Management research and education are often characterized as being interdisciplinary. However, most discussions on what interdisciplinarity in management studies means have bogged down in ideological fixations. In this paper we alternatively take a historical perspective and analyze the evolution of the interdisciplinarity concept in management studies during the last decades in the Netherlands. We distinguish between two opposite versions of interdisciplinarity: a synoptic (conceptual) and an instrumental (pragmatic) one. Both versions resulted from different knowledge strategies (boundary-work) of competing and cooperating disciplines. We conclude that in the Netherlands instrumental versions of interdisciplinarity in management research and education prevailed.

Interdisciplinarity, disciplinarity, history of management education, management education, management science
Information and Product Quality; Standardization and Compatibility (jel L15), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Management of Technological Innovation and R&D (jel O32)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/10537
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van Baalen, P.J, & Karsten, L. (2007). Is Management Interdisciplinary? The Evolution of Management as an Interdisciplinary Field of Research and Education in the Netherlands (No. ERS-2007-047-LIS). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10537