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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Harald A. Mieg

This paper aims at a better understanding of expert roles in transdisciplinary projects. Thus, the main purpose is the analysis of the roles of experts in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at a better understanding of expert roles in transdisciplinary projects. Thus, the main purpose is the analysis of the roles of experts in transdisciplinary projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of the ETH‐UNS case studies from the point of view of the psychology of expertise and the sociology of professions is based on findings and considerations from the psychology of expertise and the sociology of professions – as both lines of research are concerned with experts and the use of expertise. This paper focuses on projects in the framework of the so‐called transdisciplinary case study approach that has been developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in the 1990s.

Findings

It is claimed that, firstly, system experts provide important information on the local human‐environmental system and have to be regarded as serious experts, that is knowledge specialists with a certain responsibility for information. Secondly, decision‐making experts run into problems integrating other professionals into transdisciplinary projects and should, therefore, professionalize themselves.

Practical implications

The paper encourages the use of residents, etc. as system experts in transdisciplinary projects.

Originality/value

The roles of experts in transdisciplinary project are clarified.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Ralf Hansmann, Harald A. Mieg, Helmut W. Crott and Roland W. Scholz

This paper includes three analyses concerning: expert support in the selection of impact variables for scientific models relevant to environmental planning, the quality of…

Abstract

This paper includes three analyses concerning: expert support in the selection of impact variables for scientific models relevant to environmental planning, the quality of students’ individual estimates of corresponding impacts before and after a group discussion, and the accuracy of artificially‐aggregated judgments of independent groups. Participants were students of environmental sciences at ETH Zurich. The first analysis revealed that during participation in an environmental case study, students’ individual estimates of impacts of variables which have been suggested by experts increased, as compared to the estimates of impacts of additional variables, which have been selected by the students. The remaining analyses consider group discussions on the strength of particular environmental impacts. The quality of the estimates was analyzed referring to expert estimates of the impacts.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Harald A. Mieg

ETH‐UNS case studies are “transdisciplinary,” university‐based projects for sustainable development. This article introduces the ETH‐UNS case studies 1991 to 1997. In…

Abstract

ETH‐UNS case studies are “transdisciplinary,” university‐based projects for sustainable development. This article introduces the ETH‐UNS case studies 1991 to 1997. In particular, it examines, first, the role of experts and, second, the kind of collective reasoning in ETH‐UNS case studies. We found a significant “deprofessionalization” effect: whereas there was a high share of professionals in former ETH‐UNS case studies, relative experts with lower qualifications dominate in today’s ETH‐UNS case studies. Our analysis of this effect shows role conflicts between professionals and organizations as well as the importance of syntheses methods for organizing the collective reasoning in the ETH‐UNS case studies. Discussion focuses on the specific organizational linkage between the use of experts and collective reasoning in environmental projects in the context of sustainable development.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2009

Ralf Hansmann, Helmut W. Crott, Harald A. Mieg and Roland W. Scholz

Deficient group processes such as conformity pressure can lead to inadequate group decisions with negative social, economic, or environmental consequences. The study aims…

Abstract

Purpose

Deficient group processes such as conformity pressure can lead to inadequate group decisions with negative social, economic, or environmental consequences. The study aims to investigate how a group technique (called INFO) improves students' handling of conformity pressure and their collective judgments in the context of a transdisciplinary case study (TCS) for sustainability learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The improvement of normative functioning and output (INFO) group technique was tested in a field experiment embedded in a TCS. The INFO technique involves individual and group assessments of task difficulty. The experiment compares the performance of student groups assigned to control and experimental conditions in estimation tasks related to environmental planning and rail traffic.

Findings

The INFO interventions significantly improved the accuracy of group estimates compared to the control conditions. Applying the group technique could promote student's learning and facilitate the search for sustainable solutions in a TCS.

Practical implications

Results indicate that individually and collectively analyzing and discussing difficulties of a task as suggested by the INFO group technique can help students improve collective judgments on real world issues.

Originality/value

Group techniques are a prominent type of TCS methods as group processes are crucial for sustainability learning. First, this study applies the INFO group technique in a TCS in order to evaluate and further develop the technique.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Heike Oevermann

The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria and examples of good practice in heritage management within the specific field of UNESCO industrial heritage sites. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify criteria and examples of good practice in heritage management within the specific field of UNESCO industrial heritage sites. The paper is part of a transfer-of-knowledge project between Humboldt Universität and the Zollverein Foundation (Stiftung Zollverein), responsible for the heritage management of the UNESCO Zollverein site.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employed document analysis, interviews, expert discussions and application to the field.

Findings

First, a systematization, termed the Good Practice Wheel, shows eight criteria that must be considered for good practice in heritage management. Second, indicators of good practice, discussed in the academic field, can be embedded in the suggested systematization and provide further details of how to evaluate good practice. Third, the Zollverein case shows that the systematization can be applied to practice.

Research limitations/implications

The study offers a systematization to identify and discuss good practice.

Practical implications

The practical implication is to understand better how to turn the demands of UNESCO into opportunities.

Social implications

The Good Practice Wheel includes social aspects, within community engagement and the criterion of sustainability.

Originality/value

To date, this represents the only such systematic approach to identify and implement good practice in heritage management, specifically relevant for UNESCO industrial heritage sites.

Details

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-1266

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Walter Leal Filho

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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