Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

The Creation of a Shared Context in a Multi-disciplinary Setting

Marita Holst.

The paper draws on an empirical study and examines how new multidisciplinary groups interact to create a shared context for knowledge work. Within the context of the campus-wide commitment to transform into a “Creative University” Luleå University of Technology's faculty, staff, and students explore new ways to further collaborative multidisciplinary knowledge creation. New Knowledge Areas, such as Lifestyle, Health and Technology, have been defined and originate in multifaceted and complex problems. New knowledge will be created through the integrated building of knowledge according to the commitment.

This implies that people from different disciplines e.g. engineering and social science cooperate and thereby share, use and build knowledge. The fact that these groups work in partnership in a logical, not physical, organization leads to questions about how they organize their work: how do they communicate and interact, and where; how do they meet physically, mentally and virtually, and for what purposes. To learn from the experiences of the groups’ processes and from status of current work interviews in a semi-structured mode, with selected people, were made.

The interviews were then analyzed by the metaphor Ba. Ba is a perception of a place – which can be virtual, mental or physical – and a shared purpose. Ba helps to make sense of how the organisation works and why it works the way it does in relation to knowledge creation. The model is relevant for understanding new groups working across traditional boundaries. Ba also has potential as a framework for designing new processes, i.e. Ba can help us to design new sustainable processes of organisational meanings form the perspective of information systems.


Marita Holst  (Sweden)
PhD Student
Social Informatics
Luleå University of Technology

  • Knowledge Work
  • Shared Context
  • Ba

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)