Conceptualising multidisciplinary interaction by Gadamerian play for creating transdisciplinary knowledge

Introduction: The study aims at increasing understanding of knowledge creation in a multidisciplinary working community. The theoretical framework, based on H.G. Gadamer’s conceptualisation of play along with its three dimensions, may allow examination of a knowledge creation process when setting up a novel terminology on clean energy research.


Method: The study is explorative and has features of auto-ethnography. Qualitative data consist of documents, videos, emails and notes. The empirical environment is a research and development consortium involving five disciplines.nAnalysis. The data are content analysed by applying the three dimensions of the Gadamerian play concept, namely, temporality, structure, and mode of being in play.


Results: The framework was applicable to outline the process, which consisted of four phases. Of these, the third one focused on the interactive workshops for defining the final terms of the terminology. Three stages of this phase were identified, namely, Pre-clean energy research play, Semi-clean energy research play, and Deep-clean energy research play. These stages proceeded from multidisciplinary through interdisciplinary towards cross-disciplinary definition of the terms.


Conclusion: The Gadamerian concept of play along with its dimensions is promising to examine knowledge creation in organisational settings. Future research may focus on a more comprehensive analysis of the data already collected in the study’s R&D environment.

Huotari Maija-Leena, Tuomela Sanna, Keränen Teija, Suorsa Anna

Publication type:
A1 Journal article – refereed

Place of publication:

6G Publication


Full citation:
Huotari, M. L., Tuomela, S., Keränen, T. & Suorsa, A. (2019). Conceptualising multidisciplinary interaction by Gadamerian play for creating transdisciplinary knowledge. In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 16-19, 2019. Information Research, 24(4), paper colis1945. Retrieved from (Archived by the Internet Archive at


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