Interview with Marco Giarratana

Interview with Marco Giarratana

Interview with Marco Giarratana
Interview with Marco Giarratana. Head of the Strategy Department & Professor, IE Business School

Head of the Strategy Department & Professor, IE Business School.                                                                                      


   What do you find the biggest challenge when engaging students inside (and even outside) of the classroom?

I think the biggest challenge is to pass on the ability to think using theoretic frameworks in a real business world application. It can be somewhat daunting to move from theory to application and to really convey the importance of applying the right theory to the right business situation. Sometimes they can jump to conclusions without logic.

   What are the benefits you’ve seen when using interactive multimedia materials in class for both students and professors?

 Young generations especially are quite biased when it comes to learning through images, video and gamification. In this way, multimedia materials help in a big way. The students have the ability to interact with the multimedia, make decisions and see instant feedback, which is extremely important for new generations of learners.

   What are the biggest differences between using traditional case studies versus multimedia materials when it comes to teaching?

 The traditional case implies an important ex-ante preparation offline on the part of the student, especially in terms of the case info and numbers, and less in terms of the theory that is usually developed in class during the discussion. In the multimedia case, it is the other way around. Students can start using the multimedia case with a clear understanding of the theory and checking their comprehension interacting with the case.

   As a co-author of interactive multimedia yourself (Arrogant Brewing: Strategy in the Craft Beer Market), what is something that surprised you when creating the project?

 My biggest surprise, or better said, my learning outcome, was related to thinking deeply about the structure of a case (learn-do-decide) and how to structure the exercises and the feedback accordingly. It is important to prepare a sound structure before inserting the various pieces together, and that often means a professor will need professional help/advise from a project manager, pedagogical expert or production manager (depending on the type of case being created).

  What would you say about your case to fellow strategy professors who are considering using arrogant brewery in their classroom, but unsure?

The craft beer industry is an attractive industry for students. You always have one or two students who want or have a craft beer business idea in their minds. The flexibility is another great advantage. It is perfect for online teaching, but it also could be used in different ways in a face-to-face classroom setting using only the videos. Students can play alone, in teams, etc. And although the case is about the craft beer industry, it can also be transferrable to other industries in which distribution channels, logistics, and final customers’ decisions are important.

   Are there any other materials in the IE Publishing Catalog that you are particularly fond of? Or any that you would like to try soon?

 I am actually using the case of Crowd2Fund from Professor Santalo, mixing the multimedia with the hard copy case in both my IMBA and MIM (Master in International Management) students!


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