What is transdisciplinarity?

Having transdisciplinary competencies is important in the 21st century workplace, for integrative practice in research and for productive innovation.

Whilst discipline specific research is essential, a transdisciplinary approach to research aims to provide students with the knowledge and tools to focus on innovation and practical problem solving by taking into account academic knowledge, industry expertise and business context, as well as cultural and social considerations when working on a solution, without elevating any type of knowledge above the other.

It also provides a holistic framework to guide the student through a process of engagement and design of a solution that case studies have shown works best in situations where there are multiple (sometimes contradicting) views and interests to be catered for, and different role-players may have different perceptions of what a quality outcome will be.

Differences in research approaches: (from Haddon, G.H. et.al (eds), Handbook of Transdisciplinary Research, Springer, 2008, pg 33)

Transdisciplinary Research diagram showing connections between disciplines, fields and stakeholders

For more information regarding transdisciplinary research approaches please follow the blog written by various members of our Centre, available at Transdisciplinary Blog and follow the Centre via Twitter.