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Business Case Studies – An Effective Teaching Tool

Tell me and I forget.

Teach me and I remember.

Involve me and I Learn.

These lines by Benjamin Franklin have rightly pointed out the gap in our education system. The traditional model of teaching i.e. lecturing would only help students to remember the concepts that have been discussed in class. The effectiveness of the learning process exists only when the students are fully engrossed in the subject. With the availability of electronic gadgets and the internet, the attention span of students has been reducing day by day. In such a scenario, an effective teaching tool that can be used for the business management students is Case-Based Teaching. The concept of case-based teaching is not only found in the management subjects but also found in courses like law, medicine, science, etc. The idea is to make the students understand a real-world problem that needs to be solved with the application of the concepts that the student has learned in the class.

Benefits of Case-based Teaching:

According to Professor Chris Ronald Christensen of Harvard Business School, the case-based teaching classes unfold without a detailed script. This is because the case is relatively unknown to the student, and the discussion that may take place in the class in the context of the case is unknown to the teacher. Many experienced faculty members say that the same case study brings out different learning for the students each time it is discussed with a batch of students. The classroom becomes an open platform for discussion that helps each student to come up with their idea and understanding of the case.

Efforts required in Case-based teaching:

Many faculty members have been using case-based teaching as a part of their teaching pedagogy. This is also practiced in many leading universities like Oxford, Stanford, and Cambridge, etc. The faculty in these institutes believe that the core concept of the case study as well as the course content has to be discussed simultaneously. This requires rigorous preparation on behalf of the faculty. The challenge lies in the ability of the faculty to make the students connect the theory with the practical case study and create ‘teachable moments’ in the process. These teachable moments arise from the classroom discussions and it is the responsibility of the faculty to guide the students through the discussion as well as give the discussion a desired direction. Thus, case-based teaching is a way of discovering the concept in a new manner. It requires the faculty to learn the art of balancing the discussion, planning the direction and also being versatile with strong and powerful storytelling skills.

Teaching cases online:

The current pandemic has created a new normal which includes online teaching. Teachers of all age groups, across the world, had to switch quickly to the online mode of teaching. This was not an easy task to do but then the change was quickly adapted to by faculty members so that the on-going semester could be completed successfully. In this context, the task of case-based teaching became more challenging. One of the major hurdles that the faculty faces while teaching through cases is that not all students read the whole case study and not all students read the case study before they attend the class. This became an even bigger issue to address when the classes shifted online.

To address this issue, the faculty of IILM had to be more proactive and plan the session in small segments. The cases that were taken up for discussion had to be smaller and crisper. Short case-lets are best suited for online case discussions. The questions had to be deep. Taking the advantage of technology, the students were made to discuss among themselves in small groups i.e. break-out groups where the faculty would visit just like it would be done in a physical classroom. The faculty also had to design more short exercises like polls and engage the students in a better manner. An effective way of doing this was by sharing reading material with the students before the class, beginning the class with a recent example, and sharing the faculty’s screen with students so that they can participate actively and share insights. This is followed by a quiz or a small test so that the students can assess their understanding. It can, therefore, be said that undoubtedly case-based teaching is one of the most effective ways of teaching but it will have to be modified with the change in times.

Importance of Case-based Teaching:

Case-based teaching and learning are important as pedagogy as it helps in developing the lifelong skills of critical thinking, collaboration i.e. working in groups, open inquiry, communicating ideas, and thoughts along with subject knowledge to arrive at a solution. Students also like this aspect and are engaged and interested in case discussions. It is a time-tested way of teaching that has been implemented successfully in various courses and institutions. It is an ideal win-win situation for both the faculty as well as the students. On one hand, the faculty can engage the students and also drive home the necessary concepts, the students can apply their knowledge and learn effectively. Thus, the time has come to implement the case-based teaching and learning pedagogy, with a little bit of revamping.

Do comment / write to me on how do you think Case-Based teaching will evolve in the blended learning format.

Relevance of IILM PGDM / MBA in the times of Covid-19

It is common understanding that a PGDM / MBA degree prepares you for Business Administration, so you study Management, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Finance, Marketing, Operations, International Business and a range of other subjects. However the 2 year programme at IILM also prepares you with certain other skills such as Effective Communication, Research and Analysis, Critical Thinking, Change Management, Ability to leverage technology, Dealing with pressure, People management, Teamwork, Decision making etc. which may be called soft skills but are actually life skills. Let me explain here how these are so relevant in the context of Covid – 19 which all of us are grappling with today.

Relevance-of-IILM-PGDM-MBA-in-the-times-of-Covid-19_2The current crisis is a situation that almost no one living today may have faced ever in his or her lifetime, hence there is absolutely no way that anyone could have been prepared for, in advance. When it struck, the reactions were quite similar among most, ranging from brushing it off to disbelief to despair, businesses were no different. However during these times of crisis, Effective Communication is of paramount interest. At IILM, students learn who to communicate with, what to say, how to say and when to say. Your stakeholders are the ones who need to hear from you to have that continued trust in you, how you are managing their interest is what you need to tell them and tell them early on. Any message that is delayed looks like an afterthought, so communicate early and communicate regularly. Keep it short but relevant and regular.

The times are different, the challenges are different, hence the solutions also have to be different. IILM teaches its students to read, research and analyze what is happening the world over and make sense of it and how it affects our businesses and organizations. It teaches them critical thinking skills and inculcates a sense of judgment and positive thinking to manage any crisis situation. As a manager / leader it is important to know that we must be able to adapt to change as per the situation. In the current situation when there is a complete stop to everything around us, it is imperative to follow what is required at this moment, which is staying safe and staying at home. If there is life, there will be a tomorrow and we can always plan and rebuild ourselves. There is just no point in being restless, take this time to spend with yourself, review what you have done so far, how you would do it differently, what you could have done better.

Relevance-of-IILM-PGDM-MBA-in-the-times-of-Covid-19_1Technology they say is a leveler, the digital march is going to make it even more uniform. As millions of people are homebound, their major source of information, inspiration, communication, distraction, entertainment is through technology. IILM encourages its students to be technology savvy and Leverage Technology to bring in effectiveness to their work and business. A case in point, in the times of Covid, technology has moved up a few notches, K-12, Higher education and a good number of businesses have gone online, organizations are rethinking the Work from Home concept, also as an effective cost saving tool. All classes at IILM have been conducted on zoom through paid licenses ensuring security and privacy of teachers and students online.

This is a situation which has put everyone under pressure, be it the government, the police, the doctors, the medical supply chain, the food suppliers, the transport for continuing the work assigned. All others are under pressure to stay at home, manage their job, remain balanced, remain strong, stay calm and help others in whatever way possible, big or small. The MBA / PGDM programmes at IILM by the very nature of its being fast paced with classes, tutorials, assignments, simulations, meeting industry experts in Round Tables or Guest sessions, Summer internships, Live Projects, Placements creates the right kind of pressure with tight deadlines and helps students manage time and manage themselves by dealing with pressure.

People are the most valuable resource that one can have. IILM students develop skills of working in teams and learn to respect one another, value their competence and contribution. People Management is what management is greatly about. Students learn through cases and role plays, how to take people along, how to keep them motivated and engaged with the organization when the chips are down. How to make people feel wanted and part of your team are skills that come with practice. As a manager, you are required to take decisions, most of the times with limited resources, limited information and in limited time. IILM teaches Decision making as a process, a step by step approach to make good decisions. With practice, one becomes adept at following the steps and can still be quick. But if you miss some part of the processes in order to be quick, you will be prone to making mistakes, costly ones!

Most importantly, IILM has an NGO club through which students learn to help and support the marginalized sections of the society. We believe empathy is something, which need not be understood and expected when you are in a spot, but the continued will to share and care for others whatever the situation be. IILM is proud of its 12000+ alumni who as Managers and Business leaders running their businesses responsibly and building the nation.

Prof.(Dr.) Kakoli Sen

Trip to camp “Mustang”_Manesar – Ice Breaking & team building activities.

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.

Camping trips are great way to experience nature and knowing your peers, especially for the students of a new academic batch. Our first trip happened at Mustang Camp, Manesar on June 30, 2017 & the trip begun at 8:30. We all left IILM Gurugram campus with fellow batch mates, few staff members & our faculty, Vishal sir. We hardly knew our batch mates as the IILM PGDM session had just begun. This travelling of one hour from IILM, Gurugram to Manesar helped us know each other better.

We reached there at around 9:30 and after having refreshments we explored the place. We all were the new faces to each other as it was like a freshly made bouquet from various varieties of flowers. It was required for us to know all the good and bad fragrances of all our peers from many geographical differences. Thus many ice breaking activities were conducted at that camp. There were so many team building fun based activities like pottery making & designing, air gun shooting, trampoline, burma bridge, ground games (volleyball, cricket, badminton & football), which refreshed us inside out.

By 11:00 our trainer had arrived who kept us engaged in various team based tasks starting with games like scouts claps, fire the gun, and other such small activities to revive our childhood memories. Then he divided us in 4 teams of 12 members each and gave us various tasks. There were many activities that were conducted in which team and team members were the most integral part of the same. Activities such as Murder Mystery Solving, Catch the dragon tails, Balancing the hola hoops and slogan making were organized.

The trainer provided by IILM was well known about the team management skills and how those will get enhanced with various team building activities. He also taught us many lessons which will lead us to be a better person first and then a best manager in the corporate world.

Before the declaration of results we had sumptuous lunch amidst the pleasant weather. Soon after that the trainer and IILM faculty asked us to share our experiences.  Many students shared how they made new friends and also got to know their strengths and weaknesses through these activities. The day ended up with rain dance.  We left camp early as it started raining but it was really a delightful day which created memories that will last the lifetime.

The ultimate purpose of this trip was to imbibe the signature of team management in fresh IILM PGDM students. This made us known to each other so as to increase our comfort and confidence level. We strongly believe that today’s preparation leads to the tomorrow’s achievements.

I will end my experience by quoting that, “WE are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”

Thank you IILM for such a great experience.

Inputs from
Rishabh Saxena
Monika Sharma

Saakshi Vijay
(PGDM17-19)

Things To Get Excited About Starting Your PGDM at IILM

New academic session for PGDM batch 2016-18 is just around the corner. We are absolutely excited to welcome you all.

Before the session begins, there are things you ought to know about IILM as a premier B-School.  You will be left overwhelmed with all the excitement awaiting for you on campus

1. Welcome To IILM Campus – We Are So Very Glad You Chose Us 

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2. Alumni Network – You Are Stepping Into Big Fat IILM Alumni Family With Over 9000+ Members

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3. Top Notch Companies On Campus – Get Ready To Work With Your Dream Company

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4. Best Faculty On Campus – Walk Along With Your Guiding Light On Campus At Every Step

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5. Global Study Program – Learn Business At International Destinations

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6. Centrally Located Campuses – Your Safety And Security Is Important To Us

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7. Conferences On Campus – You Chase Your Passion, And Find Happiness With Others

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8. Annual College Festival – IILM iFest. Brace Yourselves For The Show, Folks

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9. International Faculty At IILM Campus – It Is Time For Some Business Lessons From International Scholars

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10. What’s Happening On Campus? – PRME, Global Thinker Award, Tedx, IILM Alumni Meet Up, Annual HR Conference , Entrepreneurship Conference, Recruiters Network Meet, And More! 

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My French Diaries

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Life is full of surprises. Being a mixed bag, it is full of vibrant and exciting experiences that leave us with infinite memories and joyous moments for the rest of our being.

One such immensely enriching and special experience that I had was my recent trip to Montpellier, France for my study abroad program at the prestigious Montpellier Business School. I was a complete bundle of nerves before embarking on this exciting journey as this was the first time that I was travelling abroad. However, this one month transformed me completely and made me a much more strong and independent person. The experience of staying alone in a foreign land is something that really pushes me out of my comfort zone and made me face so many real life challenges that I would never have realized or faced otherwise.

Everything, right from doing all the household chores like cooking, washing and cleaning utensils, to managing my own finances and even travelling alone, were things that I had never done alone. The language, the food and the cultural differences between India and France too proved to be challenging for me, and my friends alike. But the experience of studying in a prestigious international Business school like MBS, meeting a plethora of students from different cultures and countries and even travelling independently across France and other parts of Europe were immensely enriching things that truly proved to be like an opportunity of a lifetime for me.

This experience changed my perception and outlook towards a lot of things in life, and even made me more broad minded and rational, besides helping me get rid of a lot of common stereotypes and preconceived notions.

IMG-20160301-WA0007         During the course of this one month of my study abroad program at MBS, I studied four core modules that included Luxury Marketing, Cross Cultural Negotiation, Entrepreneurship and Doing Business with France. All of these were extremely interesting subjects that form an integral part of any management course’s curriculum and were taught by some exceptionally talented, experienced and learned faculty members. IMG-20160301-WA0011

What I liked the most about my teachers at IILM was the fact that they always use to make classes very interactive and they often used to cite a lot of experiences from their personal lives to make the subjects more interesting and fun. All of us were also encouraged to be creative, and actually go beyond the scope of the book to explore and perceive each subject the way we wanted.

We were given full creative freedom to brainstorm for our group presentations. Each subject consisted of a number of interesting case studies and even an educational visit to a beautiful French vineyard which was definitely among the highlights of my trip.

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IMG-20160301-WA0019My love for wanderlust too came out in full flow during the weekends when I used to go out and travel to other nearby countries with my friends. I got to visit the very happening and lively city of Barcelona in Spain, charming Paris and even the beautiful city of Koln in Germany.

Thus, my stay in France indeed proved to be an extremely enriching and fruitful time for me, it also helped me  grow as a person, learn a lot, and also make a ton of sweet memories that I would cherish for the rest of my life.

I thank IILM too for giving me this wonderful opportunity and making my childhood dream of studying at a foreign university come true. Au revoir!

IILM, India & More…

My experience at IILM so far has been incredible. The students are very eager to learn, actively participate in class discussions and want to know how business is done in other countries. The faculty at IILM are very well informed about global issues, they are extremely friendly and go out of their way to make sure you have everything you need. The infrastructure here at IILM is very modern and up to date with all the latest technology. I really enjoy all the space and greenery at the Greater Noida campus where I am staying. The students there are very active in campus life as the other night as I was walking to the cafeteria there was a large fire and students dancing and giving out bags of peanuts and popcorn in celebration of the holiday of Lohri.

The module I am teaching is called Doing Business in Diverse Markets and is very relevant to today’s business world. I could teach this course to business students anywhere in the world. It is a case based course that looks at the successes and mistakes companies have made in expanding into various different countries. It looks at all aspects of the companies expansion, how the financial reporting, human resource departments, marketing and IT systems are all different internationally.

I have seen some amazing sights in my stay here in India but the highlight has to be the Taj Mahal, it is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.

2nd Placement Week at IILM from Oct 5th to Oct 9th, 2015

IILM helps students in exploring placement opportunities by inviting companies for campus recruitment .The final placements at IILM are a culmination of systematic and continued interaction with industry and ongoing and enduring career counseling as well as grooming of the students by mentors and Career Development Centre.

Placement week is an initiative that offers students the opportunities to interact with senior representatives from corporates , to know the work culture, the performance expectations, the job opportunities available and the remuneration offered by recruiting companies.

IILM organized its 2nd Placement Week from Oct 5th to Oct 9th. First and second year students of PGDM from Lodhi Road, Gurgaon and Greater Noida campuses participated in the placement week with great enthusiasm and excitement.

Industry personnel from Grail Research ,INTEX, Naukri.com, Protiviti , HDFC, Edelweiss, Kotak Mahindra, Oxigen, Tybros, Keysight Technologies (off shoot of HP), Oyo rooms, PWC, Floret, Evoque, Bonton Cables, Icons , Fortis Heath care, Methodix Systems, Yes Bank, Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited visited IILM and interacted with the students.

The Industry personnel’s experience, their expertise and the aspect of knowledge sharing was the high point of the sessions. The underlying idea was to
acquaint the students with the companies, their culture, the domain, how they differentiated from their competitors, the job roles , growth rate, the expectations from students, the selection process, required skill sets and other aspects needed to build a lasting career.

After interaction, Grail Research and Spandana Sphoorty Financial Limited completed their final placement process also.

Face to face interaction with industry people added value and knowledge to the understanding of job market among students. Pre placement talks were an eye opener for all the students and would help students to take right decisions while choosing companies for their final placement.