The Steinbeis Company Competence Check© (UKC) is a holistic analysis of the competence held by a company. Using the tool helps firms to systematically capture which know-how they already possess, identify strengths, and proactively take on new challenges. As well as looking at the personal skills of workers, it also takes the overall organizational competence of the company into account. For the first time, the UKC has now been introduced at a German University, and in the winter semester of 2015-2016, Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences (FHWS) started teaching the concept to show students how the tool works as a basis for company evaluations.
As part of a group exercise, a team of four students had already worked up a comprehensive didactic concept for teaching the UKC. Their aim was to pinpoint the right approach needed to ensure that all fundamentals are covered including application of the instrument and that the results it provides are understood. The UKC was intended to become an established part of teaching within the university’s organizational development curriculum.
The team’s recommendation hit the mark. The teaching concept starts with fundamental instruction on the contents, underlying approach, and methods of the UKC. This gives students detailed insights into the principles of competence management, the measurement and scope of business competence, and the methods of competence analysis using software.
The next step is to carry out a live investigation into a virtual company using a case study and the UKC. The information on the virtual company has been pulled together into a case story which is given to the students to pore over before starting the analysis. Students then start a role playing exercise (including senior management, sales reps, development experts, consultants) and their job is to evaluate the company from their particular standpoint. All of the students then receive an automatic evaluation and a comparative analysis is carried out by the UKC software. They then break off into small groups to discuss the information, interpret the differences, and present their findings. The teaching part is completed by working out what the data implies in terms of implementation, the best way to categorize results, and how to best translate these into actions as part of a systematic consultation with the UKC.
For the first time, the concept was used at a half-day workshop involving around 40 students specializing in organizational development. The project was initiated and supervised at the university by Prof. Dr. Arnd Gottschalk (director of the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Human Resources & Organizations) working alongside Dr. Michael Ortiz, UKC project manager from Steinbeis headquarters, who provided support as a development partner. The plan is to keep developing the concept over the next couple of semesters in order to one day offer students the prospect of assessing a real company with the support of a lecturer. The UKC would also provide a good basis for a possible thesis.