Donald Ropes is Professor of Learning and Development in Organisations at Inholland University of Applied Sciences. His research is on learning in complex environments, specifically how we can help people and organisations to become responsive: able to absorb shocks, adapt and thrive in new situations and look for challenges that can be turned into opportunities. For more than ten years, Professor Ropes has been working on advancing Design Science Research as a way to contribute to organisations’ development while at the same time expanding organisational learning theory.
Dr. Grandon Gill holds an AB (cum laude) from Harvard College and an MBA (high distinction) and DBA from Harvard Business School. He is a professor and the Academic Director of the Doctor of Business Administration program at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business. He was also recently elected president of the Informing Science Institute.
Dr. Gill has published more than 60 peer reviewed articles, more than 60 case studies, and has authored or edited 11 books relating to his research in the informing science transdiscipline and in the use of case studies for education and research. Over the past decade he has served as principal investigator on two grants from the National Science Foundation, completed a core faculty Fulbright in South Africa, and received the Gackowski award for his lifetime contributions to informing science research and the Ranulph Glanville award for his research activities.
Dr. Nagib Callaos is the Founding President of the a 32 years old Multi-Disciplinary Organization oriented 1) to solve real life problems which mostly require multi-disciplinary teams and inter-disciplinary research/communication and 2) to synergistically relate all disciplinary and inter-disciplinary departments of the University Simon Bolivar with private and public corporations. He also was the founding president of several organizations on research, development, and technological innovation and, for many years, consultant in Information Systems.
Julie Thompson Klein (Interdisciplinarity: history, theory, and practice, 1990) who, up to our knowledge, wrote the most comprehensive book on Inerdisiuplinarity. About the 40% of the book was used to list her references. With regards to interdisciplinary rigor she wrote: "Interdiciplinary work is often attacked for lacking rigor. However, rigor is not diminished. Rather, it is shifted from disciplinary criteria to a new interdisciplinary objective, to what (Singleton, 1983) a core sense of 'interdisciplinary rigor.' There are no scholarly defined standards for judging interdisciplinary works but Stephen Schneider’s three criteria for disciplinary excellence are quite appropriate. Excellence of interdisciplinary research can be measured in terms of (1) disciplinary clarity, (2) clarity of cross-disciplinary communications, and (3) the utilization and combination of existing knowledge from many fields to help solve a problem or to raise or advance knowledge about a new issue (Shneider, 1977)."
A purpose of this conversational session is to present a very clear way to assure a higher level of rigor in interdisciplinary communication, as related to disciplinary rigor. A main reason why "Interdiciplinary work is often attacked for lacking rigor" is probably because confusing the notions of precision and rigor. Disciplinary rigor is fundamentally based on the respective method and semiotic system. To translate from a disciplinary semiotic system to an inter-disciplinary one requires an additional creativity at the syntactical, semiotic and pragmatic level. This, in turn, potentially requires the creation of analogies (via analogical thinking), metaphors, and similes. These three notions are different and should not be confused or, much less, taken as synonyms. We usually are similar to our parents, but we are no metaphors or analogies of them. Metaphors are expressive tools while, analogies are thinking processes that usually precede and provide input to logical thinking (induction, deduction, abduction, etc.
A second purpose of this conversational session is to provide a first step for a multi-authors article(s), i.e. a collection of short research-essays (1000-2000 words each) which objective us to generate a special issue of the journal, which necessarily should be based on the short essay and on the reflections that might emerge from this conversational session. Among the references in the articles of the special issue of the journal should be included a minimum of references 1) to the collection of short essays, as well to this conversational session and/or to the workshop to be delivered by Professor Donal Ropes in the afternoon (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM), shown below The references to any of the videos may mention the time of the video for which the reference is being made. These references may be based on reflections related to agreeing or disagreeing with them, as well as expanding on the respective reference. If this plan is successful, then, a multi-authored book will be published and, hopefully a series on this very important subject. This would increase the awareness on this issue and, hence, may generate the regulative and synergic cybernetics loops between the disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity. A very general presentation will also be made in this session with regards to this potential and possible cybernetic loop.
Shneider, S. N. (1977). Climate Change and World Predicamentemt: A case Study for inter-Disciplinary Research. Climate Change, 1, 21-43.
Singleton, R. J. (1983). Interdisciplinary Teaching with Humanists: Reflections of a Biological Scientist. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 26 (2), 304-314.
Thompson Klein, J. (1990). Interdisciplinarity: history, theory, and practice. Detroit: Wayne State University Press.