homogeneous business students are unlikely to go very far in shaking each other

Homogeneous business students are unlikely to go very

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homogeneous business students are unlikely to go very far in shaking each other s assumptions and there is a role for external intervention, either through facilitation that pushes students to reflect or through group organization to maximize diversity (Kelley and Littman 2001). There is also an opportunity to increase group diversity through alliances with other institutions. Teaching Methods Contemporary management problems are characterized by instability, unpredictability, and conflicting interests among multiple stakeholders in other words, wicked problems (Rittell and Weber 1973), a class of social system problems which are ill
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formulated, where the information is confusing, where there are many clients and decision makers with conflicting values, and where the ramifications in the whole system are thoroughly confusing (Churchman 1967). A significant portion of students efforts in a user-centred MBA would be devoted to learning to deal with wicked problems. Standard teaching methods in business schools lectures and cases are capable of providing students with some of the concepts and tools of user-centred management. However, since these methods typically present problems as well-defined and indeed often provide students with alternatives to compare, they will not be successful in imparting some of the concepts and skills of user-centred management. The role of lectures and cases would be to help students understand the concepts in simplified 138 New Educatio nal Perspectives for Designers and Manag ers form; students would then apply these skills in real-world projects that defy easy definition and require them to generate their own alternatives based on their understanding of users. Example: A Design-based Business Course To provide a more concrete perspective on how UCD can be incorporated into a business school, the following example may be useful. In May 2007, a course in strategic innovation was offered at Johannes Kepler Universit t in Linz, Austria. Twelve students took the course: all undergraduate business students in their final year, although they came from a variety of national backgrounds. The course consisted of a project based on the design process shown in Figure 9.1. The course description in the syllabus was as follows: This course is a reflective practicum in the process of innovation. Students will be introduced to a user-centred design process and, in teams, will apply this process to develop either a new product/service idea or a business strategy for an existing product/ service. Lectures and discussions will highlight the key stages in the process, and students will reflect regularly on their own individual approach to strategic innovation.
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