Title: Developing professional competencies using a Living Lab approach: an exploratory study in the field of management education

Authors: Mario Bourgault

Addresses: Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, 2900 Edouard-Montpetit, P.O. Box 6079 Station Centreville, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3A7, Canada

Abstract: This paper presents an initiative in which living lab principles are applied to a teaching environment. Rather than develop an artefact or software-supported service, the aim was to develop professional competencies. In this sense, this study extends the scope of living labs beyond technological to individual development. The setting is a training exercise for engineers in a discipline that is associated with their practice: project management. In line with similar education experiments conducted at universities around the world, this case presents a Canadian initiative in which an environment was designed to allow students to interact in a quasi-real situation. A collaborative platform was set up so that distributed teams from two campuses could participate. The results are promising for both teaching and learning. Furthermore, the results can help advance the living lab approach as a viable method for knowledge creation, whether incorporated or not into a physical artifact.

Keywords: collaboration technologies; living labs; project management; product development; professional competences; management education; living laboratory; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2012.051160

International Journal of Product Development, 2012 Vol.17 No.1/2, pp.76 - 93

Received: 05 Nov 2011
Accepted: 05 Oct 2012

Published online: 23 Dec 2012 *

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