Demystifying interdisciplinary qualitative research

Thomas Greckhamer, Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Sebnem Cilesiz, Sharon Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This article seeks to demystify, through deconstruction, the concept of interdisciplinarity in the context of qualitative research to contribute to a new praxis of knowledge production through reflection on the possibilities and impossibilities of interdisciplinarity. A review and discussion of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity leads the authors to formulate and explore the following questions: What is interdisciplinary knowledge? What is it that researchers observe as interdisciplinarity? Why do researchers pursue it? In demystifying interdisciplinarity, the authors focus on the legitimacy of the sign interdisciplinary and the process of (interdisciplinary) knowledge production. After investigating the former, the authors explore the latter by metaphorically mapping the terrain of knowledge production and conclude by proposing that interdisciplinarity, as a sign, may have the function of enabling knowledge-producing organizations to leverage resources by symbolically alluding to desired characteristics of knowledge-production processes whereas, as an act, it may de facto reproduce and maintain the disciplinary organization of knowledge and knowledge production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-331
Number of pages25
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Deconstruction
  • Disciplinarity
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Demystifying interdisciplinary qualitative research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this