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One foot in academia and one in work-life: the case of Swedish industrial PhD students
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design. (KAMAIL)
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration. (KAMAIL)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1991-4588
2023 (English)In: Journal of Workplace Learning, ISSN 1366-5626, E-ISSN 1758-7859, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 506-523Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to explore the benefits and barriers for learning in industrial PhD education through the perspectives of industrial PhD students. A work-integrated learning (WIL) approach is applied to highlight key issues that university and industry need to consider promoting mutual learning.

Design/methodology/approach – The empirical context is a Swedish university profiling WIL offering PhD programs in three disciplines for industrial PhD students from both the private and public sectors. Data was gathered using qualitative methods; 19 semistructured interviews with industrial PhD students.

Findings – Findings show that industrial PhD students are developing practical and transferable skills, hence, contributing to research of interest for academia and work–life. Identified benefits for learning include proximity and access to data, project and networks and contextual understanding and tacit knowledge. Barriers for learning are the perceived limited understanding of employers, the dilemma of balancing and switching between different roles, lack of belonging and identity, deficient collaboration agreements and ethical dilemmas.

Research limitations/implications – Contributes insights into an industrial PhD education transforming along with societal needs promoting a future workforce of researchers with skills, new work practices and learning capabilities applicable in the work–life of contemporary society.

Originality/value – This study contributes to the emerging field of studies of alternative doctoral educations by identifying benefits and barriers for learning and providing recommendations for how university and industry may promote learning in a resilient industrial PhD education collaboration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023. Vol. 35, no 6, p. 506-523
Keywords [en]
Doctoral education, Industrial PhD student, Work-integrated learning, Workplace, University–industry collaboration, Sweden
National Category
Learning Business Administration
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-20603DOI: 10.1108/jwl-11-2022-0157ISI: 001032225000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85165138404OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-20603DiVA, id: diva2:1786256
Note

CC BY 4.0

Available from: 2023-08-08 Created: 2023-08-08 Last updated: 2024-01-08

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Bernhard, IreneOlsson, Anna Karin

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