Transdisciplinary Knowledge Producing Teams: Toward a Complex Systems Perspective
Lotrecchiano, Gaetano R.
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Aim/Purpose Transdisciplinarity is considered as a framework for understanding knowledge producing teams (KPTs). Features of transdisciplinary knowledge producing teams (TDKPTs) are provided using a complex adaptive systems (CAS) lens. TDKPT features are defined and linked to complexity theory to show how team participants might develop skills that more truly express complex adaptive conditions. Background TDKPTs are groups of stakeholder participants tasked with producing knowledge across disciplinary, sectoral, and ecological boundaries. TDKPTs reflect components of complex adaptive systems (CAS) and exemplify how CAS behave and function. Methodology The paper accesses literature from the Science-of-Team-Science (SciTS), complexity theory, and systems theory to construct a typology of the features of TDKPTs. Contribution This paper provides a list of features developed from a diverse body of literature useful for considering complexity within TDKPTs. Findings The paper proposes a series of features of transdisciplinary knowledge producing teams. In addition, the authors identify important skill building aspects needed for TDKPTs to be successful. Recommendations for Practitioners The paper provides a framework by which team functioning can be considered and enhanced within TDKPTs. Recommendation for Researchers The paper suggests categorical features of transdisciplinary teams for research on the collaborative processes and outcomes of TD teams. Future Research Knowledge producing team members need to engage in theoretical, epistemological, and methodological reflections to elucidate the dynamic nature of TD knowledge producing teams. Understanding how conflict, dissonance, and reciprocal interdependencies contribute to knowledge generation are key areas of future research and inquiry.