02 SES 04 C, VET-Teacher Education and In-Company Training
Adult education in Germany is changing for several reasons: Firstly, the European Union calls for education to strengthen creativity and innovation. Secondly, companies want project managers who are able to face the challenges of complex, creative and innovative projects. Hence, they must be prepared to take the responsibility for successfully leading a project team.
The current scientific discourse criticises that project management trainings do not consider the role of personality (Steeger 2011a). Although there is an existing DIN standard that defines a project as a creative and innovative process, there is a lack of research. Scientific research is geared towards project managers who have a strong personality and recommends trainings. (Kolodny 1981)But training measures that fulfill the requirements have not been developed yet. (Adcic 2006) Nonetheless, personality development is regarded as an important part of human resources development in pedagogics (Tippelt/von Hippel 2011). But project management and project management training are predominantly discussed in the context of business administration.
In this regard, current concepts of project management training seem to be insufficient. The analysis of current trainings (Palt 2012) and my empirical study show that they mainly teach methods. In addition, specialised trainings aim at strengthening social skills. Creativity and innovative skills have been identified as a part of the personality (Roth 2003). My empirical findings deny, however, that these skills can be acquired through the current type of education.
It is, therefore, useful to empirically analyse the current concepts of project management training from the perspective of neurobiological personality research (Roth 2003). Relevant questions in the empirical enquiry are: How is project management taught? Which kind of training do we need to strengthen personality development? Which role do creativity and innovative skills play? Which role might experiential learning and informal learning play? The assumption is that we need a new configuration of project management training involving experiential learning to facilitate creativity and innovative education. (Göhlich/Wulf 2007)
These research questions will be answered on the basis of an empirical case study on further education courses for project managers in two different companies. In these companies, workshops were conducted on executive level concerning the performance of their project managers, the effects of current project management training and the requirements with regard to future concepts. Six workshops were monitored and additionally 32 interviews with the management circle and project managers were conducted in two middle-sized companies based in Germany in 2011. The workshops and interviews took place in the course of projects in both companies aimed at improving the performance of their project managers.
The data were analysed by reference to qualitative methods. In the presentation, these results will be presented and theoretically discussed on the basis of three assumptions of neurobiological personality research (Roth 2003) that seem to confirm the empirical findings. The role of personality will be discussed with special focus on creativity and innovative skills. The discussion will reveal the limitations of a neurobiological perspective on that topic.
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