ERIC Number: ED201235
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Researcher Roles and the Organization of Interdisciplinary Groups. R&D for Higher Education, 1980:7.
Tornebohm, HaKan; And Others
Perspectives on interdisciplinary research are considered in terms of project planning, the choice of problem-solving approach, the research field, project organization, informal organization, and integration of knowledge. Interdisciplinary studies were investigaged through following a number of research projects by means of field trips, occasional participation in the projects themselves, interviews of researchers, and studies of internal working reports. The most important project has been "The Ecology of the Coniferous Forest Landscape" (at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Ultuna, Uppsala). It is suggested that careful preparation is particularly important where interdisciplinary research is concerned, since a connection between background knowledge, problems, field of inquiry, and methods must be established. One difficulty is that the researchers' preconceived notions of the research field (e.g., the level at which interesting mechanisms affecting tree growth are assumed to exist in the ecosystem) are not always clearly pronounced. It has been recognized in the Conifer Landscape project that organizational changes have to be made in step with cognitive development. The change undergone by the project organization can be described in terms of the following processes: a joint venture of participants from various disciplines; awareness of difficulties involved in transcending subject boundaries; and reorganization into subgroups, according to the research problems in hand. A good pilot model of the research topic is essential for the integration of the work done by the various groups. (SW)
Descriptors: Coordination, Foreign Countries, Group Dynamics, Higher Education, Interdisciplinary Approach, Organizational Effectiveness, Problem Solving, Program Development, Research Design, Research Needs, Research Problems, Research Projects, Scientific Methodology
National Swedish Board of Universities and Colleges, R&D Unit, P.O. Box 45501, S-104 30 Stockholm, Sweden.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Swedish Board of Universities and Colleges, Stockholm. Research and Development Unit.