The interdisciplinary needs of organizations

Randolph T. Barker (School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Glenn H. Gilbreath (School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)
Warren S. Stone (School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 1 April 1998


This paper discusses the need for and possible resistance to interdiscplinary education and development in the US business schools today. In‐depth structured interviews were conducted with executives from 12 companies located in the Mid‐Atlantic states of the USA, each of which is included in the Fortune 1000 listing. Interview questions sought input on the appropriateness of recent new hires’ knowledge and skill level to meet organizational demands. Content analysis of interview responses produced five major content themes. These themes indicate that newly hired employees need to possess greater: communication skills in speaking, writing and interpersonal relations; team‐oriented skills; cross‐functional/ interdisciplinary perspective; change receptivity; and intercultural awareness. One approach for meeting these organizational needs and increased interdisciplinary interaction among the faculty is presented.



Barker, R., Gilbreath, G. and Stone, W. (1998), "The interdisciplinary needs of organizations", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 219-232.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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