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Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research

Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research

Edited by:

Explore the many facets of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration

July 2013 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Enhancing Communication & Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research, edited by  Michael O'Rourke, Stephen Crowley, Sanford D. Eigenbrode, and J. D. Wulfhorst, is a volume of previously unpublished, state-of-the-art chapters on interdisciplinary communication and collaboration written by leading figures and promising junior scholars in the world of interdisciplinary research, education, and administration. Designed to inform both teaching and research, this innovative book covers the spectrum of interdisciplinary activity, offering a timely emphasis on collaborative interdisciplinary work. The book’s four main parts focus on theoretical perspectives, case studies, communication tools, and institutional perspectives, while a final chapter ties together the various strands that emerge in the book and defines trend-lines and future research questions for those conducting work on interdisciplinary communication.

Stephen Crowley, Sanford D. Eigenbrode, Michael O'Rourke, & J. D. Wulfhorst
Chapter 1. Introduction
Julie Thompson Klein
Chapter 2. Communication and Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research
Part I. Theory
Rick Szostak
Chapter 3. Communicating Complex Concepts
Daniel Stokols
Chapter 4. Training the Next Generation of Transdisciplinarians
David A. Stone
Chapter 5. Beyond Common Ground: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Interdisciplinary Communication and Collaboration
Robert Frodeman
Chapter 6. Interdisciplinarity, Communication, and the Limits of Knowledge
Part II. Case Studies
Sarah E. Cornell & Jenneth Parker
Chapter 7. Rising to the Synthesis Challenge in Big-program Interdisciplinary Science: The QUEST Experience
Ardyth H. Gillespie & Guan-Jen Sung
Chapter 8. Enhancing Interdisciplinary Communication: Collaborative Engaged Research on Food Systems for Health and Well-being
Casey Hoy, Ross MacDonald, Benson Lee, & Steve Bosserman
Chapter 9. Discourse Communities, Disconnects, and Digital Media: The Case of Relocalizing Economies for Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Systems
Paul E. Griffiths & Karola Stotz
Chapter 10. Conceptual Barriers to Interdisciplinary Communication: When Does Ambiguity Matter?
Part III. Tools
Chris Looney, Shannon Donovan, Michael O'Rourke, Stephen Crowley, Sanford D. Eigenbrode, Liela Rotschy, Nilsa A. Bosque-Perez, & J. D. Wulfhorst
Chapter 11. Seeing through the Eyes of Collaborators: Using Toolbox Workshops to Enhance Cross-Disciplinary Communication
Wayde C. Morse
Chapter 12. Integration of Frameworks, Theories, and Models across Disciplines for Effective Cross-Disciplinary Communication
Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Stuart Blythe, Arika Ligmann-Zielinska, & Sandra Marquart-Pyatt
Chapter 13. Modeling as a Tool for Cross-Disciplinary Communication in Solving Environmental Problems
Part IV. Contexts
Michael M. Crow & William B. Dabars
Chapter 14. Interdisciplinarity as a Design Problem: Toward Mutual Intelligibility among Academic Disciplines in the American Research University
M. Duane Nellis
Chapter 15. Defining 21st Century Land-Grant Universities through Cross-Disciplinary Research
Maura Borrego, Daniel Boden, David Pietrocola, Carol F. Stoel, Richard D. Boone, & Melur K. Ramasubramanian
Chapter 16. Institutionalizing Interdisciplinary Graduate Education
L. Michelle Bennett & Howard Gadlin
Chapter 17. Supporting Interdisciplinary Collaboration: The Role of the Institution
Part V. Conclusion
Gabriele Bammer
Chapter 18. From Toolbox to Big Science Project: A Bold Proposal

"This book integrates a number of issues within interdisciplinary studies in new and interesting ways.  It makes highly theoretical material accessible with an engaging style that is scholarly without being stuffy.  The author is clearly well versed in science, philosophy, and higher education and achieves a balance across that learning. One of its great strengths is its explanations of very complex theoretical issues in language that it is possible for a well-educated person to understand without a disciplinary background in philosophy.” 

Betsy Greenleaf Yarrison
University of Baltimore

“The breadth is one of its strengths. There are a large number of approaches that include analysis of quantitative data, very detailed case studies, philosophical analysis, perspectives of administration and organization of universities, and collaborations between researchers and community members outside academia, just to name a few. These varied approaches force readers to think beyond the perhaps narrow aspects of interdisciplinary communication that affect their own research or teaching or programs. That is a welcome challenge.”

Angela Hunter
University of Arkansas at Little Rock

“The text is extensively researched and well organized.  The author/authors have also managed to bring in historical elements in higher education, as well as current thinking in the field.”

Dr. Gladys Palma de Schrynemakers
Long Island University Brooklyn Campus

Too high level for my students

Dr Sandra Handwerk
public administration, Albany State University
January 7, 2015
Key features


  • End-of-chapter "Take-home Messages" sections allow readers to compare their interpretation of the chapter’s main themes with the authors’ interpretation and support critical thinking about key arguments.
  • Summaries at the beginning of each chapter orient readers to the message of the chapter, making it easier for them to work their way through the chapter.
  • Introductions for the volume as a whole and the parts provide valuable information concerning the book’s arguments and perspectives.
  • Thematic parts help instructors mix and match the content of the book to fit the needs of their course, allowing for multiple trajectories through the chapters depending on how they prioritize theory, case studies, tools, and institutional contexts.
  • A web-tethered component gives readers access to additional resources, including the Toolbox instrument described in Chapter 11.

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