The JKU Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs presented this year's Kepler Awards in recognition of "Innovative Education – the Kepler Award for Teaching Innovation" on June 2. The team behind the seminar "Interdisciplinary Business Project" - including seminar supervisors Prof. Werani, Dr. Niehoff-Höckner, Mag. Hochmayr (Institute for Retailing, Sales and Marketing at the JKU) - were presented with a Kepler Award.
The Interdisciplinary Business Project (IBP) originated in 2003 when the voestalpine company first approached IHAM about the idea of conducting a more real-world, hands-on seminar. Following the revision of the "Master’s degree in Management" program in 2019, this voestalpine seminar served as a starting point on which to build an innovative course concept based on the following three cornerstones:
- Convey cross-disciplinary skills and expertise by holding the seminar in an integrative manner together with the JKU’s Institute for Retailing, Sales and Marketing, the Institute of International Management, and the Institute of Strategic Management.
- Students devise real-world solutions to address current issues facing partner companies. This means there is an express focus on applying theory learned in the classroom to a real-world business issues, giving students a perspective that extends beyond literature-based learning by means of studying "real cases".
- Students are supervised by teams from both the company involved and faculty members at the JKU to ensure they are successfully integrating theory and real-world practices. At the end of each seminar, students and faculty review the extent to which their applicable solutions were successful. The course concludes with an assessment in the form of a final presentation to high-ranking panel of company representatives.