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Dissertation Defence: Mind the collaborative gap: Learning through the construction of boundaries, boundary objects and assemblages

September 8, 2023 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Monique Walsh, supervised by Dr. John Graham and Dr. Mike Chiasson, will defend their dissertation titled “Mind the collaborative gap: Learning through the construction of boundaries, boundary objects and assemblages” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies.

An abstract for Monique Walsh’s dissertation is included below.

Examinations are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Please email john.graham@ubc.ca to receive the Zoom link for this defence.


In my professional experience working with primary care providers and administrators, I have found that the policy directs those planning and delivering primary care to increase their collaboration with other partners. This has proven challenging. Significantly, although it is counterintuitive, understanding where and how we create, interact, and cross boundaries provides scholars and practitioners a new way of thinking about collaboration, including by offering insight into who and what is actually involved in these collaborations.

This research explores changes across three distinct time periods due to COVID-19: pre-Wave 1, Wave 1, and post-Wave 1. Throughout these distinct periods, I documented how collaboration and learning shifted and evolved, including who and what was involved and how they interacted with each other. I did this by categorizing and analyzing which types of boundaries were constructed and when, including the objects that were used to share knowledge across these boundaries during collaborative processes. Boundaries are everywhere and are paradoxical in nature: they can both enable and limit, sometimes simultaneously. And they are continuously being constructed and renegotiated as humans and non-humans interact, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

As people and objects interact with each another, collaboration and learning become more traceable through the dynamic production of these boundaries and boundary objects. By increasing our understanding of the collaborative process, we may be able to change our collaborative approaches and be better positioned to deliver more effectively on policies that call for increased collaboration in healthcare and beyond.


September 8, 2023
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Additional Info

Registration/RSVP Required
Yes (see event description)
Event Type
Thesis Defence
Arts and Humanities, Research and Innovation
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates