IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Interdisciplinarity: A complexity approach towards academic research


  • Adriana Zaiț
  • Constantin Bratianu
  • Elena‐Mădălina Vătămănescu
  • Andreia Gabriela Andrei
  • Ioana Alexandra Horodnic


Placing the issue of interdisciplinarity within a complexity framework, the current paper aims to explore different facets of interdisciplinary research (IDR). The theoretical and empirical analysis revolves around the main factors influencing IDR abilities and achievements, that is, the propelling context, attitude and further awareness of thinking and acting across boundaries in order to reach viable solutions to complex problems. On purpose to test the inferred relationships, the study relies on a questionnaire‐based survey conducted with 214 early‐career researchers from interdisciplinary departments or enrolled in interdisciplinary projects. The findings revealed that both attitude and context are important for rising researchers' awareness, in forming their abilities and reporting interdisciplinary achievements, the structural model explaining 51.9% in the variation of interdisciplinary research abilities and 17.1% in the variation of the researchers' interdisciplinary outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Adriana Zaiț & Constantin Bratianu & Elena‐Mădălina Vătămănescu & Andreia Gabriela Andrei & Ioana Alexandra Horodnic, 2021. "Interdisciplinarity: A complexity approach towards academic research," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(3), pages 294-306, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:srbeha:v:38:y:2021:i:3:p:294-306
    DOI: 10.1002/sres.2783

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Julie Thompson Klein, 2006. "Afterword: the emergent literature on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research evaluation," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 75-80, April.
    2. Huutoniemi, Katri & Klein, Julie Thompson & Bruun, Henrik & Hukkinen, Janne, 2010. "Analyzing interdisciplinarity: Typology and indicators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 79-88, February.
    3. Alan L. Porter & Alex S. Cohen & J. David Roessner & Marty Perreault, 2007. "Measuring researcher interdisciplinarity," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 72(1), pages 117-147, July.
    4. Constantin BRATIANU, 2015. "Developing Strategic Thinking in Business Education," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 3(3), pages 409-429, September.
    5. Constantin Bratianu & Simona Vasilache, 2010. "A factorial analysis of the managerial linear thinking model," International Journal of Innovation and Learning, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(4), pages 393-407.
    6. Joanna Ejdys & Leonas Ustinovičius & Jelena Stankevičienė, 2015. "Innovative application of contemporary management methods in a knowledge-based economy - interdisciplinarity in science," Journal of Business Economics and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 261-274, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Rafols, Ismael & Leydesdorff, Loet & O’Hare, Alice & Nightingale, Paul & Stirling, Andy, 2012. "How journal rankings can suppress interdisciplinary research: A comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1262-1282.
    2. Bratianu Constantin, 2020. "From Thermodynamic Entropy to Knowledge Entropy," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 14(1), pages 589-596, July.
    3. Solomon, Gregg E.A. & Youtie, Jan & Carley, Stephen & Porter, Alan L., 2019. "What people learn about how people learn: An analysis of citation behavior and the multidisciplinary flow of knowledge," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    4. Wolfgang Glänzel & Koenraad Debackere, 2022. "Various aspects of interdisciplinarity in research and how to quantify and measure those," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 127(9), pages 5551-5569, September.
    5. Giovanni Abramo & Ciriaco Andrea D’Angelo & Flavia Costa, 2017. "Specialization versus diversification in research activities: the extent, intensity and relatedness of field diversification by individual scientists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 112(3), pages 1403-1418, September.
    6. Lina Xu & Steven Dellaportas & Jin Wang, 2022. "A study of interdisciplinary accounting research: analysing the diversity of cited references," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 62(2), pages 2131-2162, June.
    7. Juste Raimbault, 2019. "Exploration of an interdisciplinary scientific landscape," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(2), pages 617-641, May.
    8. Alfonso Ávila-Robinson & Cristian Mejia & Shintaro Sengoku, 2021. "Are bibliometric measures consistent with scientists’ perceptions? The case of interdisciplinarity in research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(9), pages 7477-7502, September.
    9. Lin Zhang & Beibei Sun & Zaida Chinchilla-Rodríguez & Lixin Chen & Ying Huang, 2018. "Interdisciplinarity and collaboration: on the relationship between disciplinary diversity in departmental affiliations and reference lists," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 117(1), pages 271-291, October.
    10. Ruxandra BEJINARU, 2018. "Factorial Analysis Perspectives upon StudentsÂ’ Skills in the Knowledge Economy," Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, College of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, vol. 6(2), pages 265-284, June.
    11. Chiara Carusi & Giuseppe Bianchi, 2020. "A look at interdisciplinarity using bipartite scholar/journal networks," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 122(2), pages 867-894, February.
    12. Brătianu Constantin, 2018. "A holistic view of the organizational knowledge dynamics," HOLISTICA – Journal of Business and Public Administration, Sciendo, vol. 9(2), pages 7-22, August.
    13. Oviedo-García, M. Ángeles, 2016. "Tourism research quality: Reviewing and assessing interdisciplinarity," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 586-592.
    14. Costanza, Robert & Kubiszewski, Ida, 2012. "The authorship structure of “ecosystem services†as a transdisciplinary field of scholarship," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 16-25.
    15. Kevin M. Kniffin & Andrew S. Hanks, 2017. "Antecedents and near-term consequences for interdisciplinary dissertators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 111(3), pages 1225-1250, June.
    16. Kavitha Karunan & Hiran H. Lathabai & Thara Prabhakaran, 2017. "Discovering interdisciplinary interactions between two research fields using citation networks," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 113(1), pages 335-367, October.
    17. Abramo, Giovanni & D’Angelo, Ciriaco Andrea & Zhang, Lin, 2018. "A comparison of two approaches for measuring interdisciplinary research output: The disciplinary diversity of authors vs the disciplinary diversity of the reference list," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 1182-1193.
    18. Casey Helgeson & Robert E. Nicholas & Klaus Keller & Chris E. Forest & Nancy Tuana, 2022. "Attention to values helps shape convergence research," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 170(1), pages 1-19, January.
    19. Sander Zwanenburg & Maryam Nakhoda & Peter Whigham, 2022. "Toward greater consistency and validity in measuring interdisciplinarity: a systematic and conceptual evaluation," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 127(12), pages 7769-7788, December.
    20. Alexis-Michel Mugabushaka & Anthi Kyriakou & Theo Papazoglou, 2016. "Bibliometric indicators of interdisciplinarity: the potential of the Leinster–Cobbold diversity indices to study disciplinary diversity," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 107(2), pages 593-607, May.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:srbeha:v:38:y:2021:i:3:p:294-306. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.