Beyond employablity – learning to influence entire organisations

Posted on: 17 April 2018 by Peter Kahn in 2018 posts

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What industry and the working world needs is future-ready graduates, rather than just work-ready graduates. This, at least, was the view expressed by David Docherty from the National Centre for Universities and Business at a recent international conference on professional doctorates.

More is needed in this than just a focus on employability. A degree should enable someone not simply to fill a job, but to work in a way that enables them to shape the future, and the organisation(s) within they work.

Concrete ways forward are certainly needed to realise this. Another presentation at the same conference from a recent graduate of the University's Doctor of Education (EdD) programme, Dr Mariangela Lundgren-Resenttera, and the Director of CHES, Dr Peter Kahn, highlighted what it takes to change an organisation.

Organisational impact

The presentation was based on Dr Lundgren-Resenttera's doctoral thesis, exploring how more is needed than just professional learning to ensure impact on an organisation. The study demonstrated that an agenda for change needs to be shared with one's colleagues, something that is supported by social relations amongst all those involved, discussions that enable each person to deliberate on how things might be different, and then work on a common way forward. What is needed is education that is focused on all of these different capacities, and not only on the relevant knowledge base. This is not just a skill set for entrepreurship – but for the capacities that support the work needed to renew existing institutions.

Building commons agendas

David Docherty also highlighted the importance of building meaningful groups if graduates are to make an impact in Industry 4.0 – something that a new innovation brokerage website aims so do for higher education in the UK. The capacity to build common agendas with colleagues was a key finding of Dr Lundgren-Resenttera's doctoral thesis.

This blog will offer a forum for staff, graduates and students from the University's fully-online Doctor of Education (EdD) programme, based here in the Centre for Higher Education Studies. With around 30 graduates since the programme was launched seven years ago, the blog will highlight the programme's contribution to higher education across the world.

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