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Work, challenges and the future

Soile Tuorinsuo-Byman


Research 1/2008 · ISBN 978-952-5685-18-3 (pdf) · 151 p.
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This book is a research report about European management assistants’ work as it is today. It contains a description of assistants’ work in eight European countries: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden. The assistants’ situation in each country is discussed in its own section in the report, with a summary and concluding remarks at the end.

This international, comparative study of assistants’ work is unique and the first of its kind. The questions discussed include the following, eg how assistants in different countries support management, how the work of management assistants has changed in recent years and what visions exist for their field of work. Furthermore, the report addresses the issues of assistants’ titles, their need for foreign languages and IT-knowledge. Altogether 57 people working as or with assistants were interviewed across Europe. The results of this study are based on a solid academic tradition where the research questions are derived from earlier research and include a practical interest. As a result, we have created a description of assistants’ work in Europe including challenges and future prospects in the profession.

One of the aims of this study was to gather information for the development of management assistant education at HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences. The report also addresses the current curriculum with the targeted core competence areas which are compared to the competences that were found to be needed in the future.

This study is of interest to anyone interested to know what assistants do. It is also about assistant education at HAAGA-HELIA and the future developments in the profession that are likely to affect assistans’ work. Most of all, this book is meant for teachers and researchers in the field, and for assistants and students. It can also be recommended for managers keen to profit from assistants’ vast knowledge and skills and thus releasing the managers to focus on their core functions.

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