The purpose of this paper is to analyse and describe the learning that takes place in the interaction between academics from different disciplines and perspectives in collaboration with practitioners.
The research draws on theories of learning that view it in relation to context, where the most significant features of the learning process concern discerning new aspects of a phenomenon. The study focuses on the workplace learning of researchers in a multidisciplinary programme at the National Institute for Working Life in Sweden (NIWL). Data was collected from semi‐structured interviews. In the analysis the learning experienced was discerned by identifying how the participants spoke of developing and changing in their work as researchers.
The investigation identified five categories of learning of the academics in the multidisciplinary research programme, namely: deepened awareness of perspectives and concepts; practical development; new awareness of one's competences and professional learning process; flexible professionalism and practical usefulness; insights into research and development processes.
The study contributes to an increased understanding of how knowledge production and academics' workplace learning is constituted in multidisciplinary contexts and research programmes involving practitioners from outside academia.
In organising and supporting learning and knowledge exchange in inter‐ or multidisciplinary research programmes with (or without) practitioners, it is essential to be aware of the importance of relational and contextual implications for academics' learning processes.
Karlsson, J., Anderberg, E., Booth, S., Odenrick, P. and Christmansson, M. (2008), "Reaching beyond disciplines through collaboration", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 98-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/13665620810852269Download as .RIS
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