InterKomp KMU 2.0 – Project “Technology and Culture” TH Wildau [FH]
The joint project InterKomp KMU 2.0 is aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs or KMU in German) with a view to offering them modular trainings for “international IT-based project management and knowledge management in a multicultural environment” at the interface of technology and culture. The project is funded by the BMBF, the German Ministry for Education and Research, within the programme “Research at Universities of Applied Sciences and Companies” (FHprofUnt) from 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2013.
The joint project InterKomp KMU 2.0 will help to address the particular contexts of SMEs and improve the cross-cultural skills of their employees. The impending demographic change, coupled with declining student numbers, especially in the engineering and IT sectors, represents a significant challenge for SMEs. It is important to realize that economic and scientific developments in Germany will depend both on highly qualified experts and on students and graduates from abroad. SMEs can benefit from this influx from abroad if it is possible for them to establish a new quality of international cultural competence: context-based and action-oriented. Barriers need to be removed amd bridges of understanding built. Without the ability to integrate international experts, SMEs cannot remain competitive. One promising solution is to establish close connections with higher educational institutions and this is the aim of InterKomp KMU 2.0 and the focus of its content.
The core part of the project “Technology and Culture” at TH Wildau [FH] is the development and use of a modular expert training course and of web-based services. The focus is on context relation and action orientation with an inter-cultural component. This corresponds to our user-driven approach when developing educational software, building communities and conducting workshops. We have an understanding of the changes in teaching methods in blended learning scenarios that need to be implemented in this project.
Finally, the modules of the community-based training course can be used partly or as a whole, offline or online, and in blended learning scenarios. However, the language is German and at the moment there is no English translation available. The modules of the training course offer the SMEs and their employees:
- the skills and abilities to successfully carry out international projects supported by IT on the basis of goal-oriented and demand-driven ICTs;
- contextual and action-oriented intercultural competences as well as methods for managing multicultural virtual teams;
- methods and tools for building and managing a knowledge management system for SMEs that takes into account cultural differences.
The coordinator of the joint project and project manager of the sub-project “Technology and Culture” is Prof. Margit Scholl. The project is supported by Prof. Olga Roesch.
The members of the academic staff are: Dr. Bettina Strewe, Anja Teske and Christian Niemczik.