About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4477-4484
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0870

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

ADDRESSING THE GAP BETWEEN EMPLOYERS’ NEEDS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES IN PURCHASING & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT STUDY PROGRAMS: TOWARDS A STUDENT-CENTRED LEARNING APPROACH

K. Stek1, B.M. Zunk2, J. van Den Berg1, V. Delke1, L. Berger3, H. Schiele1

1University of Twente (NETHERLANDS)
2Graz University of Technology (AUSTRIA)
3Technische Universität Dortmund (GERMANY)
The level of the individual competencies of PSM professionals has a positive effect on the success of firms. These skills levels have developed due to the lecturing of PSM in study programs. However, little is known about which specific skills are needed outside academia and how higher education can fulfil the practical requirements of firms. Practice as well as literature share the understanding that PSM professionals need a well-balanced mixture between the three pillars of PSM knowledge: the merely explicit know-what (codified knowledge) and know-why (theory), and the tacit know-how (method). Know-how is supposed to be a construction of accumulated knowledge (or experience) and inter- & intrapersonal soft skills.

In literature, there is evidence that soft skills are as important as hard skills for PSM professionals. Moreover, the absence of soft skills is more likely to be the reason for ending a labour relationship than a lack of hard skills. It is widely accepted that universities are good at transferring explicit know-what and theoretical know-why. However, transferring tacit knowledge and soft skills require other techniques. By acquiring experience, students accumulate tacit knowledge. There is evidence that students who actively experience an experiment retain that knowledge better than when watching the lecturer’s demonstration. Other examples of experiences are knowledge fairs, internship, learning communities, study missions, tours, advisory boards, and job rotation. Serious games are a possible form of gaining experience in cases of complex learning that will give students the chance to use the tacit knowledge in the situated context.

From a pedagogical point of view, universities use mostly classical, frontal lecturing as the dominant design for transferring knowledge and theory. The student has an attending, inactive role, which has the lowest effect on retaining knowledge. The lecturer has a strong central role. An alternative is student-centred learning (SCL), which aims to activate students in their learning process to reach comprehensive learning effect with active involvement. Many educators wrongly suppose that they are transferring their knowledge effectively by frontal instruction. Students however must (re)construct information to own knowledge in their brains. Frontal instruction can be part of SCL, but only with the aim to activate knowledge construction. An alternative for both the ‘traditional’ explicit and ‘modern’ tacit knowledge transfer seems to be necessary for future higher education.

This paper aims to fill the gap between employers’ needs and learning objectives in PSM study programs. This research presents ways to construct knowledge and skills essential for graduates in the PSM field with the help SCL. To test the presented model, a teaching and learning event with 20 international students was organised. An aim of this teaching and learning event was to validate the necessity of SCL in the lectures. The students evaluated these teaching methods as most helpful: 60% case studies; 40% interactive lecture; 20% practitioners’ stories / 20% frontal teaching. This example makes evident, that the outlined student-centred model in context of the literature, could be a future teaching method(s) that is preferable for teaching PSM at university incorporating the need of teaching hard and soft facts in order to fill the existing gap between the needs in practice and existing study programs in academia.
@InProceedings{STEK2018ADD,
author = {Stek, K. and Zunk, B.M. and van Den Berg, J. and Delke, V. and Berger, L. and Schiele, H.},
title = {ADDRESSING THE GAP BETWEEN EMPLOYERS’ NEEDS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES IN PURCHASING & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT STUDY PROGRAMS: TOWARDS A STUDENT-CENTRED LEARNING APPROACH},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0870},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0870},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {4477-4484}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Stek AU - B.M. Zunk AU - J. van Den Berg AU - V. Delke AU - L. Berger AU - H. Schiele
TI - ADDRESSING THE GAP BETWEEN EMPLOYERS’ NEEDS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES IN PURCHASING & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT STUDY PROGRAMS: TOWARDS A STUDENT-CENTRED LEARNING APPROACH
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0870
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 4477
EP - 4484
ER -
K. Stek, B.M. Zunk, J. van Den Berg, V. Delke, L. Berger, H. Schiele (2018) ADDRESSING THE GAP BETWEEN EMPLOYERS’ NEEDS AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES IN PURCHASING & SUPPLY MANAGEMENT STUDY PROGRAMS: TOWARDS A STUDENT-CENTRED LEARNING APPROACH, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 4477-4484.
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