Transdisciplinarity is not multidisciplinarity

Transdisciplinarity is not multidisciplinarity

Marc Jacquinet

Janeiro de 2022

Transdisciplinarity is not multidisciplinarity.

Multidisciplinarity is the autonomous combination of various disciplinary readings of a phenomenon without the integration  of the different ways of looking at the object of interest in a more meaningful and interdependent way. 

Transdisciplinarity is the opposite of not just disciplinary knowledge, but above all of multidisciplinarity. Transdisciplinarity is the integration of different ways of viewing a problem and building relevant and meaningful knowledge about it.

In a sense, multidisciplinarity if envisioned as the juxtaposition or ordering of disciplinary knowledge is even an obstacle to interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in the sense that it does not allow to go further than the ordering of different disciplinary knowledge in separate and autonomous chapters as if reality was only separable into parts according to our established institutions of knowledge, consisting in the institutionalized division of labor of sciences, humanities and other types of knowledge.

Interdisciplinary research means interrogating more deeply reality.  Transdisciplinarity goes further, going not just to the revision of knowledge systems, theories, methods and the ontological underpinnings of research and knowledge. 

Interdisciplinarity is a first step towards deeper knowledge of our reality, transdisciplinarity is one difficult step further. Institutions pay lip service to transdisciplinarity but do not move enough in that direction. In the recent vein, what is still much practiced is multidisciplinarity, not transdisciplinarity. 

Transdisciplinarity is not interdisciplinarity either. We will discuss it briefly. I do not pretend to have a definitive answer with that matter.

Much is still to be done.

Cite this article as: {Jacquinet, Marc}, Transdisciplinarity is not multidisciplinarity,"{Management Critique}," in {}, 31/01/2022,

Marc Jacquinet

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