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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter assesses the accommodation of interdisciplinarity in the American research university in terms of the reflexive relationship between knowledge production and its institutional context. Although the tacit assumption in academic culture is that institutional frameworks have already been optimally configured to facilitate knowledge production, the process remains defined by the traditional correlation between academic disciplines and departments, and, more broadly, the filiopietism and isomorphism that impede the development of new models for the set of research universities. Entrenchment in discipline-based departments mirrors an academic culture that prizes individualism over teamwork and the discovery of specialized knowledge over problem-based collaboration. An overview of theoretical approaches and relevant models in this context precedes a brief historical survey of the institutional accommodation of interdisciplinarity. The chapter issues a call for mutual intelligibility among academic disciplines, and concludes with a case study.

Keywords: research university, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, discipline, knowledge production, organizational theory, department, culture, isomorphism, collaboration

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