The boundaries between the disciplines have been described as places “where perspectives meet and new possibilities arise” (Wenger 2000:223), and which provide unusual learning opportunities. Furthermore, other writers stress the value of boundary interaction in promoting creation and innovation particularly inside multidisciplinary project teams. Although disciplines are more frequently discussed in the context of higher education, there is little written about the application of boundary concepts in the workplace environment. This paper sets about unraveling some of the concepts surrounding disciplines to see if there is a fit inside the working environment and to provide greater clarity for those organisations wishing to develop increased creativity and learning opportunities for staff. The literature review discusses the nature and territory of disciplines, disciplinary mapping and highlights issues arising from disciplinary interaction. The study took an inductive approach using an ethnographic perspective to data collection and analysis. Interviewing formed the primary data collection method, yielding both qualitative and quantitative data from a cross sectional sample drawn from oil and gas consultancy. The disciplines were mapped to ascertain where the richest learning opportunities lie to underpin the study’s conclusion that boundary interaction held benefits for both employees and organisations and consequently, should be proactively promoted within the workplace.
|Keywords:||Disciplines, Creativity and Innovation, Situated Learning|
Associate Lecturer, Plymouth School of Management, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, UK
Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer), School of Management,, Plymouth Business Schoool, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon, UK