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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://dspace.bu.ac.th/jspui/handle/123456789/3362

Title: Higher Education for Employability: the Development of a Diagnostic Maturity Model.
Authors: Philippe Vande Wiele
Keywords: Higher Education
Employability
Maturity Model
Design Science
Delphi
Fitness for Purpose
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: Evry University - Paris Saclay
Citation: Vande Wiele, P. (2017) Higher Education for Employability: the Development of a Diagnostic Maturity Model, Doctoral Dissertation, Paris Saclay University, Paris, France. http://www.theses.fr/2017SACLE004
Abstract: Over the least two decades, the debate around the role and ability of Higher Education (HE) to address the development of human capital for societal and economic progress has been re-ignited. The catalysts of this debate, that has been latent since the 1960’s, are the new economic and societal realities of the 21st Century, a continued rhetoric by industry of a mismatch between profiles of graduates and labour market requirement, and questions around fitness for purpose of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Against this backdrop the term ‘employability’ has reemerged as an overarching construct to address this issue in political and quality assurance contexts. The construct’s highly complex, relative and evolving nature and the plethora of attempts to its conceptualization have rendered employability to be a very elusive topic for HEIs. This gives rise to the following two research questions this study aims to tackle: RQ1 How can a HEI address employability? and RQ2 How can a HEI be diagnosed on its fitness for purpose in terms of employability?. Assuming the pertinent role of HE in the employability debate, this study contends the adoption of a holistic perspective of the employability construct whereby its influencing factors are of intrinsic, extrinsic and actionable nature. This sets the groundwork for the proposal of a diagnostic mechanism to comprehensively evaluate institutional practice for employability with the eye on improvement. Using the perspective of HE for employability as a transformation process and applying value chain principles towards unpacking the institutional process a HEI has in place, this study identifies a comprehensive set of institution wide practices that are conducive to employability which forms the basis for the construction of a maturity model for its diagnosis. The bi-dimensional nature of maturity models i.e. situated between model and method makes it an appropriate solution to pursue in light of both research questions. Its construction requires the carefully unpacking of the process it intends to represent and its application allows for the evaluation of the process with the eye on potential improvement. This study aims to present the development of the Employability Development and Assessment Maturity Model (EDAMM) following a pragmatist Design Science Research methodology. In such the model is constructed out of the interplay of a number of design cycles, relevance cycles and rigour cycles. These cycles respectively present the construction of the model, the reality on which it is stooled and the underpinning theoretical knowledge based in which it is rooted. Case studies on undergraduate programmes at three HEIs in the Middle East, Asia and Europe are, in complement with exhaustive literature review, used to build a first version of the model. This preliminary model is then subjected to expert scrutiny through a Delphi Method to arrive at a validated proposal of the maturity model this study asserts as the answer to its research questions. The EDAMM structure consists of five general levels of process sophistication (read: maturity) which have been termed traditional, espoused, enacted, integrated and optimized. The institutional transformation process for employability has been unpacked by means of five thematic categories of activities (read: dimensions) i.e. Curriculum, Leadership, Quality Measurement, Industry Relations and Employability Support Services. For each of these dimensions a series of qualifying indicators (read: criteria) were identified to effectively evaluate the activities in the context of this study, resulting in a total of 22 criteria. At each maturity level, evaluative gradient descriptions were developed for the dimensions and their respective criteria to allow for a diagnosis of the total transformation process using an application format following good maturity modeling fashion. The final model is then applied to the three case studies as a form of proof of concept. As a first in its kind, this model presents a novel introduction of maturity modeling in the context of HE quality assurance for employability. Not only is it a practical tool towards quality claims, but it also implicitly outlines pathways for improvement. This contributes to the body of knowledge around effective HE practices for employability through the investigation of up to date the most comprehensive set of operational sub domains of HE in an employability context. This study further strengthens the methodological approach of Design Science Research towards the production of knowledge artifacts and maturity models in particular. Compared to longer standing traditional methodological lenses, this pragmatist methodology is rather novel in research towards theory development and modeling for complexity. The methodology is described in high detail and is hoped to inspire other researchers to embrace Design Science Research for the building of knowledge artifacts. Finally this study also promotes the use of the Delphi Technique as a validation mechanism for model development, further supporting the power and applicability of expert consultation in academic research.
Description: Thesis (Ph.D.) - Knowledge Management and Innovation Management, Graduate School, Bangkok University, 2018
Advisor(s): Vincent Ribiere
Jean-Louis Ermine
URI: http://dspace.bu.ac.th/jspui/handle/123456789/3362
Appears in Collections:Dissertation

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