Guest article by Adam Lingren, Rod Brodie, Tony Di Benedetto, and Peter Naudé.[i]

At any business school worth its salt, one of the most important goals is to foster an environment of successful academic research. This is especially true at research-intensive business schools where a core of solid, productive researchers leads to recognition and ranking among the top business schools. Business school leaders would like to attract and keep the top research talent in order to stay competitive, attract high-potential students, and recruit the most promising young faculty. To accomplish these objectives, a successful research environment for the business school’s academic researchers needs to be established so that these researchers can produce a sustainable research stream. However, equally important is that the business school needs to have great teaching.

Students as value co-creators, teachers as facilitators
While it may be impossible to pin down the details, one can argue that great teachers facilitate the co-creation of learning with their students and thereby provide value. To understand this concept, one can apply the principles of service dominant (S-D) logic (cf. Vargo and Lusch, 2004), with the instructor playing the role of the ‘supplier’ and the student as the ‘customer’. According to S-D logic premises, the student is a co-creator of value, and the instructor does not deliver value, but can offer value propositions. The S-D logic viewpoint stresses the nature of the exchange between supplier and customer or, in this case, instructor-student and even student-student interaction. The student is not a passive receiver of value from the instructor since the instructor does not deliver value unidirectionally. Rather, the instructor’s value proposition potentially can be converted to value, which is co-created by both instructor and student.

Interactions, the keys to learning
Several actions can be undertaken to facilitate these three learning processes. First and perhaps most traditionally, instructors guide students, drawing on their academic and practical knowledge. This, of course, can be done well, or not well; and a later section will discuss the translation process from great research and practical experience into great teaching. Students also can interact with the instructor, applying and developing new ideas based on their own practical experience, and, under the guidance of the instructor, translating the lesson learned in the specific context to a resource that provides value-in-use in the future. A later section will explore how instructors can effectively use cases and other classroom tools to accomplish this translation process. Finally, students can interact with each other, sharing and developing their new ideas drawn from experience. While synergy and reciprocal value creation can be produced from all of these processes, it is this last one that might be the most fruitful if managed well.

Leveraging technological resources
Great teaching also recognizes the power of the available technology and uses it to advantage. Both instructor and student have access to a wealth of knowledge about business-to-business practices and management, as well as strategy applications of all types. The challenge is to develop processes so that these resources can be used sensibly and efficiently to create value. Most business schools have moved to a platform such as Canvas, Brightspace, or the like, which offer diverse ways for instructors and students to interact: discussion boards, video lectures, access to media, in-class polling, breakout groups, online quizzes, and so on. Needless to say, many business schools are offering online versions of their classes, as well as conventional on-site classes, and these platforms are critical to the effective functioning of online programs. All of these tools can be used profitably to improve the classroom experience, and indeed to facilitate all three directions of learning processes discussed above.

Flipped classrooms as the norm
Whether teaching online or on-site, the instructor can benefit from the flipped classroom format (Green, 2015; Jarvis et al., 2014). Using this format, the traditional ‘lecture in class/assignments outside of class’ structure is flipped; video lectures and discussion boards are assigned as class work to stimulate student-to-student and student-to-instructor interaction. Class time then is used for intensive discussions, case analyses, group work, and so on. That is, the flipped classroom can be used effectively to facilitate learning processes in all three directions, and encourage the co-creation of value, which is central to S-D logic, as applied in the classroom (Jarvis et al., 2014). The instructors then can further personalize the course to bring their own perspective or even personality into the course. This can be done in many ways, limited only by the imagination of the instructors: constantly scanning for and posting current articles illustrative of course material and encouraging students to do the same (e.g., by adding to discussion boards), adding weekly announcements including thought-provoking websites, humorous but relevant videos or YouTube clips, and so on. There are many relevant articles in publications such as Business HorizonsCalifornia Management ReviewHarvard Business Review, and Sloan Management Review that can be added to the weekly readings, or online reports about recent company successes or failures. Adding these, and periodically updating them, provides a wealth of information to the students that shows the relevance of course material in real situations and helps to further the co-creation of value.

[I] This is an extract from a longer article by Adam Lindgreen, Tony Di Benedetto, Julia Fehrer, Elena Jaakkola, and Rod Brodie published in the Industrial Marketing Management (IMM Vol. 85). It is part of a series that provides guidance to early career and not so early business academics about how to have successful careers. The list of these editorials is given below.

– Green, T. (2015). Flipped classrooms: An agenda for innovative marketing education in the digital era. Marketing Education Review25(3), 179–191.
– Jarvis, W., Halvorson, W., Sadeque, S., & Johnston, S. (2014). A large class engagement (LCE) model based on service-dominant logic (SDL) and flipped classrooms. Education Research and Perspectives41(1), 1–24.
– Vargo, S., & Lusch, R. (2004). Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. Journal of Marketing, 68(1), 1–17.

Editorials to provide guidance to early career and not so early business academics about have to set up for successful careers:
– Di Benedetto, C.A., Lindgreen, A., and Ringberg, T. (2020), “Editorial: How to guide your Ph.D. students,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 93, pp. 1–10.
– Di Benedetto, C.A., Lindgreen, A., Storgaard, M., and Clarke, A.H. (2019), “Editorial: How to collaborate really well with practitioners,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 82, pp. 1–8.
– LaPlaca, P., Lindgreen, A., and Vanhamme, J. (2018), “How to write really good articles for premier academic journals,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 68, pp. 202–209.
– LaPlaca, P., Lindgreen, A., Vanhamme, J., and Di Benedetto, C.A. (2018), “How to revise, and revise really well, for premier academic journals,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 72, pp. 174–180.
– Lindgreen, A. and Di Benedetto, C.A. (2020), “Editorial: How to become a top business-to-business marketing scholar,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 86, pp. 1–11.
– Lindgreen, A. and Di Benedetto, C.A. (2020), “Editorial: How to balance like an academic,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 88, pp. 1–5.
– Lindgreen, A. and Di Benedetto, C.A. (2020), “Editorial: How reviewers really judge manuscripts,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 91, pp. 1–10.
– Lindgreen, A. and Di Benedetto, C.A. (2020), “Editorial: How authors really frame a top manuscript,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 92, pp. 1–7.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., and Beverland, M.B. (2020), “Editorial: How to write up case-study methodology sections,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 96, pp. 1–4.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., Brodie, R.J., and Jaakkola, E. (2020), “Editorial: How to develop great conceptual frameworks for business-to-business marketing,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 94, pp. 1–9.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., Brodie, R.J., and Naude, P. (2020), “Editorial: How to build great research groups,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 81, pp. 1–13.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., Brodie, R.J., and Naude, P. (2020), “Editorial: How to translate great research into great teaching,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 85, pp. 1–6.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., Brodie, R.J., Fehrer, J., and van der Borgh, M. (2020), “Editorial: How to get great research cited,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 89, pp. 1–7.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., Brodie, R.J., and van der Borgh, M. (2020), “Editorial: How to undertake great cross-disciplinary research,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 90, pp. 1–5.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., and Kock, F. (2020), “Editorial: How to develop original, courageous ideas in business marketing research,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 95, pp. 1–4.
– Lindgreen, A., Di Benedetto, C.A., Verdich, C., Vanhamme, J., Venkatraman, V., Pattinson, S., Clarke, A.H., and Khan, Z. (2019), “Editorial: How to write really good research funding applications,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 77, pp. 232–239.