Professor Paola Giuri, Associate Dean for Faculty and Research at BBS, explains why working on real Case Studies, developed by our Research team with the Industry Champions, can make a real difference in the professional training of our students and how it can also represent an occasion for our whole Community to reflect on the market and social changes during the pandemic.
Among the many challenging initiatives, the year 2021 started with the publication of the first group of case studies and teaching notes of the BBS collection Taking ItalianExcellence Global published with the international ECCH Case Center. The coordination team for case study development is composed of Paola Giuri, Gabriele Pizzi (Associate Professor at the Department of Management) and Maurizio Sobrero (Full Professor of Economics and Innovation Management and Associate Dean for New Faculty Recruitment).
The project had its very beginning during the Faculty Retreat of 2018, as an idea to respond the growing need of high-quality teaching material for BBS programmes. It has been developed in 2019 and 2020, thanks to the professional training provided by the ECCH and the other editorial actions implemented for the project: internal reviews and workshops, teaching tests with students and Alumni, in-depth discussions of the teaching objectives and complex management solutions with the top management of the companies inspected in the cases.
The first group of cases includes nine Industry Champions in different sectors: Focchi, Ferrarelle, Hera, Macron, SCM Group, Unieuro, Unipol – Leithà, Italian Exhibition Group – VicenzaOro, Wasp and the case of the University of Bologna. The Faculty identified with the company executives the most recent challenges and alternative approaches to strategic decision making and problem solutions in different management disciplines. The construction of the case represented an opportunity to think out of the box and find innovative solutions to real issues.
Some cases focused on topics related to reaction to the pandemic – in coordination with the BBS React initiatives – like smart working at Focchi, managing retail at Unieuro, rethinking fairs under uncertainty at IEG, valuing brands and marketing strategy at Macron, digital transformation and agile and design thinking at Unipol. Other cases addressed challenges on sustainability and circular economy (Wasp, Hera, Ferrarelle) and innovation management and new product development strategies (SCM Group). We also produced two cases on leadership, crisis management and organizational behavior at Bologna University during the pandemic.
The whole work helps us to enhance the educational power and effectiveness of practice-oriented education, and working on live settings, in complicated contexts requiring decision making under uncertainty, stimulates reach learning experiences and constructive competitions among our students.
The Community contributed in the preparation phase through the Teaching Tests: about a hundred students and alumni were involved to simulate the resolution of the cases and this is just the beginning of an activity that will continue creating new cases every year and involving more Industry Champions, Faculty and our Community.
We are now happy to share with the whole BBS Community the product of our effort: all the case studies are presented and share on our website and social networks and will be available for download from the Case Centre.