Interdisciplinearity LO22606

Winfried Dressler (
Thu, 9 Sep 1999 19:41:37 +0200

Replying to LO22581 --

>Winfried, I am still not clear on what the "problem" is for which
>interdisciplinearity is the "solution."

I guess we are talking about task accomplishment. Some tasks can be
accomplished beautifully within the frame of one discipline - in fact I
can imagine that many disciplines have been created as ways to accomplish
specific tasks. Others not. Like a project manager, one may view
disciplines as ingredients and call a project team "interdisciplinary". If
someone cries for interdisciplinarity, one may ask back what task he is
going to accomplish. Interdisciplinarity as a MEAN - a solution to a
problem with problem being an obstacle to task accomplishment. In
business, we would simply say "cooperate to innovate".

The issue becomes difficult, when thinking about interdisciplinarity
outside the context of problem/solution: does it has an END in itself? Can
build interdisciplinarity be the task? Here I would ask those crying for
interdisciplinarity: Why (motivation) do you what it - if not task
accomplishment (a question good to ask for any task suggested)? I think it
is here, where you can get all sorts of more or less foggy answers.

As I have written in my previous mail, I would listen carefully to find
out whether the motivation is about increasing or reducing
diversity/richness. But thats only how my ears work.

As living in the business world, I need to be attractive to customers. I
see attractiveness two levels (at least): 1. Attractive is what works.
This is the mechanical metaphor. Customer is satisfied, when you work like
a well oiled machine. Give him the products he wants in best quality, on
time at low cost. 2. Attractive is what lives and grows and prospers. This
is where the biological metaphor comes in. Integrating and creating
diversity is essential to this biological metaphor.

I add this, because I remember that you were engaged in discussions on
"living organizations" and you asked a similar question: What is it good
for to think of an organization in terms of a living entity.

My personal answer is: attractiveness (as opposed to dependency).
Attractive is, what ever attracts peoples attention, the most scarce
resource in the world.

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

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