January 2021. The principal task of the Graduate School is to conduct research based on major social challenges with a special focus on developing the knowledge required for a smooth transition to living well in a world marked by climate change. The research projects conducted at the Graduate School respond to local sustainability challenges on Gotland. The Graduate School is also integrated into the existing research environment and network in order to guarantee international excellence.

Five research projects are being conducted at the Graduate School with the collaboration of various departments. The Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering is taking part in two of the projects at the graduate school:

  • Sustainable destination development
  • Gotland’s sustainable energy system transition: resources, demand, and planning

Read more about the Graduate School at Campus Gotland.

Current research projects

Lean implementation in service organizations with a focus on ethics and leadership

The Lean improvement and quality model has been developed from the Toyota Production System (now called The Toyota Way) which is still successfully used by Toyota. Lean consists of two principles - Continuous improvement and Respect for the person, principles that together must reduce waste and add value in an organization. Organizations around the world try to achieve the same results as Toyota but most fail. Studies show that achieved results do not meet the expectations set or persist over time. Less than 10% of Lean investments remain after three years. Why is it so difficult to succeed with Lean in the West? - Mia Ljungblom tries to answer that question in her doctoral project.
Read more about the project "Lean implementation in service organizations with a focus on ethics and leadership". 

Sustainable transition in the housing value chain

Building and housing contributes to global warming with 30-50% of CO2 emissions globally, 20-30% in Sweden and the building sector is facing huge sustainability challenge. Common challenges for both industry and academia lies in understanding and defining concepts of sustainability and resource efficiency. This project will develop process and system models to visualize the value chain for housing and propose indicators for effective measurement. A case study on Gotland applies the models in practice and provides a case within the Swedish building industry. This is a doctoral project by Max Rosvall

Quality technology for sustainable development

Much of the organizational development that has taken place over the years, such as large-scale production and global markets, has caused several sustainability problems. This research project focuses on how core values in quality technology can support sustainable development. The starting point is to explain through system views at an overall level how appropriate methodologies and tools linked to quality technology with a main focus on stakeholders and processes can address and improve current business development through an increased focus on sustainable improvement. This is a doctoral project by Gunnar Dahlin

Sustainable arctic cruise communities: From practice to governance

Arctic cruise tourism is an important industry to facilitate blue growth. However, given the negative environmental and societal impacts, our objective is to provide Arctic cruise communities with a toolkit for sustainable cruise tourism development to promote a transition towards sustainable cruise visits and thereby support the development of meaningful livelihoods for residents. We aim to achieve this by studying how cruise stakeholders govern challenges resulting from cruise visits and how they safeguard a sustainable future for Arctic cruise communities. Project member from our division: Ulrika Persson-Fischier.
Read more about the project Sustainable arctic cruise communities on Nord University's website.

Sustainable visits to Rapa Nui: Glocal perspectives

Tourism attraction on Easter Iland.This project explores the relationship between cultural heritage management, legislation, indigeneity and social, economic and environmental issues on Rapa Nui as a major tourist site. Collaborations with Rapanui researchers and local people on the current development of tourism and social, economic and environmental sustainability in Rapa Nui will contribute to an in-depth understanding of local Rapa Nui circumstances, that have relevance for similar issues on a global scale.
Read more about the project on sustainable visits to Rapa Nui.

Cultural heritage in regional development strategies

Fishing cabins on Oland, Sweden.This project explores the role cultural heritage plays in regional development strategies and EU financed project. Previous research indicates that the cultural heritage sector and regional development work according to different logics. The aim of this project is to use a national perspective to explore what effects this has on the possibilities to use cultural heritage for innovations for regional development and smart specialization, for example within the tourism sector. By identifying good examples we will spread knowledge that can increase the possibilities of the sector.
Read more about the project on cultural heratage in regional development strategies.

Sustainable tourism in the new normal

Hotel reception in time of Covid-19. The world is facing a serious crisis, and the tourism business is one of the worst hit industries. The covid-19 pandemic has enforced a halt to the world´s frenetic travelling, and offered us a possibility to reflect over our choices, an invitation to tourists and the industry to rethink our possibilities and to adjust to more sustainable practices in the new normal that will come after covid 19. The aim with this project is to take the experiences generated by tourism companies during the pandemic, to develop new knowledge to reach a more sustainable development of tourism after the crisis.
Read more about the project on sustainable tourism in the new normal.

Teaching Entrepreneurship for Sustainability

Coins on a table and above a hand holding a small plant in soil.This project studies the intersection between entrepreneurship and sustainability, as they are addressed in higher education. In a collaboration between Uppsala university, Nord universitet in Norway and Rijksuniversitet Groningen in the Netherlands, we investigate where strategies for entrepreneurship and sustainability coincide, strengthen and create synergies, and where – possibly – they divert or even contradict one another. We explore pedagogical theories, best practices as well as create a teaching module, test run and evaluate it.
Read more about the project "Teaching Entrepreneurship for Sustainability".

VAMOS: Virtual exchange to tackle wicked problems: Latin American and European collaboration on education for sustainable development

Symbols for the 17 sustainability goals floating around earth globe.VAMOS brings together eight universities and one NGO for an exchange of good practice in internationalization, virtual teaching and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The consortium will develop a virtual course in which students from all partner universities will work with the local/global sustainability issues (Wicked Problems). Main objective: To build capacity for innovative international collaboration and joint learning, with a focus on learning spaces for ESD and for virtual exchange (VE) courses/projects addressing SDG issues.
Read more about the VAMOS-project.

Fishing for sustainability

This project investigates the conditions for sustainable fishing tourism on Gotland. Ulrika Persson-Fischier explores how other stakeholders than commercial tourism actors (subsistence fishers) view fishing, to understand the conditions for social acceptance of commercial recreational fishing, and hence sustainable fishing tourism on Gotland.

Read more about the project "Fishing for sustainability".

More research areas/projects

  • Sustainable business and management systems
  • Synergies between quality enhancement and sustainable development from a process-based systems perspective
  • Quality development in higher education
  • The use of quality science working methods and tools in organisations
  • The importance of organisational learning and learning processes for skills development
  • Quality development and sustainable development models
  • Research into leadership, communication, change and project management and group dynamics
  • Sustainable construction materials
Last modified: 2021-09-22