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Factors Influencing the Perception of Relevant Competencies in the Digitalized Working World

Authors:

Abstract

Relevance & Research Question: Many companies see the lack of skilled workers as a central obstacle to the digital transformation. It is well-known that diverse workforces lead to more balanced decisions and more innovation. Nevertheless, women, for example, are still underrepresented in STEM-professions. The following research question arises: Are there any differences in the perception of relevant competencies for the digitalized working world according to gender, age, employment status and migration background? Methods & Data: Following preliminary literature research and qualitative expert interviews [n=6], a quantitative study was conducted from Nov. – Dec. 2018. Participants [n=515] were recruited among students and companies using faculty email lists, paper form and social media. Participants were asked to assess a total of 14 competencies, knowledge resources and behaviours in their relevance for the digitalized working world on a 6-tier scale. Correlations were determined by calculating Chi-square according to Person and Cramer’s V. Means were compared using T-Test and Levene. Results: Respondents consider openness to change (5.50), IT and media skills (5.40) and learning ability (5.36) to be the most relevant. Analytical skills (4.79) and empirical knowledge (4.56) are less in demand. Men rate innovation competence (χ²=10.895, p=.028, V=0.146), decision-making ability (χ²=13.801, p=.017, V=0.164) and ability to think in context (χ²=14.228, p=.014, V=0.167) slightly higher than women. No correlation can be found regarding respondents’ migration background. Among company representatives, eight competencies are rated significantly higher than by students, especially communicative competence (+0.91) and interdisciplinary thinking and acting (+0.74). Moreover, it is noticeable that older participants (generation X, born 1964-1979) consider all competencies to be more important than younger ones (generation Z, 1996-2009), apart from IT and media competence. The items openness to change (T-Test p=.004, Levene p=.004), self-organisation (T-Test p<.001, Levene p=.020) and problem-solving competence (T-Test p=.011, Levene p=.019) show significant correlation between age and assessment. Added Value: First, results reveal a ranking of needed competencies for the digital transition, which companies and educational institutions should address. Second, differences between the employee groups could be discovered which have to be considered in the further approach, be it education or research.
Factors Influencing the Perception of Relevant Competencies
in the Digitalized Working World
Swetlana Franken, Malte Wattenberg
Digital change and Industry 4.0 are increasing the demand for specialists in STEM
professions, which is becoming more intense due to the growing shortage of skilled
workers. Under these conditions, young women who opt for technical professions and
migrant women with STEM qualifications represent valuable potential that needs to be
tapped. A sustainable design of digitization and Industry 4.0 requires the participa-
tion of various actors as well as specific skills of women and migrants that contribute
to the success of the digital transformation.
Following preliminary literature research and qualitative ex-
pert interviews [n=6], a quantitative study was conducted
from Nov. – Dec. 2018.
Participants [n=515] were recruited among students and com-
panies using faculty email lists, paper form and social media.
Participants were asked to assess a total of 14 competencies,
knowledge resources and behaviours in their relevance for the
digitalized working world on a 6-tier scale. Correlations were
determined by calculating Chi-square according to Person and
Cramer’s V. Means were compared using T-Test and Levene.
& Method
Swetlana Franken & Malte Wattenberg
Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences
Faculty of Business and Health
Interaktion 1
33619 Bielefeld, Germany
Contact
Relevance Results
The overall goal of the project Women Resource 4.0 is to bet-
ter unlock the potential of qualified migrant and non-migrant
MINT women for shaping digitization and Industry 4.0 in orga-
nizations. With this goal, the project sets an example for equal
opportunities for young people, independent of their gender
and origin, an adequate employment of qualified migrant wo-
men, a better compatibility of family and work as well as a cul-
tural change in organisations.
Based on this, the following research question arises:
Are there any dierences in the perception of relevant
competencies for the digitalized working world according
to gender, age, employment status and migration back-
ground?
Objective
https://women-ressource4-0.de
Women Ressource 4.0
The female students surveyed rate the skills required for the digitized world
of work particularly high.
Due to their skills and understanding of the concerns of the world of work 4.0,
women can act as capable leaders for the digitalised world of work, placing
particular emphasis on innovation, agility and interdisciplinarity.
Yet, it is crucial to make the world of work 4.0 participatory in the interest of
the people, involving all groups of employees - men and women, migrant
and non-migrant.
Age categories Sex Mig. backgr. Prof. position
male fem. with w/o. Corp. Stud. Oth.
No information 4 9 3 1
Generation Z 50 21 15 56 2 70 0
Generation Y 138 128 77 185 97 162 7
Generation X 79 31 17 93 93 4 12
Baby Boomer 39 25 3 60 58 0 6
Overall (515) 306 205 112 394 253 237 25
Competence Rating Among Students
Older participants (generation X, born 1964-1979) consider all competen-
cies to be more important than younger ones (generation Z, 1996-2009),
apart from IT and media competence. The items openness to change (T-Test
p=.004, Levene p=.004), self-organisation (T-Test p<.001, Levene p=.020)
and problem-solving competence (T-Test p=.011, Levene p=.019) show signi-
ficant correlation between age and assessment.
No correlation can be found regarding respondents’ migration back-
ground.
5,2
5,07
5,26
5,38
5,34
4,96
5,17
5,23
5,45
5,48
4,8 4,9 55,1 5,2 5,3 5,4 5,5
Ability to think in context
Ability to work in teams
Learning ability
Openness to change
IT- and media competence
female male
Additional Results and Conclusion
Demographic Data Highest Rated Competencies
Competence Rating Among Company Representatives
5,33
5,39
5,39
5,44
5,57
5,2 5,25 5,3 5,35 5,4 5,4 5 5,5 5,55 5,6
Communicative competence
IT- and media competence
Ability to think in context
Learning ability
Openness to change
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