02 SES 01 A, Internationalization of VET
With the rise of the concept of a third academic mission, university’s core function of educating people and conducting research is increasingly extended to cooperation with the external environment – businesses, NGOs, and the public sector. The main purpose of such cooperation aims to foster the commercialization of scientific research results, technology transfer, and proactive entrepreneurial education. Beyond contributing to regional development, universities–in a broader understanding of the concept–are involved in the international activities of local companies, such as international market development projects. The national and international dimensions of university–business collaborations lead to multiple societal opportunities. However, practical collaboration on a day-to-day basis in projects between universities and business partners face challenges due to differing governance rules, knowledge, working mechanisms and culture, or motivation (Klimczuk-Kochańska, 2018), leading to tension or inefficiencies in project results. Although concepts such as the knowledge triangle or network theory focus on the inter-organizational relationships between universities and enterprises and how to create societal benefits from organizational collaboration, the promotor model (Hausschildt & Gemünden, 1999; Witte, 1999) used in the German-speaking research community provides an analytical framework for actively encouraging key persons involved in transformation projects (Gemünden & Hölzle, 2005). In particular, the internationalization of vocational education and training (VET) services as knowledge transfer are challenging for VET providers, as there is a high complexity of actors involved (i.e., businesses, politics, and training providers). The implementation of international activities in a target country requires committed "promoters" who accompany the processes at various levels. In this context, promoters from a university can help business overcome a wide variety of barriers (or resistance, obstacles). The aim of our paper is to analyze the adaption of the promoter model for collaborative internationalization VET projects involving partners from university and industry in Iran. In this context, we will investigate design options and problem-solving approaches in order to highlight the role of the university as a link between different actors in internationalization processes. In the same vein, we will examine the role dynamics of university and industry actors needed to overcome inter-organizational barriers and thereby improve the chances of successful cooperation.
Hauschildt, J., & Gemünden, H. G. (Eds.) (1999). Promotoren, Champions der Innovation. Wiesbaden: Gabler. Gemünden, H. G., & Hölzle, K. (2005). Schlüsselpersonen der Innovation. In S. Albers & O. Gassmann (Eds..), Handbuch Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement. Strategie – Umsetzung – Controlling (pp. 457–474). Wiesbaden: Gabler. Klimczuk-Kochańska, M. (2018). The role of universities in the knowledge triangle model on the example of EIT activities. Przedsiębiorczość i Zarządzanie, 19(10.3), 251–263. Witte, E. (1999). Das Promotoren-Modell. In J. Hauschildt & Gemünden, H. G. (Eds.), Promotoren. Champions der Innovation (pp. 9–41). Wiesbaden: Gabler.
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