In the knowledge economy collaboration between practitioners and academic researchers becomes increasingly important. Practice as well as theory development becomes an important part of the curriculum for both practitioners and researchers. For the collaboration to succeed new roles arise. This study focuses on the roles in the information systems development process, and demonstrates how theoretical knowledge of academic researchers can be integrated in the information systems development process in a new and more refined way through different roles. This study, based on case study methodology, focuses on particularly the roles of the academic researchers within the field of Human Resource management. The objective of the information systems project is to develop a web portal for the purpose of collecting data on human resource practices and processes. The end-users of the portal are both practitioners and academic researchers. The study suggests that the researchers act as mediators through the fulfillment of the roles, which are naturally born out of the Scandinavian approach and the traditional software engineering approach to system development.