SAGE Author Profile: Marina Apaydin, American University in Beirut
Cases from Marina on SAGE Business Cases
Marina Apaydin is an assistant professor of strategic management at the American University in Beirut and the Director of Middle East and North Africa Regional Case Initiative. She holds a PhD in strategic management and innovation from the Western University (Canada), an MBA in Finance and International Business and an MA in Islamic studies, both from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and a MS in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from the Leningrad Electrical Engineering University (LETI). Before moving to academia, she held a position as Deputy Director for Management at UNESCO's World Heritage Center in Paris. Dr. Apaydin has over 20 years of professional experience in finance, business consulting, and marketing in several industries across Europe, the Middle East, and the USA. She is the lead author of Contemporary Management, 2nd Middle East Edition published by McGraw Hill. Dr. Apaydin taught strategic management, innovation, international business, decision-making, change management, ethics, and business communications and delivered workshops on case writing, teaching, and learning to professors and students at several universities in Canada, Turkey, China, Egypt, and Lebanon. She also has published impact-factor academic and practitioner articles on this subject. Dr. Apaydin works and teaches in English, French, Italian, Russian, and Arabic.
Q & A with Marina
Q: How do you integrate cases into your classes?
A: I simply do not teach without cases. I do not use Power Point slides supplied by the textbook. I have my own presentation which guides the students through the concepts first, and then we have a discussion. After that I assign a case that illustrates the concepts for the next class and we have student presentation and a discussion then.
Q: How do students respond to the cases?
A: They love it. Frankly, students don’t like studying theory and concepts and prefer cases because they are “alive.”
Q: Do you have any tips for those who are new to cases and want to use them in courses?
A: Best ways to engage students? Make students teachers. Ask them to teach a case or to write a case with you. Students like challenges and to be in the driver’s seat.
Q: Do you have any case writing advice for those who’d like to get started?
A: As I am sure you know, academics are not rewarded (in terms of promotion) for writing cases, so I am doing it as an advisor, just to challenge the better students to produce something of value. My value added in this process is structuring the case and TN, and making sure it has good learning objectives and interesting questions.Writing cases is easy if you know the “system.” There is nothing like a trilogy from Ivey Publishing about Learning, Teaching and Writing cases. Everything takes practice so the more you do it, the easier it is. I don’t do any research ahead of time. I organize interested students/graduates into teams of three, conduct a three- hour workshop for them (based on Ivey manual), and send them to do research and write the case. Usually, students have contacts in the company (family members) so they have easy access. I guide their process, review their drafts but I don’t interact with the company myself. After case is written and permission to publish is obtained, I structure the teaching note and write the main sections, leaving the students to do “replies to the case questions”—which can be another project all together.