Laurea University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2019 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 2972-2980
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.0784
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Modern societies are moving towards service society. This means the increase of service business and need to develop both the service business and novel services. This transformation requires new capabilities in working life and thus, service design has been suggested as conclusive capability to cope within the service society. The role of the higher education institutes (HEIs) has always been essential in transforming the society while they educate the future generations of professionals and leaders. All this, requires developing the content and methods of master’s degree education in service design. This paper explores opportunities the HEIs have in shaping their management education programs and curricula based on the latest changes in business disciplines.

The modern higher education aims to educate future multicompetent professionals. In Europe, the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) provides the framework for competence development offered through degree programs. The core of the EQF concerns eight reference levels and describes the learning outcomes of those levels. Moreover, according to the Finnish National Qualifications Framework (NQF) the aim of Master’s programmes in universities of applied sciences is that a person who has completed the degree has both in-depth knowledge and the theoretical skills required for development of the workplace with demanding expert and managerial duties. Both frameworks, EQF7 and NQF7 highlight the importance of managerial competence. In this paper, we focus on master’s level education (EQF7) and discuss managerial competence development in the emerging discipline of service design.

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate how these competences are learned during the Master’s degree studies at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. The program aims to educate leaders for organisations adopting service-driven worldview in business. The research data was gathered during the multidisciplinary Master’s degree studies in service design 2017. The case study research was selected because the study investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its life context and it uses multiple sources of evidence. This descriptive single case study uses a combination collected data, observation and content analysis to elaborate the expectations and actual competence development of master’s students. This paper promotes identifying new managerial competences in service design. Preliminary findings suggest that the managerial competence develops slowly during higher education and competence requirements are fulfilled only when the master thesis project is accomplished. As a conclusion, we suggest that the service design needs to be anchored to one of the conventional theoretical disciplines e.g. service marketing and management in order to enhance the academic reliability as an emerging discipline and to have impact in business management. Our study advances scholarly discussions of higher education and management competence development. The contribution of this paper is to advocate the new management competences and posit the emerging discipline of service design to management education.
Service design, management competence, management competence development, Master’s degree, EQF7.