As many staff members receive their terminal qualifications and more postdoctoral fellows join MUT, research continues to get imbedded in the institution. The research professors have been a useful resource for staff members pursuing their terminal qualifications along with those who want to publish their work in peer-reviewed journals.
This week, the Faculty of Management Sciences hosted a research workshop seminar to discuss inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research, which is research produced through a combination of two or more academic disciplines. This type of research has been touted in academia as the potential solution to many of society’s problems. The day’s presentation, titled Introduction to inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary research, was delivered by Professor Evan Mantzaris and Professor Logan Naidoo, Head of Department of Human Resources Management.
Speaking during the virtual seminar, Dr Bheka Ntshangase, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences said the purpose of the seminar was to enhance the culture of research in the faculty.
In their presentation, Professors Mantzaris and Naidoo took their audience through what inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research entailed from a theoretical framework point of view, the methodology, data analysis and research ethics.
Professor Naidoo said: “The world is going through a complex, challenging and dangerous era. What has been called ‘contemporary sustainable development’ can only become a reality through the cooperation of politicians, innovators, researchers, academics and specialists with diverse backgrounds.”
However, Professor Mantzaris explained that although this kind of research was instrumental in solving society’s problems, it also presents a challenge of ownership for academia. Since postgraduate students are registered to specific departments and there is currently no department of transdisciplinary research, he wondered who would receive credit for a student who completes research in transdisciplinary studies.
The seminar produced stimulating intellectual debate on combining qualitative and quantitative research and issues of validity and reliability of results.