Publication: Foraging for Transdisciplinary Challenges - Emergent Industrial Themes (TE2021)

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Although transdisciplinary approaches are gaining popularity within academia to what extent are they used and applied within industry? A paper presented by Dr Emily Carey during TE2021 details a study which looks to understand the significance of transdisciplinarity in an industrial context.

Abstract. This paper presents our findings from thirteen industrial interviews, to investigate the significance of transdisciplinarity (TD) in an industrial context. Thus to gain insight into the resilience of industrial manufacturing in rapidly changing environments and establish what enabling or disabling practices may currently exist. The interviews were conducted as an initial part of a wider case study approach being undertaken by the TREND research team and were semi-structured in format. We present the background and research questions being addressed and outline our exploratory research approach. The analysis of interview transcriptions is provided answering our research questions and identifying any emerging themes. Of the industry interviews, only five interviewees had heard of the term TD, the definition of TD varied between companies and did not align with the primordial system of Jantsch’s work. A number of focal enabling and disabling industrial themes emerge from the interviews and related discourse such as the positive and negative human contribution(s) and growing global teams involved in manufacture. For industry to be resilient and meet rapid technological and societal change, these themes should be core for manufacturing solutions. Secondary studies should investigate industrial literature and collaborate with engineering industries to test any potential TD interventions.

For a short video presentation of the paper please click here.

For an overview of the TREND project please click here.

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