A soft skills experiment in an Industrial Engineering and Management academic course - A demonstration of how to develop soft skills

Klaas Stek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Industrial firms increasingly concentrate on their core competences and outsource non-core activities, affecting the personal (soft) skills requirements of purchasing and supply chain management (PSM) personnel in their boundary-spanning roles. In parallel, machines take over processes but cannot replicate humans' soft skills such as creativity and strategic thinking. The literature shows that learning objectives in PSM courses in higher education are evaluated for not covering soft skills. Moreover, there is evidence that soft skills development is challenging. It is questionable which soft skills can be developed and which didactics are applicable. This study presents an educational soft skills experiment with IEM graduates, and it provides evidence that soft skills learning can effectively be introduced in existing courses. The graduates self-rated their competence levels of 36 soft skills before and after the course that provided soft skills workshops and a case study. In the first survey, “strategic thinking” ranked low and could be improved the most in the second survey.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTraining Engineering Students for Modern Technological Advancement
EditorsAnabela C. Alves, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Electronic)9781799888185
ISBN (Print)9781799888161
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Sonstiges

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