When Neighboring Disciplines Fail to Learn from Each Other: The Case of Innovation and Project Management Research

47 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018

See all articles by Andrew Davies

Andrew Davies

University College London

Stephan Manning

University of Sussex Business School

Jonas Söderlund

University of Linkoping

Date Written: February 2018

Abstract

As knowledge production becomes more specialized, studying complex and multi-faceted empirical realities becomes more difficult. This has created a growing need for cross-fertilization and collaboration between research disciplines. According to prior studies, the sharing of concepts, ideas and empirical domains with other disciplines may promote cross-fertilization. We challenge this one-sided view. Based on an analysis of the parallel development of the neighboring disciplines of innovation studies and project management, we show that the sharing of concepts and empirical domains can have ambivalent effects. Under conditions of ideological distancing, shared concepts and domains will be narrowly assimilated – an effect we call ‘encapsulation’ – which creates an illusion of sharing, while promoting further self-containment. By comparison, reflexive meta-theories and cross-disciplinary community-building will enable a form of sharing that promotes cross-fertilization. Our findings inform research on research specialization, cross-fertilization and effectiveness of interdisciplinary collaboration.

Keywords: knowledge specialization, interdisciplinarity, encapsulation, meta-theories, ideological distancing, community-building

JEL Classification: M51, M54, M55, L82, J24, J44, J62, L14, D23, Z13, Z19, M11

Suggested Citation

Davies, Andrew and Manning, Stephan and Soderlund, Jonas, When Neighboring Disciplines Fail to Learn from Each Other: The Case of Innovation and Project Management Research (February 2018). Research Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3132518

Andrew Davies

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Stephan Manning (Contact Author)

University of Sussex Business School ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

Jonas Soderlund

University of Linkoping ( email )

Överstegatan 30
S-581 83 Linkoping
Sweden

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
82
Abstract Views
602
rank
306,040
PlumX Metrics