Fostering interdisciplinarity through research platforms? Institutional work as mediating organizational innovations in universities
Dr. Johan Munck af Rosenschöld
Date Monday, June 3, 5.00 pm – 6.30 pm
Location B07.1.207 (Lakeside Park, -> https://campusplan.aau.at/)
Abstract: Interdisciplinarity is playing an increasingly important role in contemporary scientific research and research policy. Universities have responded to the policy demand for interdisciplinary research by implementing a range of measures, such as changing rules, norms, and incentives for working across disciplinary boundaries and experimenting with novel organizational solutions. To gain a better understanding of how interdisciplinary collaborations are realized in universities in practice, an approach that addresses the institutional dimensions of interdisciplinarity is of central importance. In this paper, we build on an empirical case study of a Finnish university that recently created a number of temporary research platforms in order to promote interdisciplinary research collaboration across the university’s schools. The aim of the paper is to explore the different types of institutional work occurring inside and outside these temporary platforms to mediate the push for interdisciplinary collaboration within the university. The paper traces the practices occurring in platforms and uncovers actors’ attempts to affect the existing institutional order across permanent and temporary organizations.
Johan Munck af Rosenschöld is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. He has been a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Cornell University. At present, he is also a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Science Communication and Higher Education Research at the AAU. Johan is currently involved in the research project “Interdisciplining the university – Prospects for sustainable knowledge production” (funded by the Academy of Finland) that empirically studies the implications of organizational innovation to promote interdisciplinarity in a Finnish university. During his visit to AAU, he closely collaborates with Martina Merz (WIHO) who is a cooperation partner in this research project and other members of the WIHO.
The visiting fellowship is financially supported by the AAU Research Council.