Title: Handling cross-disciplinary conflicts for innovation: two action cases facilitated by artefacts

Authors: Zulfiqar Ali; Hongyi Sun

Addresses: Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong ' Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Abstract: Collective thinking accelerates the process of problem-solving in unconventional and innovative ways, but very few cases were reported. The purpose of this study is to explore cross-disciplinary collaboration, the emergence of conflicts during cross-disciplinary interactions and the role of artefacts to accelerate the process of innovation. Using two academic case studies observed and analysed by ethnography and active participation methodology to study the iterative collective thinking process and conflicts handling. It is found that cross-disciplinary teams engulf with conflicts due to divergent thinking and cross conversation. It is also found that artefacts help to converge the group thinking and enable cross-disciplinary collaboration. This paper provides real-life cases in higher education especially on how to practically handle and leverage cross-disciplinary conflicts for innovation. In this study, only small groups were observed and most of the team members were from Europe. Future research with more groups and people from more places can be conducted.

Keywords: conflict; cross-disciplinary collaboration; artefacts; innovation; collective thinking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIIE.2019.101765

International Journal of Innovation in Education, 2019 Vol.5 No.3, pp.237 - 249

Available online: 15 Aug 2019 *

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