Hvordan kan DTU Transport rekruttere og fastholde udenlandske professorer?

Anne Mette Kristensen

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


I am interested in how DTU Transport can strengthen the research height and attract more external funding in selected areas by recruiting more professors. In recent years, transport research has grown faster than the number of available professors in Denmark, and it has become more international. It is therefore obviously to try to recruit foreign professors. It has surprised me that foreigner researchers have only in recent years begun to seek employment at DTU Transport, since I - already many years ago when I was employed in the health care sector - heard that the internationalisation of universities was well advanced. In my opinion, it is challenging for foreigners to become integrated into the department and I would like to know what they perceive as obstacles. I will examine how DTU Transport can improve recruitment and retention of foreign professors. The main questions are: How can DTU Transport strengthen the recruitment and retention of foreign professors? • What factors motivate foreign professors to choose employment at DTU? • What is the impact of national cultural factors on recruitment and retention? In order to recruit and retain professors, DTU Transport needs to know what is important for their motivation and satisfaction. Herzberg's theory about motivation and maintenance factors says something about what influences motivation and dissatisfaction in a job situation. As the problem statement is about foreign professors who have to settle down and become integrated at DTU, their cultural background is particularly interesting, and Hofstede’s national cultural dimensions can explain which nations are similar to DK and which ones are different and what characterises the dimensions. I use the theories to find explanations for the astonishment the professors expressed in the interviews in relation to the way life is lived in DK and the work is organised at DTU. It concerns collaboration, leadership and relationships the DTU-way and that is new to all of them. The project shows that DTU should market the professors' self-responsibility and exceptional degree of freedom, development and growth potential compared to other universities and the possibility of work-life balance as DTU stands out positively with respect to these motivators compared to other universities. The professors suggest DTU to create a more inviting academic and social environment. There is a strong focus on the external maintenance factors where professors especially ask for transparency on salaries, taxes and purchasing power in DK as well as for transparency on the culture, norms, cooperation, leadership and relationships at DTU, as it will expedite the recruitment process allowing the professors to focus on the work sooner as would otherwise be the case. I therefore suggest a recruitment process for foreign professors in two parallel tracks - an academic and a practical one. The project shows that the professors’ association with DK and their family’s well-being are very important for the ability to recruit and retain them, and they all agree that it is important to learn Danish. An open dialogue with the professors about their perception of management and internationalisation at DTU will be conducive, as well as information about why DTU does not operate with golden start packages would be useful. It becomes obvious that DTU/DK, as something special, is characterised by an extremely low power distance and a feminine culture and differs from the countries of origin of the interviewed. In those areas where differences are significant, examples show that foreign professors often feel challenged in relation to cooperation, leadership and relationships. The existence of cultural differences with respect to countries we normally do not compare ourselves with are not surprising. It is more surprising that DK lies significantly lower than for example Finland and Germany with respect to power distance and that it is a significantly more feminine society than Holland and Finland with which we normally compare ourselves. The results of the project are discussed and put into perspective with respect to the development that could be initiated if DTU considers the meeting with foreigners as a mutual inspiration and learning, not just academically, but also in relation to strengthening DTU's internationalization and culture. Is DTU for example prepared to learn from other countries’ cooperation and management cultures?

EducationsMaster of Public Governance, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages50