My joy in teaching comes from the way in which the craft uniquely serves the purpose of shaping how people think (process), not just what they think about (content). In my teaching I work with both undergraduate students and post-graduates / executives.
At the executive level, I am a faculty associate at the William Davidson Institute at University of Michigan, Ross Business School. The William Davidson Institute “integrates research, educational outreach, field-based collaborations, and development consulting services... to create long-term value for academic institutions, partner organizations, and donor agencies active in emerging markets.” The majority of my work with WDI involves working with senior professionals to develop and improve their negotiation strategies. My work utilizes a framework I call Negotiation ARTS (more information found here). In this teaching, I work to help practitioners in their Analysis of negotiation situations, Recognition of trends in interpersonal engagement, and also to engage this pursuit with appropriate Tactics and Strategy. Representative companies from this work include Oracle and UniCredit. I also partner with my colleague John Branch at Ross Business School to teach marketing strategy in work with CorpU. In this work, clients include Charles Schwab and Chubb Insurance.
I have taught at the undergraduate level at both Washington University in St. Louis (Olin Business School), and Hope College (Department of Management), the latter of which is my current faculty role. At Washington University I taught Quantitative Business Analysis, focused primarily on the tools of statistics and probability to address business problems, and Negotiations. At Hope College, I teach Management Theory, Marketing Strategy, Management Seminar, and Management Research. Examples of some of my approaches to pedagogy can be found here, including examples on recent project-based learning engagements. If interested in seeing one creative course engagement, please find the link to my Management Seminar course.
My teaching strategy is built upon the following foundations
• Multi-Disciplinary Engagement- Despite they way they usefully delineate the world, I believe disciplines are false categories. There is not a sociological world, a psychological world, a philosophical world and a world of economics… there is just a world and multiple ways to view it. As a result, in my teaching I intentionally force multiple lenses onto business and organizational phenomena in order to help students explore concepts from a variety of angles. In doing so, I hope to show how any theory in the end is a helpful but limited abstraction from the world itself.
• Theory and Practice Dialectic- In my teaching, I continually push my students to move back and forth between the theories they use and the complexity of real world problems. One of the ways to do this is through case teaching. Another way is to have them engage with real companies, and real social problems. While this is common at the graduate level, I believe pushing students to engage in research and academic consulting projects at the undergraduate level is the most effective way to get them to learn how to apply theories to problem, and also to see how problems extend beyond the theories we use.
• Teaching as a Relationship- In a world where education is quickly moving online and away from teacher mentor relationships, I still believe the best learning happens in dynamic relationships built around a learning encounter over time. Recent research from Gallup demonstrates the significance of this kind of learning for workplace engagement and long-term well-being. As a result, it is my role as a professor to customize the way I approach education to fit the students whom I engage. In this way, teaching moves towards a hybrid of advising, discussion, and content-delivery over and above lecture alone. In my experience, this is done especially well at undergraduate liberal-arts residency colleges.