Preparing Business Students for Cooperation in Multidisciplinary New Venture Teams: Empirical Insights from a Business Planning Course
Technovation Vol. 26, No. 2, 2005
26 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2008
Date Written: November 22, 2005
Interdisciplinary cooperation among people trained in technical and economic fields has been identified as an important success factor in new venture teams. However, empirical findings also indicate that individuals often refuse to engage in close and trustful relationships with representatives of other disciplines. Thus the question arises whether education programs on interdisciplinary cooperation may be suitable to prepare students for future activities in multifunctional business start-up teams. In this study, we investigate the psychological effects of an interdisciplinary business planning course held at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration with the intention of promoting cooperation between technology-oriented professionals and business management students. The findings show that this course experience changes the students' attitudinal beliefs with respect to representatives of the technical discipline by reducing stereotypical assumptions. At the same time, the course fosters awareness of the challenges involved in cross-disciplinary cooperation. The more students communicate with their technical counterparts and the more they familiarize themselves with the technical aspects of the project, the stronger these effects become.
Keywords: entrepreneurial education, interdisciplinary cooperation, new venture teams
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