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Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Innovative Computer Game Development: Implications for Theory, Policy and Practice

Interdisciplinary collaboration is crucial to innovation and the computer games industry provides a prime example of how collaboration across disciplinary divides promotes innovation and creativity, making possible the development of ground breaking products and the opening up of new markets.
This project involves a detailed field study of interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in the computer game development companies in the UK. The theoretical approach adopted here draws on “boundary objects”, which provides a new way of thinking about the way in which collaborating groups overcome the knowledge boundaries between them.
This Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project (RES-000-22-2809) is led by Professor Joe Nandhakumar and Professor Harry Scarbrough, with research support from Dr Nikiforos Panourgias.

The specific objectives are to:

  • Investigate UK computer game development practices, so as to understand the process of interdisciplinary collaboration and how it enables and/or constrains innovation.
  • Illustrate how game developers devise and draw on boundary objects in their interdisciplinary collaboration process.
  • Map how these devised boundary objects are related to the performance outcomes of innovation projects, as well as the detailed properties of boundary objects associated with successful projects. 
  • Analyze the interplay between the role and relative capacity of a variety of boundary objects and performance outcomes of innovation projects in a variety of collaboration/organisation contexts.
  • Produce useful recommendations for policy and practice, with a view to improving the effectiveness of interdisciplinary collaboration in innovation contexts with strong aesthetic or cultural characteristics.

Further information about participation in this study is available here (PDF Document)

Project Team:

Harry Scarbrough
Joe Nandhakumar
Niki Panourgias
For further information on the study or to discuss participation contact:
Niki Panourgias  
tel: +44 (0)24 76575818