Interdisciplinary Research Team Dynamics

Revision with unchanged content. This book investigates communication and collaboration in an inter­disciplinary academic research team. The author uses grounded practical theory and a systems perspective to identify structures, processes and dilemmas influencing collective communication competence and capacity for collaboration in a team. The communication structures include: trust, pre­sence, humor, encounter talk, language, boredom, challenging statements and reflexive talk. The structures influence four communication processes: debating expertise, shared learning and language use, shared vision and interdisciplinary products. The team also encountered four communicative dilemmas or tensions: selecting measurement sites, negotiating the tension between simplicity and complexity, negotiating the tension between social and natural science paradigms, and learning how to write collaboratively. The author used participant observation and qualitative methodology to identify the structures, processes and dilemmas. The ethnographic analysis was the basis for a systems model of interdisciplinary team dynamics. The systems model is a reflective communication tool for interdisciplinary team members and facilitators and provides a dynamic understanding of communication and collaboration behaviors embedded in interdisciplinary research teams.
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