Publication details for Professor Sandra BellMarzano, M., Carss, D. & Bell, S. (2006). Working to Make Interdisciplinarity Work: Investing in Communication and Interpersonal Relationships. Journal of Agricultural Economics 57(2): 185-197.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0021-857X, 1477-9552
- DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2006.00046.x
- Keywords: wetlands, conservation, environmental perception, eco-tourism
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
In this paper, we apply qualitative methodologies to explore the practice of interdisciplinary research. The UK's Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) Programme aims to advance understanding of the challenges faced by rural areas through funding interdisciplinary research to inform future policy and practice on management choices for the countryside and rural economies. Addressing the challenges faced by rural areas often requires a combination of different perspectives, involving research to address subjects that may lie beyond the skills of individual researchers. An interdisciplinary approach requires the integration of both data/information and the experiences and perspectives of different people (natural/social scientists, local people and policy-makers). We focus here on the processes involved in making interdisciplinarity work, documenting the experiences, perceptions, ideas and concerns of researchers working in interdisciplinary projects (specifically two EU-funded projects but also the first wave of RELU projects). A key finding from this research is that interdisciplinarity requires conscious effort, time and resources for the development of interpersonal relationships to enhance effective communication and thus successful collaboration.