new course

Strategy Lab Created by Alumnus Stresses Experiential Learning

Harry DavisAlthough it's been more than 30 years since Joe Raudabaugh, '80, sat in Harry Davis's (pictured) marketing lab at Booth, the real-world business skills he acquired still resonate with him today. Because he was so moved by hands-on experience working with Quaker Oats during the lab, Raudabaugh, the founder and president of A.T. Kearney Procurement & Analytic Solutions, decided to spread that knowledge in the form of a project-based laboratory course for business students.

After finding success with laboratory courses at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, Raudabaugh came to Booth with a new idea: a laboratory course focused on strategy. He presented the concept to Davis, Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Distinguished Service Professor of Creative Management, and last spring the inaugural Strategy Lab debuted at Booth, taught by Davis and Terri Albert, senior associate director, James M. Kilts Center for Marketing, and current adjunct associate professor of marketing.

"I think experiential learning should be a critical component in business education," Raudabaugh said. "Conventional classes can provide the skills that you need to apply, but a team-based, real-time engagement creates a much different dynamic."

Students are paired with one of the many small- to mid-size clients that Raudabaugh brings in, and they work together to develop a solution to a problem. A.T. Kearney consultants work with the teams to support them as they dedicate a quarter to their client's project. At the end of the term, there's a final presentation in front of all of the clients and students that often leads to the companies implementing the Booth students' strategies.

While Booth offers numerous project-based and instruction-based laboratory courses for its students, Davis said a key difference is that the Strategy Lab provides a much more introspective element, where students learn the consequences of their actions - good and bad. The course also provides important access to clients that would be difficult to attain without the help of Raudabaugh and A.T. Kearney.

"You really learn by doing rather than reading about it," Davis said. "I'm trying to build a framework and a set of tools for students to become their own self-learners over time, so they depend less on other people, and they can learn the right lessons from experience. They learn a lot about working in a group context under a fair amount of pressure, and hopefully they learn a lot about themselves in the process." - Rachel Skybetter

Photo by Matthew Gilson



Gertner Named Deputy Dean for Part-Time MBA Programs

Robert GertnerIn January, longtime Booth professor Robert Gertner (pictured) took over as deputy dean for Part-Time MBA Programs. Gertner, Joel F. Gemunder Professor of Strategy and Finance, replaces Mark Zmijewski, who stepped down at the end of 2011 after more than 15 years.

Gertner joined Booth in 1986 and has served as co-chair of the Curriculum Review and Policy committees. He teaches courses in strategic decision making, entrepreneurial strategy, and social entrepreneurship. He coauthored Game Theory and the Law with Douglas Baird and Randal Picker of the Law School. - Rachel Skybetter

Photo by Matthew Gilson

Executive MBA Program Appoints Faculty Director

Michael GibbsMichael Gibbs (pictured) was named the faculty director of the Executive MBA Program effective January 1. Gibbs has served as a clinical professor of economics since 2002 and studies the economics of human resources and organizational design.

The faculty director role was reinstated to help implement recommendations from the Global Strategy Assessment Committee, which dean Sunil Kumar created to evaluate Booth's global presence.

Gibbs has taught extensively in the Executive MBA Program on all three Booth campuses. - Rachel Skybetter

 Photo by Matthew Gilson

Marketing Department Gets New Director

Len JohnsonLen Johnson (pictured) has joined Booth as executive director of marketing, replacing Chris Iannuccilli.

"There was a unanimous agreement that Len is exactly the right person to help us plan and execute a marketing strategy to enhance the impact and reputation of Chicago Booth," said dean Sunil Kumar.

Johnson, a strategic marketing expert, spent the last 11 years at the McGraw-Hill Companies, most recently as vice president of corporate marketing. He holds an MBA in marketing from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School. - Rachel Skybetter


Thought Leadership

IGM Website Polls Top Economists on Policy Stance


Every week you can now hear 40 prominent economists from around the country sound off in one place on a topical issue.

The Initiative on Global Markets has launched a page on its IGM Forum website where economists from elite US universities respond to a different question each week. The goal is to explore the extent to which economists agree or disagree on major public policy issues. Visitors can view the panel’s degree of consensus as well as how the economists responded individually. In many cases individual panelists offer short reasons for their vote. 

Each of the 40 panelists is a distinguished expert with a keen interest in public
policy from the major areas of economics. Members are from geographically diverse locations around the country and represent Democrats, Republicans, and independents as well as older and younger scholars. 

The panel includes Nobel laureates, John Bates Clark medalists, fellows of the Econometric Society, past presidents of both the American Economic Association
and American Finance Association, past Democratic and Republican members of
the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and past and current editors of leading economics journals.  

Booth professors Marianne Bertrand, Austan Goolsbee, Anil Kashyap, Richard Thaler, and Luigi Zingales are among the panelists, as is Nancy Stokey from the University of Chicago’s economics department.

Brian Barry, clinical professor of economics and IGM director, said IGM started the survey because it believes policy debates are distorting the role of economists.

“When experts fight about minor points, they get much more attention than when they broadly agree about important ones,” Barry told the Wall Street Journal. “Sometimes ideas that are shaky or on the fringe get passed off as mainstream.”

The IGM Economic Experts Panel counters this bias by employing the “wisdom of crowds” philosophy, which holds that the collective judgment of a group of people about a question is almost always better than the answer of any single person from
the group. 

“Our hunch is that letting everyone see where a diverse range of experts agree and how clear the reasons are where they disagree can show the public what economists think are the biggest policy trade-offs,” Barry told the Wall Street Journal- T.P.

Photo by Brian Ross

View results of the weekly survey and a list of participants »

Last Updated 10/16/12