Oklahoma State University

Utilizing Systems Thinking and Concept Mapping to Identify Interdisciplinary Research Opportunities: Considering the Effects of Light on Meat Products

In the current project, the research team hypothesized that allied disciplines may contribute towards the formulation of novel research opportunities and partnerships. To seek opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, researchers collected information about current areas of interest and expertise from seven faculty members in the fields of (1) Hotel and Restaurant Administration; (2) Interior Design; and (3) Merchandising at a large university in the South Central U.S. Systems thinking becomes easier to visualize with the use of concept mapping techniques, e.g. Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) software. Preliminary findings indicate research areas are clustered in (1) Health and Food Safety, (2) Consumer Behavior (3) Sustainability, and (4) Lighting Application. The interrelationship among these may suggest the pursuit of collaborative research grants for future funding.

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