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A Framing Approach to Cross-disciplinary Research Collaboration: Experiences from a Large-scale Research Project on Adaptive Water Management

Art Dewulf, Center for Organizational and Personnel Psychology (K.U.Leuven)
Greet François, Center for Organizational and Personnel Psychology (K.U.Leuven)
Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Institute of Environmental Systems Research (University of Osnabrück)
Tharsi Taillieu, Center for Organizational and Personnel Psychology (K.U.Leuven)

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Abstract

Although cross-disciplinary research collaboration is necessary to achieve a better understanding of how human and natural systems are dynamically linked, it often turns out to be very difficult in practice. We outline a framing approach to cross-disciplinary research that focuses on the different perspectives that researchers from different backgrounds use to make sense of the issues they want to research jointly. Based on interviews, participants’ evaluations, and our own observations during meetings, we analyze three aspects of frame diversity in a large-scale research project. First, we identify dimensions of difference in the way project members frame the central concept of adaptive water management. Second, we analyze the challenges provoked by the multiple framings of concepts. Third, we analyze how a number of interventions (interactive workshops, facilitation, group model building, and concrete case contexts) contribute to the connection and integration of different frames through a process of joint learning and knowledge construction.

Key words

adaptive management; cross-disciplinary research; framing
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087