Jeremy Mackey, an associate professor of management at Auburn University, discusses the importance of interdisciplinary research and answers questions about the paper, “Musing about Interdisciplinary Research: Is Interdisciplinary Research Amusing or Bemusing?” he and Charn P. McAllister of Northern Arizona University saw published in Group & Organization Management.
We were motivated to write our paper, “Musing about Interdisciplinary Research,” because we have had a difficult time publishing some of our recent research. We have worked on destructive leadership research for years. So, we thought we were well positioned to move this field forward by examining destructive leadership across cultures. Specifically, we sought to examine how country-level differences in cultural values affect followers’ experiences and reactions to destructive leadership. The most challenging aspect of working on this type of research is integrating organizational behavior and international business research together effectively. It is very difficult to publish this type of research because we draw from theories and statistical analyses across disciplines.
Our use of meta-analysis to examine the findings across prior studies also complicated the evaluation of our studies. Thus, it is very difficult to find a review team that was prepared and motivated to evaluate all of the moving parts in our studies because the training can be so different across each of these areas.
These experiences led to our decision to write a Musing about what it is actually like to publish interdisciplinary research. People in the management field talk about the importance of interdisciplinary work. However, few people actually publish it. Now we know why! We hope our Musing provides valuable insights into what it is like to publish interdisciplinary research in the management field so people interested in trying it are well prepared for its fun (amusing) and frustrating (bemusing) aspects.