Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 503620
Title Silence in Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration : Not Everything Said is Relevant, Not Everything Relevant is Said
Author(s) Verouden, Nick W.; Sanden, Maarten C.A. van der; Aarts, Noelle
Source Science as Culture 25 (2016)2. - ISSN 0950-5431 - p. 264 - 288.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09505431.2016.1141191
Department(s) Strategic Communication
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) collaboration - communication - positioning - silence - situational analysis - university
Abstract

Solving publicly important issues asks for the development of socio-technical approaches, which demands collaboration between researchers with different perspectives, values, and interests. In these complex interdisciplinary collaborations, the course of communication is of utmost importance, including the moments when people, consciously or not, keep silent. In 2012, an interdisciplinary group of water management engineers and scientists collaborated to explore how the university's separate water management research fields could fit better in today's socio-technical trends. Studying the interactional process revealed that during the collaboration many issues were not said by various parties at various times. Results show that, in particular, engineers and scientists stayed silent to secure group performance, to keep disagreements from surfacing, and manage conflicts of interest in the bargaining process. Although silence served various interactional functions, it also shaped the course of interaction in ways that were not intended, resulting in the development of a latent conflict. It is concluded that the concept of silence adds a relevant dimension to our understanding of interaction among engineers and scientists participating in interdisciplinary collaboration that is currently absent in existing literature on scientific collaboration.

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