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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 November 2022

Joakim Tell and Maya Hoveskog

The purpose of this paper is to address the need to rethink the traditional approach to education in the university engineering curriculum. The paper examines two…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the need to rethink the traditional approach to education in the university engineering curriculum. The paper examines two engineering projects led by university students in Sweden: the design and construction of a solar-powered car taking part in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge and the creation of a business model for the ownership phase of an electric car together with Polestar.

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review was conducted. Students were interviewed and surveyed on their impressions of their learning experience in the two projects and student logbooks reviewed. Problem-based learning (PBL), the Conceiving, Designing, Implementing and Operating approach and the ABCD procedure are used. Results are compared to theories from the literature.

Findings

PBL in real-world settings can increase engineering students’ technical knowledge and improve their technical skills as they solve complex problems or propose solutions to such problems. Such projects also strengthen students’ commitment, self-confidence and self-esteem as well as promote co-operation and creativity. These are soft skills largely absent from traditional engineering education.

Practical implications

Innovative, student-led learning in the applied engineering curriculum can foster students’ soft skills in ways that teacher-led, lecture-style learning does not.

Originality/value

This research offers a timely perspective on an issue of current interest in engineering education: student-led learning versus teacher-led learning. The paper also provides two illustrative student-led projects that focus on sustainability and mobility.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 23 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Joakim Tell and Fawzi Halila

Describes how the network concept could be used as a development method and to overcome some of the barriers for small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) to initiate and…

Abstract

Describes how the network concept could be used as a development method and to overcome some of the barriers for small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) to initiate and work with sustainable development questions. The study has been done in close co‐operation with managers and employees from small enterprises, where the ISO 14001 work has been initiated and supported through the network, using each other and the network as an arena for joint reflection, support, and as a resource pool. The result from this study indicates that a university‐driven learning network makes a difference in the development work of SMEs – as a source for inspiration, in initiating and working with development projects, for reflection, and as a sounding board, and through its effectiveness in acting as a large organisation.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Joakim Tell

In this paper, a unique development in a network of small enterprises is presented and discussed. This is the creation of a network of employees that, in the first phase…

Abstract

In this paper, a unique development in a network of small enterprises is presented and discussed. This is the creation of a network of employees that, in the first phase, had a function in parallel with the network of their managers, and which, over time, has led to tighter integration, by means of incorporating more employees in development work. The importance of trust and dialogue will be highlighted as well as the significance of both explicit and tacit knowledge. Finally, attention will be drawn to this network structure as a form of inter‐organisational empowerment of employees. This is an extended and modified version of a conference paper that was written by Marieke Hoekstra, Max Lundberg and Joakim Tell for the 5th Annual International Conference on Post‐compulsory Education and Training, Queensland, Australia, 26‐28th November, 1997.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Svante Andersson and Joakim Tell

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the relationship between the manager and growth in small firms, through a review of earlier research.

3658

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the relationship between the manager and growth in small firms, through a review of earlier research.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of articles published during the last 25 years is carried out in order to answer the question: How does the top manager influence growth in small firms?

Findings

Three key relationships are identified: between growth and, respectively, managerial traits and characteristics, managerial intentions, and managerial behavior or roles. The diverse findings in the literature are contradictory and give a paradoxical picture of the impact of the manager. A deeper analysis of the results from the review, supplemented with leadership theory, yields a better understanding of small‐firm growth with a special focus on the behavior of the manager.

Research limitations/implications

This paper problematizes the complexity in managing small‐firm growth, and can be further empirically validated by using multiple methods including qualitative ones such as observational studies.

Practical Implications

The findings have a bearing on education and policy implications. If a behavior can be identified that promotes small firms' growth, education and policy implications can be developed in line with these results.

Originality/value

In small firms there seems to be a general consensus that managers do influence the performance of small firms, but so far there has not been a systematic review of earlier empirical research, that is done in this paper. From this review, a more complete picture of how managers influence growth in small firms is presented.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Joakim Tell

The purpose of this paper is to create a better understanding of the strategic management behavior of top managers in small, fast‐growing manufacturing firms.

1332

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create a better understanding of the strategic management behavior of top managers in small, fast‐growing manufacturing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data have been collected in Sweden through both a survey of the 100 fastest growing small firms during 2000 and the development five years after (2001‐2006), as well as through structured observations of the working days of top managers in six fast‐growing manufacturing small firms.

Findings

Managers in small, fast‐growing manufacturing firms are engaged in many different activities. However, a few activities tend to take the majority of their time. These activities are either operational (for instance, activities related to production, marketing and sales) or administrative (for instance, activities related to the firms’ personnel and to financial issues). Looking at the managers’ activities from a strategy management point of view, they spend very little time on strategic activities. This finding may explain why firm growth in many cases declines or even ceases.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the theoretical and empirical literature on strategic processes in small, fast‐growing manufacturing firms by showing that the majority of their managers use a “simplistic strategy”. Such a strategy may imply that these managers find it difficult to alter their originally successful operational and administrative behavior in order to develop their firms. Such managers are “stuck” in a path dependency mindset, even though the growth of their firms requires that they adopt a more flexible management strategy.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Joakim Tell, Maya Hoveskog, Pia Ulvenblad, Per-Ola Ulvenblad, Henrik Barth and Jenny Ståhl

Because the business model (BM) is a fairly new concept, research is lacking on business model innovation (BMI) in certain industry sectors. One such sector is the…

3447

Abstract

Purpose

Because the business model (BM) is a fairly new concept, research is lacking on business model innovation (BMI) in certain industry sectors. One such sector is the agri-food sector. Using a systematic literature review (SLR) of peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1990 to 2014, the purpose of this paper is to examine the where, when, and how of the use of BMs and BMI in the agri-food sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A web-based search was conducted to identify peer-reviewed journal articles that contained a combination of “BM” or “BMI” with agriculture-related and food-related terms (e.g. “agri-food sector”). After winnowing out irrelevant and duplicate articles, 505 articles were chosen for analysis.

Findings

Using categories, the paper analyses various data about the selected articles. The categories include research settings, units of analysis, methodologies, and theories. Based on this analysis, the paper finds that these agri-food sector articles are primarily qualitative, empirical studies that focus on one or a few companies (i.e. case studies). The paper also finds that theory is not yet well-developed in the research on the agri-food sector.

Originality/value

SLRs of various concepts, theories, and models are common in many fields (e.g. information/software technology, healthcare, and organizational management). However, no such review is available for the agri-food sector, in particular in its use of BMs and BMI. This paper addresses that gap with its review of relevant articles published in more than 300 journals in recent years. Based on this review, the paper draws conclusions about BMI in the agri-food sector and offers suggestions for future research.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 September 2013

Joakim Tell and Jonas Gabrielsson

In this study, we link discussions about management development in small firms to the work environment of small business managers. In particular, our aim is to examine…

Abstract

In this study, we link discussions about management development in small firms to the work environment of small business managers. In particular, our aim is to examine management development as an experiential process carried out in daily managerial practice. Using structured observations of managerial work, we found that small business managers operate in work environments with rich opportunities for learning. However, we also found that various and unexpected interruptions and problems typically fragment their workdays. In addition, such managers lack peer support and guidance and have few external interactions and little internal communication. As a result, small business managers find themselves in a learning dilemma that, in the long run, may limit their creativity and innovation. Based on these empirical findings, we draw conclusions about support for work-based management development in small firms.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Henrik Florén and Joakim Tell

Descriptive studies have shown that co‐operation in networks produces better possibilities for higher‐level learning than small firms can organise on their own. Previous…

Abstract

Descriptive studies have shown that co‐operation in networks produces better possibilities for higher‐level learning than small firms can organise on their own. Previous studies of learning in networks, however, have not considered how the prerequisites for higher‐level learning develop over time in networks. This paper reports on a seven‐year participant observational study of two different network constellations. A conclusion from the study is that the learning in networks of small‐firm owner/managers is based on trust and has emergent prerequisites. These prerequisites are reciprocity between learning actors, the learning actors’ receptive and confronting capacity, and the transparency of the dialogue in the networks. Over time these prerequisites develop and create better opportunities for higher‐level learning.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Marie McHugh

298

Abstract

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Rosa Caiazza, Tiziana Volpe and John L Stanton

801

Abstract

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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