G. Hoeborn

University of Wuppertal (GERMANY)
Engineers are often the main moving power in industry and organisations. This leads to the requirements of an adequate engineering education as well as an ability of creating intellectual capital and managing knowledge. The traditional education of engineers includes technical engineering subjects and partly business knowledge. Management skills are expected but rarely trained, as it is common for many educations. However, the creating and managing of intellectual capital requires management skills. There exist many theories about leadership abilities, teamwork, decision-making processes and intercultural co-operation, and theoretical lectures are a common way to teach these theories and skills. However, the industry reflects an inability of the students to carry out management skills and to manage intellectual capital and knowledge. The author aims on teaching management skills in a way of applying and feeling them at the same time. Therefore, the author offers management courses within the engineering higher education, which are exceptional in that offering the training of management skills by the application of serious games. The author offer three different kinds of serious games to enable the students to create intellectual capital on the one hand and on the other hand to realize knowledge management.

The first type of game deals with leadership abilities and teamwork: the students apply the ‘Lego Racer Championship’, a game, which is carried out in two teams asking for a winning team by reaching as many points as possible in a superficial way. The hidden learning effects as leadership abilities, teamwork, different roles in a team and quality improvement through intellectual capital and knowledge management lead to management skills. The second game is a business game training decision-making processes and consider downstream consequences. The students run different competitive bicycle companies and the have to plan two business years by getting various information. The firstly trained skills should also be applied during this second game. The third game deals with intercultural co-operation: three student groups run three businesses and have to participate in a joint venture. Each company represents a different culture and cultures are contradictory concerning their manners and value. Because the students have to do the joint venture, they have to learn about adaption and compromises and they have to apply their already trained management skills as well.

The management courses are compulsory and they are offered in bachelor and master degree courses for mechanical and civil engineers. All courses had and still have a research support. All courses are carried out as case studies, and the students discuss and reflect their opinions about the learning effects as well as the industry reflects the fact that they are satisfied with the education of the young engineers.

This paper deals with the education of engineering students to enable them to create intellectual capital and to manage knowledge. These abilities are required and have to be trained.