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International Doctoral Colloquium: Transitions in Professional Responsibilities

Ensuring Quality and Effective Organisational and Management Practices

May 22 (6pm) – May 25 (1 pm) 2012

Call for participation (deadline 20th of April 2012)

The International Doctoral Colloquium is addressed to PhD students who have nearly or recently completed their dissertations, as well as to early career researchers. It encourages submissions from scholars who are studying management, organisational and professional education/learning, as well as organisational and managerial practices in organizations.

The theme of the Doctoral Colloquium

The focus is on the study of learning, education and organising among professions where the practices of managers and practitioners have significant possibilities to harm as well as benefit the different groups with whom they work. These groups face a number of current problems which cross disciplines, sectors and geographical boundaries: ensuring quality standards while encouraging mobility, educating professionals for complex skills in high stakes environments, reducing errors, and ensuring effective leadership. There are significant social and economic costs associated with these problems.

To respond to such problems, managers, policy makers and education providers need sophisticated understandings of professional practice, change, politics, culture and learning in complex global systems. These problems require interdisciplinary capabilities and flexible thinking across multiple perspectives in order to support changing professional responsibilities in specific professional settings.

A special focus will be on conceptualising and responding effectively to transitions, since transitions are regular and inevitable features of managerial work. Transitions may include individual transitions in role (levels of responsibility, settings, and places); transitions in codified practices and professional knowledge base; and transitions in conditions and arrangements of practice (policy and institutional transitions, cross-country transitions, transitions to multi-professional or networked arrangements, etc).

The objectives

The Doctoral Colloquium will develop students’ and early career scholars’ awareness of transitions in professional practice and will encourage innovative managerial responses to the challenges professional organizations and educational bodies face.
The aim of the Doctoral Colloquium is to train a cohort of these scholars in state of the art approaches to research in managerial and educational practices and to help them to develop papers and articles which critically reflect on current challenges in professional responsibilities.

The interdisciplinary teaching network

The Doctoral Colloquium has engaged internationally recognized academics: experts in organisational and workplace learning and knowing, organizational and managerial analysis, and educational and training design.
The composition of the network reflects the interdisciplinarity of this area of research.
The local team of organizational scholars from Trento (the Research Unit on Communication, Organizational Learning and Aesthetics) has an agreement for collaboration with:

  • the team ProPEL (International Network for Professional Practice, Education and Learning) at the University of Stirling
  • the Department of Education at Aarhus University
  • the Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society at the University of Gothenburg

Within this framework, the aim of the International Doctoral Colloquium is to bring together some of the leading researchers to work closely with doctoral students and early career scholars and to promote an active research dialogue both on methodological and theoretical challenges on management and training for transitions in professional organizations.

During the International Doctoral School, lectures and group work will alternate: lectures will be aimed at framing the subject from different perspective, while during the group works PhD students/recent graduates, with the support of the facilitators, will discuss the ideas presented and how to benefit from these perspectives in their own research and writing.
International Senior Researchers – Doctoral Colloquium Facilitators

Participants will have the opportunity to work with, and closely interact with the following senior researchers who will act as lecturer or facilitators throughout the doctoral colloquium.

  • Attila Bruni - researcher, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
  • Vincenzo D’Andrea - professor, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
  • Bente Elkjaer - professor, Department of Education, Aarhus University, Campus Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Tara Fenwick - professor, Stirling School of Education, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK.
  • Silvia Gherardi - professor, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
  • Åsa Mäkitalo - professor, Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Antonio Strati - professor, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
  • Alberto Zanutto - lecturer, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.


The course will run from Tuesday May 22(6pm) to Friday May 25 (1pm) in Trento (Italy)


The International Doctoral School is designed to promote discussion and active participation. Therefore, lectures will alternate with students’ presentations in plenary and group work with facilitators. All assigned readings and other course materials will be made available to the participants two weeks before the beginning of the doctoral school.


The International Doctoral Colloquium is designed to give the opportunity for debate and provides direct feedback and guidance to doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. Participants will have the opportunity to work closely with senior researchers and other doctoral students, to receive feedback on their work, and to directly benefit in developing their research practice. In order to guarantee a productive research environment, maximum 35 participants will be admitted at the Doctoral Colloquium. An outline of the programme and more information will be soon available on www.unitn.it/rucola


Submission should comprise the title of the PhD dissertation or actual research, key words and a short description of the research project (maximum 3000 words). All submissions should be accompanied by the completed submission form providing full details of the:
• Name, institutional affiliation, postal address and e-mail
• Name and affiliation of supervisor(s)
Submissions will be accepted on the basis of their fit with the theme of the colloquium, and no later than the 20th of April 2012. All submissions should be send via email at docschool@soc.unitn.it, notification of acceptance will be sent as soon as submissions will be settled and those participants selected for making a presentation should send a written paper (between 5.000-7.000 words) by 15th of May.


To enable potential participants to budget for the doctoral school, the total cost for taking part in the doctoral school will be of 150 € inclusive of tuition fee and meals. The accommodation and travel costs are not included in the fee.


Students on European doctoral programs should note that this International Doctoral Colloquium is equivalent to 4 ECTS (reflecting both preparation and participation).

Organizing Committee

For any further information and need please feel free to contact:
Giulia Rodeschini: docschool@soc.unitn.it