• Sina Normann Kirkeby
  • Nedda-Cecilia Mathiesen Khalili Kia
  • Birgitte Møller Sloth
The research topic of this master's thesis is the interface in the transition from childhood to
adulthood. This dissertation focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration between two distinct
units, whose collaboration should beneficially support the adolescents’ transition to
adulthood. The purpose of the master's dissertation is to identify and understand the
collaboration challenges that emerge during the transition. Through action research, we
identify the significant emergent challenges and barriers to collaboration, and then point to
pertinent knowledge which aid in overcoming the identified obstacles.
The study participants invited us into their practice, through which we gained an insider’s
perspective into the challenges that arise when two departments with different disciplines
have to collaborate to find a common solution to the shared task. Both parties are concerned
with finding effective sociological solutions, and independently point to particular challenges
in their counterpart’s practice. We have identified a consensus-oriented approach, which is
also supported by various sociological research findings. This makes it difficult to delve into
the more fundamental challenges between them. Rather than entering into a dialogue with
each other, their frustrations are projected onto circumstances that are experienced outside
their own domain.
The master's thesis indicates that the entity’s organizational framework significantly
influences the way in which disagreements are resolved. In this dissertation, it becomes clear
that there is a collaboration agreement which (over) regulates the framework of the interface
and leaves all control of the content to the participants in the collaboration. This places
considerable demands on the leaders involved; the research points to the importance of
effective conflict resolution during transitions and that conflict avoidance is an ineffective and
adverse approach.
Organizationally, we find ourselves in a bureaucracy where challenges in the crossdepartmental and vertical practice are solved in this hierarchical context horizontally. The
motivation for successful or unsuccessful interdisciplinary collaboration is measured based
on whether budgets and tasks are solved in one's own domain and whether the rules are
complied with, rather than whether they succeed in creating a common understanding of the 3
solution. In organizational practice, the underlying logic, is to reward doing things right rather
than right, and does not encourage participants to work on the more complex and difficult
professional disagreements they may face in collaboration.
During the action research, the participants displayed a high degree of commitment and
agreed that it would be mutually advantageous to establish a shared disciplinary forum.
However, the short timeframe spent with them is not sufficient to achieve significant changes
in practice. On the other hand, our action research shows that by creating a connection
between experiences in practice and in research, there is significant interest in creating a
common space where important discussions can take place in the effort to achieve a shared
professional foundation
Publication date10 Jun 2021
Number of pages84
ID: 414371599