Applying managers' views on group work in organisations to group assignments in universities

Caroline Kamau, Abigail Spong

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Universities face the challenge of adequately preparing graduates for group-work in organisations. Structured interviews of managers were analysed to deduce implications for the design of group assignments in universities. Participants were 10 managers from 10 organisations, 7 of which rank in the Times top 100 UK graduate employers. Themes that emerged included the idea that tight deadlines necessitate group-work, that communication within and between groups is essential, that group identity is important, and that leadership has important implications. These themes could be applied by giving university group assignments tighter deadlines than individual assignments, by providing tools to encourage communication within student groups (e.g. online information-sharing tools, and group logs to record details of meetings), encouraging student groups to develop a collective identity, and by encouraging student groups to choose a leader. It was concluded that group assignments in universities could be designed to better mirror conditions in real organisations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDialogue: Journal of Learning and Teaching
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


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