Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Leaning an University Department: a life experiment

Carvalho, Pedro G. and Miragaia, Dina (2007): Leaning an University Department: a life experiment.

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Abstract

The European Quality Assurance methodology is pushing hard Portuguese Universities so that they should improve their overall performance. Working at a Portuguese University more than a decade ago, one of the authors experienced several life cycles in different Departments and the experience acquired in foreign Universities (USA) teached him a couple of simple things in order to positively participate in this kind of processes. However, he found it quite difficult to apply his knowledge without other’s contribution, due to several endogenous and exogenous reasons, including age and generation viewpoints. Together with the second author we started to apply some theoretical new insights we were discussing together during her PhD research. The purpose of this paper is to describe the experiment we are in now, following a social network methodology used in my Economics PhD together with three theoretical influences we think are inter twinkled like the lean thinking, the value focus thinking and the complication in innovation diffusion processes. After a brief literature review we describe the basic pillars we used to achieve the main goal of improving performance in a young university department. Using some coaching and economic tools and knowledge, we were able to gather a group of different people – students, staff and teachers - deeply involved in our proposal methodology. Preliminary results are briefly identified, as much as further research challenges.

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