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The EU-project iCom (2011 – 2014) supported the territorial cooperation in the border region of Austria and the Czech Republic. It helped the two largest universities of that region, the University of Vienna and the Masaryk University in Brno to join forces in developing human resources by promoting and researching constructive, international communication in the context of Information- and Communication Technology (ICT).

The EU-funded project „International Constructive Communication in the Context of ICT“ (iCom) supports the cross-border cooperation between Austria and the Czech Republic from 2011 to 2014. The University of Vienna (represented by the Faculty of Computer Science and the Postgraduate Center) acts as lead partner in the project which was implemented in collaboration with the Masaryk University Brno. The project aimed at higher qualification of education and on building bridges between science and industry. In so-called “Practice-Research Workshops” practitioners and researchers worked on interdisciplinary topics in the field of IT (project) management and communication. The workshops provided the opportunity to share experiences and knowledge across national and professional borders. This supported the knowledge transfer between universities and IT companies, which can be used at universities to generate new inputs for relevant, practice-oriented research topics.

Induced by the two biggest universities in the territorial region, a bilateral offer within the doctorate studies “Informatics” and “Business Informatics” was developed and implemented. The bilateral offer specialized towards part-time students with practical work experience and aimed at increasing the number of higher qualified persons in the job market and in research in both partner regions.  “Employment and the doctorate study should be profitably combinable. The iCom Project helps to connect research, teaching and practice in a way that enables employees, teachers and managers to research on current challenges in IT-projects and generate new knowledge”, stated Renate Motschnig, scientific project lead. IT-professionals had the opportunity to improve their communication competencies in the workshops, get insights in recent research, and share their experience with researchers. By intensively cooperating with industry, the universities were able to include challenges from practice in their research projects. Through the tight cooperation with industry, the University of Vienna further received new impulses for postgraduate qualification programmes. The participative development of continuing education programmes and corporate programmes in the IT field was supported by the Postgraduate Center.  The project „iCom“ was financially funded by the „European Regional Development Fund“ and strengthened the territorial cooperation between the regions Vienna and South Moravia.


Book: Constructive Communication in International Teams

The major experiences of the project were published in the book “Constructive Communciation in International Teams – An Experience-Based Guide” released in the Waxmann Verlag.  

The book specifically targets practitioners and should be an inspirational guide for project managers. As communication is essential for project success – especially in complex work environments such as IT project teams – the book provides project managers, consultants, IT experts and scientists with numerous supportive scenarios as well as research approaches oriented towards lived practice. The guidebook is the result of three years in bilateral research and knowledge transfer. It melds scientifically founded insights and considerations concerning knowledge transfer, learning organizations, leadership, communication and agility. Practitioners working in or with teams, especially project managers, may find incentives in topics such as supporting decision processes, transparency across hierarchical boundaries, as well as considerations about language and communication channels in international environments.

The basic idea for the book stems from the collaboration with partners from industry: to make research results and significant events in the iCom project accessible for practitioners. Together, the twelve authors – the iCom team – formed a vision of the book as a support for constructive communication in international teams. In an agile process – in consultation with business partners - key insights concerning communication in teams were collected and sketched through fitting case stories. The result is a book that readers can use to reflect their interactions in teams. Moreover, the chapters of the book can be discussed in a team to learn together. In manifold ways this book enables and supports the expansion of personal ways of communication.

R&D EU-Projekte, Öffentliche Finanzierung
2011 - 2014
Fachdidaktik- und Lernforschungszentrum Informatik
Fakultät für Informatik
Universität Wien

Währinger Straße 29
1090 Wien