[5] Designing lecture specific case studies in conjunction with business: A co-creation approach to modern management teaching


Designing lecture specific case studies in conjunction with business: A co-creation approach to modern management teaching

Author (s)

Samantha Burvill Senior Lecturer
School of Management
Bjorn Rodde


There is a growing recognition of the need to better prepare students for the workplace (CEDEFOP, 2014). Businesses and industry complain that students are not equipped for the workplace when leaving university (ABS, 2013; CEDEFOP, 2014; ManpowerGroup, 2013).) and with higher tuition fees and the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) these are issues that are only going to escalate. As such, the aim of this research is to analyse one way of overcoming these issues by co-creating lecture-specific case studies in conjunction with business. This is something that goes beyond the frequently-used approach of involving industry in academic modules through guest lectures. Research by the association of business schools (ABS, 2013) highlights the need to integrate practice into teaching and to bring experienced practitioners into the schools. The aim of this paper is to present the methodology that was used and the impact that this teaching intervention had on student satisfaction and engagement. This intervention was used in a second year undergraduate Business Management course in a module entitled Change Management. Feedback was gained from students through the use of a questionnaire that was completed by 39 out of 92 students. This study provides insights into the initial round of co-creating lecture material with businesses and highlights the benefits of this to not only students but to lecturing staff, the school in general, and the industry partner. Initial findings suggest that this is an approach that the majority of students have not experienced on other modules and yet is something that they would welcome. Students found that the intervention improved their understanding of the module, aided with revision, related the content to the ‘real world’ and made the module more enjoyable. Critically, this research shows one way in which business schools can innovate, develop, engage, inspire and ultimately provide a unique and beneficial learning and teaching experience. Shaping the managers, employees and entrepreneurs of tomorrow is the responsibility of both academia and industry (Kieser and Leiner, 2011) and as such working together in a double or even triple helix is the best way to achieve this [ref]. The research presents the start of a longer research study into the benefits of fully co-creating the whole module from scratch with a business. This full co-design is currently under development and will be in progress for well over 12 months.

Session Outline

The session speakers wish to deliver a PowerPoint presentation as an opportunity to begin multi-disciplinary debate as to how industry involvement in university teaching could be improved. The session will be structured in a way that presents the existing literature on co-creation of modules with industry, leading into the knowledge gap that this research and intervention is addressing. The methodology and process followed throughout the module will be highlighted along with quantitative and qualitative feedback from students regarding the initiative. Plans to further develop this co-creation and plans for further research will then be discussed, including the potential benefits to all those involved, and specifically improving the quality, employability and industry-readiness of university graduates. The aim will be to gain constructive feedback from the audience and to inspire others to follow suit. This is an intervention that could be used on any module in any discipline and as such should be of interest to many SALT attendees.

Key Words

Business engagement, employability, inspire, co-creation, student experience.

Key Messages

  • Involving business actively in designing and delivering teaching material is an approach that students are not used to and yet it is one which they find highly engaging
  • Providing bespoke, practical examples focussed on individual topics supports academic teaching provides an excellent basis for teaching innovation and inspiration, including alternative methods of assessment that are more suited to preparing students for the world of work
  • This approach to teaching brings all the three missions of a university into the student experience; Learning and Teaching; Research; and Innovation and Engagement.



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