Industry Placements for Czech Academics: Narrowing the Gap between Theory and Practice

By Roberto Bergami, Annamarie Schuller and Viktor Vojtko.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper reports on a pilot study of Czech academics on the perception of industry placements as a form of professional development. An industry placement requires an academic to work in a host firm for a pre-determined period of time to undertake an agreed-to job role and perform specific tasks.
Using a multi-disciplinary approach, this study gathered information about the perceived value of an industry placement as:
i) a means to build capacity in teaching and learning practices for key stakeholders, identified as: universities, industry partners, academics and students; and
ii) an opportunity to develop communities of practice, according to the theories of Lave and Wenger (1991), that include the principles of learning through legitimate peripheral participation. Implicit in the communities of practice theory is the formation of networks and voluntary contribution to knowledge by the members of such communities, who make varied contributions through different levels of participation.
Additionally, this study ‘tested’ a previously developed conceptual model for industry placements in terms of its relevance and application to the research findings.
The paper concludes that there seems to be a high level of interest from Czech academics in pursuing an industry placement, however, the implementation of such schemes is likely to face significant hurdles, as higher education institutions will need adequate specific purpose funding to enable them to successfully implement industry placement programs, and perhaps the Australian government’s “Researchers in Business” program may provide a suitable framework.

Keywords: Capacity Building, Communities of Practice, Industry Placement, Professional Development

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 10, pp.233-256. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 906.713KB).

Dr. Roberto Bergami

Senior Lecturer (Practice of International Trade) and Associate Researcher, Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives, School of Economics and Finance, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Roberto has over twenty years experience in the manufacturing industry, primarily within the pharmaceutical sector. He has held a number of roles in finance, sales, marketing, customer service and logistics, all with an international focus. Roberto's teaching spans over 20 years with experience in Higher Education, TAFE and private education providers. A full time member of staff at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, since 1998, Roberto has a Master in Education and Master of Business by Research (Applied Economics) and is currently undertaking his Ph. D. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Economics and Finance and Associate Researcher of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives. Roberto has maintained his involvement with industry through a number of peak associations where he enjoys various grades of senior level membership. In 2002 Roberto received the State of Victoria Quarantine Award for his efforts in educating students in quarantine matters. Roberto’s main areas of research interests in international trade focus on government regulations, delivery terms (Incoterms), international payment terms and market entry barriers. His other research interests include the development of communities of practice, online teaching and online communities, migration from Emilia-Romagna (Italy) to Australia and teenage/youth dialect.

Annamarie Schuller

Lecturer, Centre for Advanced Business Services (Business and Management), Chisholm Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Annamarie has been teaching business subjects in the VET sector since 1994. Her main areas of teaching specialisation include: Law, Management, Marketing, HR Management, OH&S. She has a Bachelor of Education from Melbourne University and is currently pursuing a Master of Education by Research at Monash University. Annamarie's prior industry experience spans approximately 17 years within the transport, education, pharmaceutical and food industries. She held a number of roles including customer service, marketing, and management roles. Annamarie’s main area of academic research interest centers around teaching and learning practices, communities of practice, and teacher placement in industry. Annamarie is an Associate Researcher of the Institute for Community, Ethnicity and Policy Alternatives at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

Viktor Vojtko

Lecturer and Research Fellow, Department of Trade and Tourism, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Viktor is a full time lecturer and part time research fellow at the University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice. He is teaching consumer behaviour, marketing research and e-business. His main research interests are in areas of market behaviour simulation and modelling (system dynamics and multiagent approach), use of management simulators in education, financial literacy and cooperation between academics and practice.


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