I learned and became a believer in the case method while pursuing my post-doctorate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Case learning was a regular part of the curriculum at both the undergraduate and MBA level. It was an excellent way to engage students in business problem-solving. Later, at other schools where the case method was not a regular part of the curriculum, I found the case method overwhelming for both myself and my students. I couldn’t find a method in the literature to use cases that would work in my new position, so I determined to find a way to easily and effectively use cases. I developed the One-Page, Two Case Method over a period of years with a series of trial and error testing. The method presented in the paper not only improves student performance on cases but significantly decreases faculty workload. I’ve successfully tested the method at other schools and received feedback from colleagues, all with similar positive results.
The slow pace of change in higher education curricula is inadequate in preparing students with the skills needed in a world where machines work alongside human professionals. Swiftly emerging digital innovations are transforming business relationships. Yet, the business community is far ahead of academia in considering & understanding how to embrace technological change. Businesses recognize that a very different talent base is needed to build competitive advantage with ongoing digitalization. Using a foundation of learning theories, we argue that college faculty need to facilitate, within students, the convergence of technologies with the needed people skills.
What specific external events influenced your decision to pursue this research?
Technological innovation & digital convergence will continue to lead to industry disruption. We believe college students need to gain exposure to such cutting-edge technologies and that they must ingrain the conceptual, inquiry, critical thinking, creativity, and integrative learning skills needed to add value in an ever-changing business environment.
In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?
We argue for greater embracing of technology in the classroom. Additionally, we provide a foundational introduction to several emerging technologies and offer current examples of how such digitalization is impacting business relationships. This first means faculty embracing greater use of technology as a learning tool. In this way, faculty will serve as role models. College students grow up in a digital world. Ready access to information and communication technology is integral to how they learn. Life-long learning is imperative to stay abreast in a digitally disruptive world. Second, it is important that classes introducing emerging digitalization so that students learn to think creatively & critically regarding how technology is changing business. Given the rapid rate of technology transformation, exposure to a specific technology, while in college, is less important than developing the skill set integral to adding value while working in conjunction with smart machines. Furthermore, we are hopeful that the institutions of higher education, professional associations, publishing companies, and technology companies will support and strengthen faculty efforts in embracing technology to continuously enhance learning. Although there are negatives associated with the use of some technologies in the classroom, we strongly believe the benefits are far greater. With regular use & exposure to technology, students will learn: how to accept responsibility for their learning, to develop self-control in their use of technology, appropriate inquiry capabilities, and how to synthesize and critically access large amounts of available information.
We were motivated to pursue this research because so many conservation outcomes are dependent on human behavior and we saw a tremendous opportunity to modernize the toolkit used by conservation advocates and outreach specialists to improve natural resource stewardship. National media stories have been dominated by negative stories about big data and digital marketing by political campaigns, social media, and corporate interests, yet few people have explored how these tools might help achieve conservation goals or promote the public good. The most challenging aspect of this work was conducting a randomized controlled trial in a real world setting; experiments that allow us to truly demonstrate efficacy are relatively easy in the laboratory. In contrast, our field experiment required years of planning and coordination within our team and with our outreach partners. After all this work, our results demonstrated there is large, untapped potential to apply modern marketing tools to address critical environmental challenges, especially by connecting conservation appeals to each individual’s personal values. .
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Measuring change is hard. But it is also critical to programs hoping to influence human behaviour towards more positive societal outcomes. In a newly published paper, Does It Work for Biodiversity? Experiences and Challenges in the Evaluation of Social Marketing Campaigns, we tackle the challenge of evaluating social marketing campaigns targeting fishing communities in the Philippines with the goal of driving the adoption of more sustainable fishing practices at the community level.
Research on impact evaluation is vital to improve implementation, particularly in high uncertainty high complexity environment such as those in which social marketing operates. By measuring our impact we can first ensure we do no harm and then learn what works, to improve with each iteration. This is even more pressing in the environmental context, as we have lagged far behind sectors such as public health or international development in impact evaluation. Therefore, our goal with this paper was to showcase how we can raise the bar on the evaluation of behaviour change efforts, in this case social marketing, in a particularly changing subject, that of fisheries management in the tropics.
Our work focused on the evaluation of three social marketing campaigns in the Philippines, using a quasi-experiments design of match campaign and control sites. We measured both social indicators through surveys and biological indicators using underwater ecological surveys. We found limited evidence of behaviour change amongst fisherman and no evidence of change in fish biomass as a result of the campaigns. Yet, we also discussed the fact that this last result is fully expected, given how long fisheries take to recover, a timeline often measured in decades, not years. This has implications not only for the way that we plan and implement social marketing campaigns but also for donors who should be aware that expecting biological change in the often short project cycles may just be unrealistic.
Moreover, our research hopes to highlight the difficulties of carrying out competent impact evaluations in a context where both social and biological indicators need to be measured and where both terrestrial and in-water data is needed. This has obvious implications in terms of cost, not only in terms of money, time and staff but also in terms of required technical expertise. Project budgets need to reflect this reality if we are to be truly evidence-based and take responsibility for the interventions we implement. After all it is not about success and failure, it should most of all be about learning.
It was part of my PhD. Initially I was examining capital flows in Europe from conventional perspectives and critiquing those approaches. This included a focus on unit labour costs, fiscal imbalances, and so on. I found there was already a quite large body of existing research that critically examined those accounts. That led me to consider more finanical-based explanations of capital flows. Having examined the data I felt that the emphasis on banks was unwarranted. Upon further investigation I became convinced that institutional investors are the driving force in capital markets in general, and debt-based capital flows in Europe in particular.
What has been the most challenging aspect of conducting your research? Were there any surprising findings?
The most challenging part of the research was finding the data. The paper relies on a variety of sources, many of which are pieced together by sifting through consultancy and industry reports. The most surprising thing about the paper was that the centrality of institutional investors in European debt flows had not been established previously. As the article is being published almost 10 years have passed since the crisis broke. A lot has been written on capital flows in Europe and much of existing research has built on or is some variant of previous work. Of course my work doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but I was surprised that nobody had taken my approach before.
What advice would you give to new scholars and incoming researchers in this particular field of study?
Be open minded. Don´t get too wedded to any particular theoretical framework whether you´re part of the consensus or a dissenting voice. Look at the data and see if a certain analytical framework is appropriate. Don´t try to shoehorn a theoretical approach in a context where it is not empircally supported. It can be difficult to realise that you were wrong about something. Rather than trying to defend your position to the hilt, see flaws in your argument as opportunities to learn something new. State your argument as clearly as possible. That sounds simple but all too often in social science research arguments are couched in unnecessary complexity. Economics rightly gets a hard time for mathematical rigour over substance, but the problem generalises across the social sciences. Rather than using complex mathematical constructions, research in other fields too often clouds its arguements in obscurantist language. So if you are reading an article and find it difficult to unpack, it´s probably not your fault.
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Political economists rarely look at real estate markets. Our research group at the KU Leuven, named “The Real Estate/Financial Complex” and funded by the European Research Council, studies the relationships between finance, real estate and the state in a range of countries, including France and Germany, the two typical examples of Continental European capitalist countries. In this paper, we look into the commercial investment markets of these countries. Fieldwork and data collection have been conducted during two extended research stays in Frankfurt am Main and Paris.
Our work is deeply informed by our empirical research and interactions with real estate and finance professionals. The challenging aspect of our work was to get wider access to real estate and finance professionals in Frankfurt am Main and Paris, two global financial centres, and interviewing these specialists, often in prime real estate locations. Commercial real estate investors have their own account of processes of internationalization in their daily work experiences, which are central to our article.
Our results show how the French state perceived the arrival of foreign investors in the 1990s as a potential threat to the French property companies and implemented a new tax regime that allowed these companies to launch publicly listed real estate vehicles known as a Société d’Investissement Immobilier Cotée (SIIC). As such, the French property sector could attract foreign capital and increase liquidity, while enjoying new tax advantages. The rise of the SIICs was a major driver of the French investment boom of 2003–2007. In 2007, another major reform followed: the new tax regime of Organisme de Placement en Immobilier (OPCI) would gradually replace the old one of SCPI and transform French investment funds into ‘hybrids’ that could invest both in listed and non-listed real estate, with investments from not only institutional investors but also the general public.
Due to the shocks of German reunification, the momentum for internationalization of commercial real estate arrived relatively late. Major reforms in the German property sector were not implemented in the 2000s. Between 2003 and 2007, American private equity and hedge funds entered the market and invested unprecedented amounts of capital in the German property sector. However, the traditionally dominant non-listed investment funds in Germany also responded. The German Spezialfonds were able to invest heavily because they collected capital from pension funds and insurance companies. In the aftermath of the GFC, the German state has introduced a new Investment Code to make the non-listed real estate sector stronger. Contrary to France, the introduction of the G-REIT in 2007 has so far made little difference; the German preference for non-listed real estate remains strong.
We hope that our work inspires other researchers to conduct similar projects. We recommend researchers working in related fields to participate in real estate fairs and congresses to meet and encounter potential interviewees.
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SMQ publishes original work and fosters a cooperative exploration of ideas and practices in order to build bridges among various disciplines so that innovative change strategies and alliances are created. Manuscripts are submitted to a double-blind peer-review process. Sections include Applications, Theory and Review, Training Initiatives, Book Reviews, Notes from the Field, Resources, and Looking Ahead.