Let the grunts do it! - studying the embedding of a multidisciplinary master education in an educational institution
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Despite much attention interdisciplinary educations still struggle to make full foothold in higher education. This paper study how an interdisciplinary master education can become embedded in education institutions. Educational research and institutional theory is used to conceptualise the interdisciplinary aspect and institutional change work. The case, Innokick, is a new education introduced in Switzerland. The education recruit engineers, business economists, and design bachelors. Cross disciplinary collaboration is central in the education as is close encounter with external enterprises and organisations that provide tasks for the students. The students develop prototypes of applications, products, a business model and business plan. The research fieldwork encompassed interviews, study of documentation and participants' observation. The study show how relatively low rank employees, the grunts, is left with realizing a strategy of making cross disciplinary, cross institutional and research based education. In an entrepreneurial spirit the first semester showed how a strong culture developed yet many aspect under construction. Challenges include tightening the interdisciplinary teachers' team, overcoming mono-disciplinary cultures at the involved education institutions, strengthening research and future employment for the students of the master. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open acess article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.