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Going Beyond Transactions: Frameworks for collaborating in systemic settings

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Learning & Education, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Tom Maiorana

Interdisciplinary collaboration is critical to addressing the extraordinary challenges that are of concern to the systemic design community. Given the importance of such collaboration, especially for ill-defined and unbounded problems, there is surprisingly little training or support to guide designers, academics, and practitioners in framing interdisciplinary collaboration. This lack of scaffolding means that collaborations more often resemble a contractual exchange than shared intellectual work. This paper presents and explores several illustrative examples and articulates two distinct modes of interdisciplinary collaboration: relational interdisciplinary collaboration and transactional interdisciplinary collaboration. A mode can be defined as a way of thinking, doing, communicating, and managing a collaboration. Analysis of these modes is approached through six attributes: the collaborative foundation, power relationships, language and means of expression, approaches to risk, products of the collaboration, and the potential for transformative outcomes. These attributes help distinguish between the two modes and serve to guide organisations in ways to construct and support more effective cultures of collaboration.

KEYWORDS: interdisciplinary collaboration, complex systems, interdisciplinarity, transformative research

RSD TOPIC(S): Learning & Education, Methods & Methodology

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Citation Data

Author(s): Tom Maiorana
Year: 2023
Title: Going Beyond Transactions: Frameworks for collaborating in systemic settings
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/frameworks-for-collaborating
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404
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