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SURGEOM is an international two-week summer school that will be held in Linz, Austria in July 2013. Travelling Costs for all participants will be payed by the project.

The aim of the summer school is to qualify participants to guide human-centred elicitation of hiqh-quality organizational models. Such models provide a foundation for qualified organizational, economic and technical decisions and developments in any business scenario.

Participants will learn how to select appropriate methods and tools for model externalization. They will practice how to guide externalization processes that lead to models tailored to the intended use. Instruments to evaluate the quality of models finally enable the participants to assess the success of their activities.

The summerschool follows a strongly intertwined approach of providing conceptual inputs and practically applying methods and tools in real-world business scenarios. Accompanied by a manifold of social activities the summer school provides a unique learning opportunity for anybody interested in the different facets of human-centred organizational development.

37 students from 7 universities in 6 European countries will work with 13 international teachers to reach the goals of the summer school. Successfull participants will be awarded at least 6 ECTS in their home curriculum.

Application

We seek for participation of students espcially from computer science and related studies that already have a masters degree or are near to completing it.

Financial support for travelling and accomodation is give by the organization. Nevertheless we kindly ask for an individual contribution of 50 € per studet.

To apply for participation please send an E-Mail to martin.degeling@ruhr-uni-bochum.de before the 15th of February 2013!

Background

Conceptual models of organizations are widely recognized to act as a foundation for communication, alignment, improvement or even support for verification and enactment of work in organizations. Conceptual models are thus an important tools to facilitate organizational improvement processes from both, a social and a technical perspective and ultimately also provide input for decisions on a management level. The scope of application for conceptual models thus is multi-disciplinary.

Independent of their application-domain, the creation of conceptual models is no trivial task. Accurately depicting the relevant part of organizational reality is the prerequisit for successfull deployment of conceptual models in every use case.

The objective of the intensive programme (IP) is to transfer skills to students that enable them to guide and facilitate a subject-driven organizational modeling process, tailored to given modeling objectives and a given group of end-users. The guiding principle of the IP is to consider subjects acting in a certain role within an organization to be the main sources of knowledge about work and its organizational context. Consequently, the major operational goal of an subject-driven organizational modeling process is to methodologically and technically support individuals in externalizing, aligning, reflecting and formalizing their views on work.

The main activities in the IP will be made up of a set of mutually aligned trainings on the key competences to be developed as well as work on a real-world case study to apply the acquired skills. Those key competences are:

  •  Being able to select an appropriate conceptual modeling technique and tools support for a given model purpose and a certain target group (e.g. people inexperienced of reflecting their work processes in a structured way)
  • Being able to methodologically guide individual and collaborative knowledge externalization processes that ultimately lead to explicit representations of organizational work and its context
  • Being able to guide additional steps based on model externalization such as alignment of work understanding in and across different roles, negotiation of concept meaning and preparation for model verification and execution, etc (depending on the  intended model use)
  • Being aware of different dimensions of model quality and being able operationalize the evaluation of model quality depending on a given modeling purpose (e.g. communication with co-workers, input for a workflow engine, etc).
  • Being aware of the role explicit models play in the process of externalization and alignement of knowledge about organizational work (e.g. restrictions in expressiveness imposed by certain modeling notations, different interpretations of model semantics, etc).

The target group of the IP are students at a bachelor- or master-level in business information systems, work sciences, or related areas, with a prospective profile of working at the intersection of social and technical issues within an organization.

The expected outcome of the IP is an empirically evaluated educational concept for transfering skills in subject-driven and role-guided organizational modeling. This concept will initially be applied in the IP for a set of 37 students from 6 European countries. The long-term objective of the IP is to strengthen cooperation and exchange of knowledge among researchers and scholars actively contributing to the IP’s thematic area all over Europe.

Formally, participants of the educational programme (lasting 10 days) will be awared an equivalent of 6 ECTS in their national curricula.

Programm

Day 1 – Arrival Day

This day is dedicated to arrival of the participants. Students and teaching staff will be picked up at the airport or the train station respectively by members of the coordinator’s staff and be transferred to their hotel. In the evening, a first Get-Together-Event will be held in the premises of the hotel and a nearby restaurant.

Day 2

This day is dedicated to getting known to each other, having a first consolidation in the groups that so far only met online and stepping into the first content block termed “conceptual foundations”.

Day 3

This day continues work on the foundations of conceptual modeling. The morning session is dedicated to deepen the topics already intoduced on day 2 and give a first insight into practical applications of conceptual modeling. The afternoon session builds upon these fundamentals and introduces the concept of model quality. In the first part of this session the construct of model quality and its dimensions are discussed.  In the second part, the concept of model quality is introduced and reflected upon from different scientific backgrounds in the form of a panel.

Day 4

The morning session on day 4 continues with discussing the topic of model quality on a more operational level. The different dimensions of model quality are discussed in terms of how to assess them and which dimensions can be particularly relevant for certain use cases. The afternoon session starts the transition toward actual modeling processes and introduces different concepts and approaches on model presentation. Model presentation and visualization is guided by the use of modeling languages. The first part of the session introduces semantical concepts relevent for organizational modeling and shows their instantiation in different modeling languges.

Day 5

Day 5 is fully dedicated to the topic of model presentation and ultimately strives to provide the participants with different means of model presentation (i.e. different languages) for different use cases and faciliate the selection of appropriate means of presenation given a certain modeling goal. The morning session is used to continue introductory work from day 4, while the afternoon session is dedicated to practical application of modeling languages in the case study.

Day 6

Day 6 closes the first week of the IP and the topic block of model representation with finalizing the modeling exercises and reflecting on them in the small groups in the morning session. The afternoon session picks up again on the block of conceptual model quality. It is dedicated to discussion of the fieldwork carried out in the model presentation session under special consideration of quality aspects. Participants should make use of their examples and explicitly asses the quality of these models under different dimensions. This in turn will visualize the importance of selecting appropriate modeling languages and model scopes for different modeling goals.

Day 7 – Weekend – cultural programme & leisure time (Salzkammergut)

In the morning, participants will be transfered to the trainstation, from where transfer to Upper Austria’s lake- and mountain region will start.

While the detailed programme is still to be fixed (depending on available budget and potential sponsorships), the inital plan is to stay in a youth hostel in the lake area (Attersee, Mondsee). In the afternoon, an optional trip to Bad Ischl will be offered. Alternatives include taking a round trip on the lake by boat or simply hanging out on the lakeside.

Day 8 – Weekend – cultural programme & leisure time (Salzkammergut)

The second day will be dedicated to a hiking tour in the mountains with the alternative option to reach the mountain top by cable car. After a picknick on the alp, the particiants will be transferred back to the hotel in Linz. In the evening, participants have the option to join a guided trip through Linz.

Day 9

Week 2 starts with a day dedicated to the formal representation of conceptual models. Based upon the semantically open representation form of Topic Maps, participants will not only learn how conceptual models can be represented in a from that makes them processable by computers but will also understand the concepts of ontology and how to specify semantics of a given modeling language.

Day 10

Organizational Semiotics is the session that builds the bridge between models and the process of modeling, especially in the context of organizations. Organizational semiotics deals with the question of how meaning is created within organizations and how this “meaning” can be represented and communicated. The whole day is dedicated to this topic and conducted in a highly interactive way in plenary and group work sessions.

Day 11

The morning session on day 11 continues the block of day 10 and is dedicated to organizational semiotics. In preparation of the afternoon session, it focusses on how to communicate models and recognize and resolve misunderstandings in model interpretation. The afternoon sessions marks the start of the final stage of the IP dedicated to practical application of the concepts and skills acquired in the course of the IP. The afternoon session starts to introduce techniques for model eliciation, focussing on methodology for interviewing and cooperative externalization and alignment of meaning.

Day 12

The morning session on day 11 continues the block of day 10 and is dedicated to organizational semiotics. In preparation of the afternoon session, it focusses on how to communicate models and recognize and resolve misunderstandings in model interpretation. The afternoon sessions marks the start of the final stage of the IP dedicated to practical application of the concepts and skills acquired in the course of the IP. The afternoon session starts to introduce techniques for model eliciation, focussing on methodology for interviewing and cooperative externalization and alignment of meaning.

Day 13

The last day of topic-oriented work in the IP is dedicated to finishing the fieldwork session in the morning and reflecting on the overall outcome of the IP in the afternoon session. During the closing session, the participants are also expected to briefly present their results of the fieldwork session (in the form of an interactive exhibition). The final feedback session will be used to trigger the online reflection phase to be conducted after the IP.

Day 14 – Departure

Depending on their travel schedule, partipants will be provided transfer to the airport or the trainstation throughout the day. More information will be available on the project page soon.

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