An exploration of definitional and functional perspectives within the Austrian and Finnish ICT industry: do work-life interaction skills make a difference?

Tarja Chydenius, Martina Gaisch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review


Being able to interact effectively and efficiently in the networked professional environments appears to be a crucial skill for junior jobseekers. Graduates possessing these skills can markedly increase their possibilities of being hired.A sample analysis on recruitment ads revealed that interaction skills are of paramount importance in the ICT industry. In view of the scarcity of terminological definitions, the authors of this paper seek to make a cross-cultural comparison on the scope and definition of interactional skills required in the sector at hand. The data is gathered by means of open-ended questionnaires and interviews in which first year ICT students from Austria and Finland define their understanding of worklife interaction skills. The wide variety of responses wasclustered by subsuming particulars into general categories (see Miles, Hu-berman & Saldana 2014, 279-286). In parallel, recruitment staff was interviewed to shed light on their perceptions of the necessity and definition of interaction skills for future ICTemployees. Preliminary findings suggest that there are many similarities in the Finnish and Austrian definitions for worklife interaction skills. Both student groups appear to be highly aware of the necessity of T-shaped graduates, placing a heavy emphasis on generic skills. However, while Finnish ICT students connect interaction skills strongly with communication, listening and social skills, Austrian students adhered more societal values such as reliability, punctuality and dedication to interaction skills per se. Interestingly, and although pointed out by a number of recruitment ads and employers, neither student group identified intercultural competence being a central skill set of worklife interaction skills. However, in view of the interconnectivity of the ICT field which is increasingly performing on a global stage, it is important for future employees to understand the various demands of interacting in an intercultural setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCross-Cultural Business Conference 2015
PublisherShaker Verlag
ISBN (Print)978-3-8440-3646-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventCross-Cultural Business Conference 2015 - Steyr, Austria
Duration: 21 May 201522 May 2015


ConferenceCross-Cultural Business Conference 2015


  • worklife interaction skills
  • ICT
  • Finland
  • Austria
  • cross-cultural


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