From practice to collaborative community in interdisciplinary research contexts

Siedlok, Frank and Hibbert, Paul and Silince, John (2015) From practice to collaborative community in interdisciplinary research contexts. Research Policy, 44 (1). pp. 96-107. ISSN 0048-7333

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the debate on the dynamics of the development of practices and their relation to the emergence of collaborative communities of practitioners. Our research is situated in a university that was seeking to promote and stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations through a number of initiatives. We are concerned both with characterizing the practices that make this kind of collaboration possible, and with the emergence of a community that creates and endorses such collaborative practices. Our findings provide insights in relation to two particular questions. First, we report on the development of interdisciplinary practices and the emergence of community, providing insights on how collaborative interdisciplinary work is accomplished in organizations in a repeatable and durable manner. Second, we consider how support interventions undertaken by the university stimulated the development of those practices. We develop theoretical and practical insights in these areas.