What is the by-product of an interdisciplinary research community?

When the new Centre for Integrative Business Psychology officially opens on 11 June, the aim is to build an interdisciplinary research community that will seek out four key topics in their natural habitats and outside academia. The result should be expertise relevant to many other researchers at Aarhus BSS – in theoretical as well as methodological terms.

[Translate to English:] Hovedbygningen på Aarhus Universitets centrale campus
[Translate to English:] Foto: Lars Kruse, AU Foto

On 11 June, a hybrid reception will mark the official opening of a new research centre at Aarhus BSS, gathering researchers from three different departments around a joint research platform.

The centre is called Centre for Integrative Business Psychology (CIBP) and the word integrative is key, referring to the integration of different perspectives, theories and methods in the pursuit of new knowledge.

More specially, the centre will seek to integrate areas of expertise from the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, the Department of Economics and Business Economics and the Department of Management to answer big questions within four key topics of business psychology: business ethics, sustainability, behavioural biases and nudging, and consumer behaviour.

“Our ambition is to build a research community between the departments, a collaborative platform for sharing ideas and having discussions that will generate new insights which a single department would not be able to reach on its own,” says Stefan Pfattheicher, associate professor of psychology and centre director at CIBP.

Building an interdisciplinary research community

This interdisciplinary approach will form a recurrent theme in the activities of the new centre.

“In order to build an interdisciplinary community, we need to bring researchers from different disciplines together face to face. I genuinely believe it all starts with getting to know what other researchers are interested in and how they are doing research,” says Stefan Pfattheicher.

For this reason, initiatives such as interdisciplinary seminars, inspiring lunch talks and other quick formats for sharing knowledge with your colleagues will play an important part at CIBP.

As one such initiative, the centre launched a series of seminars on open science which are open to all interested researchers at Aarhus BSS this April, called the AROS Seminar.

Encountering questions ‘in the wild’

Besides building an interdisciplinary research community, an important goal of CIBP will be to encounter research topics in their natural habitat.

“When we have laid the foundation for our research community, we will be able to reach out to the public and to companies. By striving to encounter our research questions ‘in the wild’, we will add further nuances and context to our projects and ground our interdisciplinary discussions in observations we have made outside of academia,” Stefan Pfattheicher explains.

Results both theoretical and methodological

With high-profile topics such as sustainability and business ethics and a commitment to moving beyond the boundaries of disciplines to answer them, CIBP should prove interesting to researchers not directly involved in the centre.

“We hope to generate expertise within our four key topics that many others at Aarhus BSS can connect to and use in their own research projects,” says Stefan Pfattheicher.

By integrating different areas of expertise and working in an interdisciplinary way, the centre will arguably not only create new knowledge about its specific research topics, but also foster new insights of a methodological nature. A natural by-product of conducting research together across departments will be knowledge of how different disciplines can work together. This too will benefit the research environment at Aarhus BSS in general.

Vice-dean for research and talent Per Baltzer Overgaard congratulates the new centre on its coming opening:

“It is wonderful to see researchers from such different disciplines as psychology, management and economics join forces at the Centre for Integrative Business Psychology – it furthers our strategic agenda by contributing to the interdisciplinary initiatives at Aarhus BSS.  I look forward to the results of their collaboration and hope to see more researchers engage in interdisciplinary activities in the future.”

Participate in the reception

The Centre for Integrative Business Psychology will host an official opening reception on 11 June. The reception will be a hybrid event, meaning that you are free to participate on-site or online.

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