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  • 1.
    Gustafsson, Åsa
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Johansson, Jimmy
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Forestry and Wood Technology.
    Salinas, Miguel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Realization of a higher education interdisciplinary program2016In: Lärarlärdom 2016: Högskolan Kristianstad / [ed] Claes Dahlqvist, Stefan Larsson, Kristianstad University Press , 2016, p. 55-69Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For most companies and organizations there is a need to employ graduates with interdisciplinary skills. Hence it becomes important for universities and teaching institutions to graduate students with this knowledge. At the same time there is need for universities and teaching institutions to position itself in relation to its competitors. This is an apparent challenge for universities and teaching institutions, as developing and offering interdisciplinary programs requires them to break the normal traditional university structure involving different faculties applying different operating models. However, by succeeding with this, universities will create a competitive advantage over their competitors.

    At Linnaeus University, Sweden, an interdisciplinary program called Innovation through Business, Engineering and Design involving three faculties has been developed.  The program was initiated in 2011 and began in 2014 with 15 students. The program is dimensioned for about 30 students, ten from each faculty. This paper reports on the realization of the program and the resources needed to do this. Knowing the resource requirements is necessary in order to make correct decisions regarding program development and to avoid decisions on invalid grounds. Knowing the activities to be performed is an essential pre-requisite for resource planning. Consequently the purpose of this paper is to identify organization roles and activities as well as the resources required in order to realize an interdisciplinary program.

    The paper is empirical in nature and data has been collected using interactive research. Interactive research stresses the researchers (i.e. the authors) joint learning together with other members of the development group and the other actors involved. 

    The paper concludes that in order for a realization to take place organizational roles (such as project leader and product coordinators), and activities such as creating deliverable document and schedule are necessary. The differences between a single-disciplinary program and a multidisciplinary program lies rather in the complexity and time management of performing the activities needed then in the actual performing. There is primarily a need for human capital, as the suitable faculty members are needed, as well as there is a need financial capital.

  • 2.
    Salinas, Miguel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Creativity through interdisciplinary environments – improving innovation in students’ teams2018In: Cumulus Conference Proceedings Wuxi 2018: Diffused Transition & Design Opportunities / [ed] Zhang Linghao, Lam Yanyan, Xiao Dongjuan, Gong Miaosen, Shi Di, China: Jiangnan University , 2018, p. 419-430Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Creativity is a human activity focused on the generation of new ideas or production of new products. It requires an exploration of possible alternatives; the more the ideas the more the chances to find something completely new or radical. Thus, innovation’s focus is the implementation of creativity (Mumford, 2012).

    Training creativity processes in multidisciplinary students’ teams depends on the teams’ performance during both the divergent and convergent phases. Studies on effectivity in teams done among others by Kozlowski and Ilgen (2006), has showed that certain factors interrelated with a team’s performance, affect creativity and innovation. Paulus and Dzindolet have integrated these studies in a model summarizing these factors (Mumford, 2012). The framework enables an understanding of what restrains the divergent phase and helps developing strategies for improving the performance of multidisciplinary teams.

    Innovation through collaborative creativity in interdisciplinary environments has become one of the most important aspects for educating agents of sustainable change. Creativity and innovation depends on factors that influence the divergent phase, where fluency, flexibility and originality are expected within the divergent phase of a creative problem solving process (Mumford, 2012). The questions are: why students in multidisciplinary teams tends to end the divergent phase too early? What is affecting the teams’ creativity when different categories of knowledge are articulated. The goals of this study are to contribute with improving the interaction of different disciplines as well as to articulate what changes are necessary for improving creativity in a interdisciplinary environment as part of educational programs towards innovation.

    Using quality research methods data is gathered from courses’ evaluations, team member’s individual reflections and semi-structures interviews. The model suggested by Paulus and Dzindolet is used to distribute the data according to the parts related to the team, task and situational variables, and variables related to team processes. The interpretation of the data and the analysis of the patterns leads to conclusions which can improve the conditions in a multidisciplinary team while performing creative work in academy.

    The study shows certain conditions inherent to academy work are affecting the divergent phase such as conflicts in solving the task, as students’ focus in on both creativity for the projects and academic work at the same time; a too big teams’ workload and the writing of a report as a priority before creativity; the language barrier –differences in the English language proficiency as well as differences in the professional language of the members of a multidiciplinry team. The result have led to a revision of the educational program which now is implementing changes. 

    The study of collaborative creativity will continue researching the role of the teachers as leaders of interdisciplinary environments. Members in multidisciplinary team assume different roles but students not always can solve conflicts inside the team, affecting their motivation and performance during the creative phase. Thus the teachers’ academinc role needs to be completemented with the one of a leader using leadership practices that facilitate creativity and innovation (Puccio, 2011)

  • 3.
    Tham, Mathilda
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design. Goldsmiths University of London, UK.
    Arvidsson, Anna-Karin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Blomqvist, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Bonja, Susanne
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Hyltén-Cavallius, Sara
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Håkanson, Lena
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Salinas, Miguel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Sterte, Marie
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Ståhl, Ola
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Svensén, Tobias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Victor, Ole
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Design.
    Metadesigning Design Research: How can designers collaboratively grow a research platform?2016In: Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference, Brighton: Design Research Society, 2016, p. 1412-1430, article id 275Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    ‘How can we design a meaningful and relevant research platform that will support futures of sustainability?’ was the question guiding the two-and-a-half-year- long, co-creative and emergent metadesign process of establishing a new research platform at the Department of Design, Linnaeus University, Sweden. The meta focus on developing a whole research environment, as a design practice and design research endeavour, should be valuable for the design research community. Findings concern the viability of co-creative approaches in such a remit, negotiations of artistic/scientific research conventions, and the design institution’s position in the multi-disciplined university. The research has identified tensions and conflicts between the academic institution and construct, and the application of ontologies, epistemologies and methodologies deemed auspicious for sustainability endeavours. The paper itself is a collaborative effort between eleven of the researchers involved in developing the research platform.

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