Interdisciplinary knowledge integration through group model building: recognizing dualities and triadizing the conversation

J. Hovelynck, A. Dewulf, G. Francois, T. Taillieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As part of the inquiry into managing an interdisciplinary research process on adaptive water governance, we investigated the process of group model building (GMB) and, more specifically, the role of Unified Modeling Language (UML) in this process. An analysis of group interaction reveals several tensions in the process of knowledge integration, which can be grouped into three overarching dualities: ‘simplicity versus complexity’, ‘constraining versus containing’ and ‘defining versus refining’. As group members take different positions with regard to these dualities, these represent sources of tension and potential ‘stuckness’ of the GMB. Hence the question arises how the group can manage duality in ways that take the GMB beyond its opposing forces. We suggest that knowledge integration processes may benefit from early recognition of the dualities at hand and strategies aimed at creating ‘thirdness’, including some suggestions on the concrete forms such ‘thirdness’ may take
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-591
JournalEnvironmental Science & Policy
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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