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Working to Make Interdisciplinarity Work: Investing in Communication and Interpersonal Relationships

Marzano, M.; Carss, D.; Bell, S.


M. Marzano

D. Carss


In this paper, we apply qualitative methodologies to explore the practice of interdisciplinary research. The UK's Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) Programme aims to advance understanding of the challenges faced by rural areas through funding interdisciplinary research to inform future policy and practice on management choices for the countryside and rural economies. Addressing the challenges faced by rural areas often requires a combination of different perspectives, involving research to address subjects that may lie beyond the skills of individual researchers. An interdisciplinary approach requires the integration of both data/information and the experiences and perspectives of different people (natural/social scientists, local people and policy-makers). We focus here on the processes involved in making interdisciplinarity work, documenting the experiences, perceptions, ideas and concerns of researchers working in interdisciplinary projects (specifically two EU-funded projects but also the first wave of RELU projects). A key finding from this research is that interdisciplinarity requires conscious effort, time and resources for the development of interpersonal relationships to enhance effective communication and thus successful collaboration.


Marzano, M., Carss, D., & Bell, S. (2006). Working to Make Interdisciplinarity Work: Investing in Communication and Interpersonal Relationships. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 57(2), 185-197.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2006
Deposit Date Jul 19, 2007
Journal Journal of Agricultural Economics
Print ISSN 0021-857X
Electronic ISSN 1477-9552
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 2
Pages 185-197
Keywords Wetlands, Conservation, Environmental perception, Eco-tourism.