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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Anke Foller-Carroll and Sylvain Charlebois

The purpose of this paper is to examine the attitudes toward VolunTourism of students of Humber College, Toronto, Canada, who had engaged in VolunTourism excursions within…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the attitudes toward VolunTourism of students of Humber College, Toronto, Canada, who had engaged in VolunTourism excursions within the context of study abroad programmes or were about to embark on such a programme. The paper attempts to make a connection between altruistic travel motivations and the applicability of VolunTourism experiences on resumes in pursuit of differentiation in the job market.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample frame for this paper consisted of two groups of students who, at the time of the study, had participated in a curriculum-based study-abroad programme featuring VolunTourism components in the past five years (post-study) or were confirmed to embark on a trip shortly thereafter (pre-study). The surveys comprised a mixed-method approach. Quantitative and qualitative information was gathered through anonymous online surveys and personal interviews.

Findings

The responses obtained in personal interviews reflect the results obtained in the online surveys. Students who sat down for a personal interview were enthusiastic and supportive of VolunTourism. Three-quarters of the interviewees were 25 and younger. None of them had previously participated in study abroad programme, but they did have previous volunteering experience through high school curriculum or personal engagement. Besides their enthusiasm for doing good, students believed VolunTourism to enhance their image and increase their competitive advantage in the job market.

Research limitations/implications

The surveys do not explore the impact of short-term VolunTourism opportunities in general but are focused on specific curriculum-based programmes. The bulk of participants came from the Tourism Management programme, whose familiarity with Niche, Eco and VolunTourism products could potentially have created a bias towards their experience and the usefulness of such excursions with respect to their career aspirations. Participants had travelled to a variety of destinations, influencing the comparability of the impressions.

Practical implications

Commercial tour operators can direct their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts at giving back to its key profit generators, thereby offsetting the negative impacts that such vacation models entail. Students have pointed to the availability of many willing hands that populate the beaches of All-Inclusive Resorts, and it appears that they would happily participate, were pre-organized VolunTourism excursions readily available. The obligation for tour operators is clearly to maintain authenticity and integrity and not to capitalize on this new opportunity for pure revenue generation.

Social implications

Travellers are obligated to treat VolunTourism opportunities with respect and sincerity, to combat the negative stigma of careless self-gratification and self-promotion attributed to this type of travel. VolunTourists must be vigilant, demand transparency from VolunTourism providers and not fall prey to “green washing” strategies, allowing monies to subtly flow out of destinations and into the pockets of corporations.

Originality/value

This paper explores the complexities surrounding short-term VolunTourism experiences and their impact on students and young professionals. It narrowed in on the co-existence of altruistic motives in serving destination communities, and the expectation of acquiring skills to further expand resume credentials. The paper was inspired by recent market developments, wherein high-end tourism services providers were seen to be offering one-day volunteering excursions to their clientele. The question that presented itself was to investigate if there is an emerging trend towards personal social responsibility, whereby students and young professionals emulate behaviours modelled by industry leaders, and it appears that this is the case.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2019

Sylvain Charlebois, Simon Somogyi, Janet Music and Caitlin Cunningham

The purpose of this paper is to measure Canadian attitudes towards genetic engineering in food, for both plant-based and livestock, assess trust towards food safety and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure Canadian attitudes towards genetic engineering in food, for both plant-based and livestock, assess trust towards food safety and overall regulatory system in Canada.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study is derived from an inductive, quantitative analysis of primary data obtained from an online survey of adults, aged 18 and over, living in Canada for at least 12 months. An online survey was widely distributed in both French and English. Data were collected from 1,049 respondents. The sample was randomized using regional and demographic benchmarks for an accurate representation of the Canadian population. The completion rate of the survey was 94 per cent. Based on the sampling design, the margin of error is 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Findings

Consumers misunderstand the nature of genetic engineering or do not appreciate its prevalence in agrifood or both. In total, 44 per cent of Canadians are confused about health effects of genetically engineered foods and ingredients. In total, 40 per cent believe that there is not significant testing on genetically engineered food to protect consumers. In total, 52 per cent are uncertain on their consumption of genetically engineered food, despite its prominence in the agrifood marketplace. Scientific literacy of respondents on genetic engineering is low. While Canadians are divided on purchasing genetically engineered animal-based products, 55 per cent indicated price is the most important factor when purchasing food.

Research limitations/implications

More research is required to better appreciate the sociological and economic dimensions of incorporating GM foods into our lives. Most importantly, longitudinal risks ought to be better understood for both plant- and animal-based GM foods and ingredients. Additional research is needed to quantify the benefits and risks of GM crops livestock, so business practices and policies approach market expectations. Significantly, improving consumers’ scientific literacy on GM foods will reduce confusion and allow for more informed purchasing decisions. Indeed, a proactive research agenda on biotechnologies can accommodate well-informed discussions with public agencies, food businesses and consumers.

Originality/value

This exploratory study is one of the first to compare consumers’ perceptions of genetic engineering related to animal and plant-based species in Canada since the addition of genetically modified salmon to the marketplace.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Sylvain Charlebois, Maggie McCormick and Mark Juhasz

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate if sudden retail price increases for beef products have affected consumers purchasing behaviors. Little research has been…

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2374

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate if sudden retail price increases for beef products have affected consumers purchasing behaviors. Little research has been conducted that integrates retail price volatility with subdued food consumption motivations. Prior research about consumers’ meat-purchasing habits and systemic concerns linked to sustainability and animal welfare is limited or de-contextualized. This study also attempts to assess if retail price increases have triggered a change in perception of the meat industry, by looking at specific values related to animal protein production and consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on an inductive, quantitative analysis of primary data obtained from a survey on beef consumption. For convenience and validity, all respondents had to be living in Canada for 12 months, and were at least 18 years old. The choice of country is not trivial. First, access to data were convenient for this study. Second, and most importantly, Canada has supply managed commodities that include poultry and chicken. In effect, Canada produces the amount of chicken it needs. Beef production is vulnerable to market volatility. As a result, demand-focussed market conditions for one often influence conditions for the other.

Findings

Findings indicate that higher prices have compelled 37.9 percent of the sample to reduce or to stop beef consumption altogether in the last 12 months. Beyond the issue of price, sustainability, food safety and health appear to be significant factors, more so than ethics (animal welfare). Results also show that education can be considered as a determinant for sustainable aspects of beef production when prices increase. Age and gender had no statistical significance on survey results. Some limitations are presented and future research paths are suggested.

Research limitations/implications

Since the sample in this study was mainly composed of consumers based in Canada, the generalizations of the findings should be approached with some caution. The same research should be conducted with consumers from other parts of the Western world to verify if the results can be generalized.

Practical implications

This survey help the authors to understand some aspects of beef consumption at retail. Findings of this empirical study have implications for future communications to consumers, in that greater emphasis should be given to the connection consumers have with other nutritional alternatives. Since meat consumption in the Western world is intrinsically linked to culinary traditions, behaviors can be challenging to change.

Social implications

The economic implications of a rapid adoption of a plant-based diet for the agricultural economy would be significant. However, the reality is that according to many studies of consumer behavior, customers still place a higher value on buying and eating meat than on any other food group. Canada’s relationship with animal proteins has deep cultural roots, particularly during holidays and summertime.

Originality/value

The present study has given important insights into the determinants of meat consumption reduction, a behavior which could both have long-term economic implications for the cattle and beef industries. This paper provides a deeper insight into some socio-economic factors that contribute to slow erosion of meat consumption reduction, and the effects of higher prices at retail. This is, as far as the authors know, likely the first study of its kind.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 118 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2020

Ou Wang, Simon Somogyi and Sylvain Charlebois

This study associated consumers' food choice motives and socio-demographic characteristics with their attitudes and consumptions towards food shopping with four e-commerce…

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2418

Abstract

Purpose

This study associated consumers' food choice motives and socio-demographic characteristics with their attitudes and consumptions towards food shopping with four e-commerce modes: business-to-consumer (B2C), online-to-offline delivery (O2O Delivery), online-to-offline in-store (O2O In-store) and New Retail. It also explored consumer preferences for specific food categories within the four e-commerce modes.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was administered to 954 participants from three Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. Descriptive analysis and linear regression were used in the data analysis.

Findings

The following food choice motives (FCMs) and socio-demographic characteristics had a significant effect on food e-commerce attitudes and/or consumption, with some or all of the four e-commerce modes: Taste Appeal, Value for Money, Safety Concerns, Quality Concerns, Processed Convenience, Purchase Convenience, Others' Reviews, City, Gender, Household Size, Age, Income, Occupation and Marital Status. Consumers also have different consumption preferences for food categories in the four e-commerce modes.

Originality/value

This is the first study to associate consumer FCMs and socio-demographics with their e-commerce attitudes and consumption regarding food in four e-commerce modes: B2C, O2O Delivery, O2O In-store and New Retail.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Joanne Labrecque, Bertrand Dulude and Sylvain Charlebois

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of sustainability as strategic cornerstone for a marketing channel in a mature market, particularly in the hog industry in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of sustainability as strategic cornerstone for a marketing channel in a mature market, particularly in the hog industry in the Canadian Province of Quebec. Due to the growing attention to sustainability, and the international trend toward agricultural trades and stakeholder involvement in food, there is a need for a system-based approach in the field of food systems sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 12 semi-structured individual interviews were conducted among marketing managers working for different organizations within the Quebec hog marketing channel. The organizations chosen vary depending on the size, level of integration and involvement in the industry, to create a sample that adequately represents the industry. For the purpose of this research, three primary producers, one veterinarian, three licenced abattoirs, one food processor, one distributor, one independent retailer and two types of food service facility, one from a franchise system and the other from a high-end restaurant were questioned regarding the current state of the industry, as well as the impact of sustainable development on their strategic plans.

Findings

The Canadian hog and pork industry is currently facing strong competition from several fronts: the USA and South America, a population with increasingly sophisticated demands, a strong Canadian dollar and a significant increase in input costs, particularly in respect to oil and corn. To be able to meet this competition, and in order to prosper in an uncertain marketplace, marketing channel believes that it must reduce its production costs, increase product awareness in the domestic market and promote cooperation among industry members.

Research limitations/implications

This research is mainly concerned with the Quebec hog industry. External validity has not been achieved with the current research. In addition, a lack of distributor availability to answer the interview questions limits researchers’ capacity to extrapolate results to all retailers. Meetings with other food distributors would be required to verify the accuracy of results. Although this study is exploratory in nature, several appealing research avenues emerge. First, the research focusses primarily on members of the distribution network, but does not consider the consumers’ point of view. It would be fruitful to study the impact of sustainable development on the perceived product quality by measuring consumers’ intent to purchase.

Practical implications

The principal point of interest that makes this case worthy of study and of potential application to future business modeling is how sustainability and sustainable development is perceived throughout various marketing channels. The Quebec hog industry faces strong competition from several countries that are able to offer a similar product at a lower cost. The mature market consists of a limited number of producers interested in offering a product on the market at the lowest possible price.

Social implications

When it comes to sustainable development and the hog industry, the economic and environmental aspects seem to be well understood by members of the industry. On the other hand, the social aspect of sustainability is not mentioned frequently and is often not a part of the leaders’ main concerns. Nevertheless, members of the industry agree that sustainable development affects the Quebec hog value chain, and will remain a topic of interest in the coming years.

Originality/value

To the knowledge, no study has been conducted to evaluate the use of sustainability as strategic cornerstone for a marketing channel in a mature market, particularly in the hog industry. Many studies have been conducted in a context of emerging markers. However, very few studies addressed the issue in an established economic environment.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2007

Sylvain Charlebois and Ronald D. Camp

The paper intends to identify and explain key managerial principles for vertical integration in the cattle industry during a key period of environment uncertainty.

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1137

Abstract

Purpose

The paper intends to identify and explain key managerial principles for vertical integration in the cattle industry during a key period of environment uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

Following Yin's advice on using case studies for exploratory theory development, this study builds on existing theories of vertical integration through a case study that explores potential prospects for cattle producers in a uniquely uncertain environment and the execution of a higher degree of vertical integration in a mature market.

Findings

The creation of NVF is a result of a well‐groomed uncertainty management scheme designed to attain a higher degree of vertical integration within an enterprising community. Some key managerial principles have been identified that can be applied to a thriving vertical integration endeavour in the cattle industry. History has proven that such an undertaking is taxing. Nevertheless, by looking at NVF's business model, it can be seen that environmental uncertainty can facilitate vertical integration projects in the cattle industry, given the right community‐oriented doctrine.

Research limitations/implications

This case study does not include cases where cattle producers were not so successful.

Practical implications

It provides advice for managing vertical integration by networks of small business owners in the cattle industry. The BSE crisis seems to have triggered efforts to decrease dependency, especially by outside stakeholders. NVF focused its members on building a business model and long‐term objectives beyond the specific uncertainties created by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), such as whether the border reopened or stayed permanently closed to foreign markets. Domestic consumers were their core marketing priority at the outset. In addition, future plans were set in motion to create a strategy to seek other foreign markets, including the EU.

Originality/value

The case study presented in this paper provides an example of vertical integration as a strategic response to market uncertainty enhanced by a political and economic crisis in a rural community. This paper also outlines key events of the Canadian BSE crisis, the Canadian beef industry and surrounding communities, and the relevance of past research on environmental uncertainty and vertical integration in explaining why vertical integration has been strategically unnatural to cattle producers but occurred in this situation.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Sylvain Charlebois, Amy Creedy and Mike von Massow

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key determinants of back-of-house-based food waste in food service outlets. This case study focuses on Delish restaurants, a…

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3676

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the key determinants of back-of-house-based food waste in food service outlets. This case study focuses on Delish restaurants, a well-known restaurant chain in Canada, and aims to provide a clear understanding of food service procurement, kitchen practices, cost management, risk mitigation, menu design and technical literacy needs in hospitality. Some recommendations for future studies are also provided.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors chose an exploratory case study design to guide our investigation on restaurants and food waste, based on Yin’s (1994) argument that case studies are the preferred strategy when the “why” questions is being posed and when the focus is on a modern occurrence within a real-life context. Such a design is particularly appropriate for understanding the details and complexity of a phenomenon and its design (Stake, 1995). In this study, research data were collected through multiple points. A semi-structured questionnaire was designed and adopted to collect primary data. The objective of the empirical segment is not to test the applicability of the existing approaches, but rather to study conceptual nuances related to the presented model. A survey study was focused on formal interviews onsite, in two different food service facilities (Restaurant A and B).

Findings

When considering food procurement, supplier relationships were found to not be significant for food waste prevention. Company-wide agreements with specific suppliers prevented individual chefs from creating alterations in their ordering to prevent waste. Order shorting was a somewhat common occurrence. However, most employees did not identify portion size as a large driver of waste. This conclusion conflicts somewhat with studies in this area (Kantor et al., 1997). If there was waste on a plate, it is much more likely to be the starches, which are low-cost items as opposed to high-cost proteins.

Research limitations/implications

This research has its limitations, which present opportunities for future research. First, this case study is based on two case studies which have their weaknesses, especially in the reliability of data collection. In future, even though both restaurants had access to an earlier version of this case, a more structured analysis with performance indicators related to food waste would contribute to the internal validity of the study. The external validity of the proposed back-of-house-based determinant framework would benefit from being empirically tested with a larger sample, as the author cannot imply that this study’s findings are transferable to other food service operations.

Practical implications

From a managerial perspective, this study has merit. Arguably, the restaurant industry has a cumulative impact on the environment, economy and society as a whole. As more consumers in the Western world eat away from home, proper food management practices are desirable. Currently, few governments regulate or mandate measures to monitor restaurants’ sustainability claims and waste management. As consumer expectations change, the onus falls on food operations to validate and inform patrons on practices behind the scenes. Culinary kitchens are often not visible or accessible for some customers, or even obscure for others.

Social implications

Strategies undertaken by management and chefs are reactive as opposed to proactive strategies. The reactive strategies are only able to identify waste a week after it has occurred through inventory checks. From this point, it may be impossible to identify the cause of the waste to prevent it from happening in the future. In addition, attribution to the cause may be laid on the incorrect individual, which will further exacerbate the social learning of the staff as a whole. Proactive strategies undertaken before waste occurs are more effective.

Originality/value

It must be noted that most of the literature on food waste management in casual-dining restaurants does not cover the key challenges found in the food industry. Most noticeable in the review is that there are very few studies in the literature that include food waste management practices linked to distribution management. This area of interest within the hospitality industry has not been well-developed in recent years and requires more attention.

Details

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6182

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2011

Sylvain Charlebois

The objectives of this paper are threefold. First, the paper seeks to present principles of crisis management, and crisis preparation and recovery. Second, it aims to…

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1952

Abstract

Purpose

The objectives of this paper are threefold. First, the paper seeks to present principles of crisis management, and crisis preparation and recovery. Second, it aims to narrate the 2008 events to give context for this case study. Third, it seeks to present a conceptual framework for food industry crisis management in the context of food recalls. Finally, it sets out to present conclusions concerning the food recall, managerial changes, limitations, and future research directions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper chose an exploratory case‐study design to guide the study, based on Yin's argument that case studies are the preferred strategy when “how” or “why” questions are being posed, and when the focus is on a modern phenomenon within a real‐life context. Such a design is particularly appropriate for understanding the details and complexity of a phenomenon. A survey study was focused on formal interviews onsite and at the Toronto plant where the recall occurred.

Findings

Differences in institutional and relational rules and subsequent management actions during the food recall are linked to the four axes represented in this study. Based on the findings, values played a key role in crisis management at Premiere Quality Foods during the recall.

Research limitations/implications

The incident reported in this paper was not compared with any other recalls. The survey also had a limited number of respondents. Several areas of crisis management in the context of a food recall are opened to researchers who have developed a particular interest in the subject. Scholars could explore the conditions that enable or inhibit an organization in effectively detecting and interpreting early crisis warning signals that often lead to a food recall.

Originality/value

The mechanics of crisis management and food recalls are a dangerously under‐developed field. This paper proposes a way of identifying relevant principles for crisis management and discusses a communication problem that is prevalent in food recalls. The paper considers both internal and external causal factors of crisis management related to food recalls. Today's concepts of crisis and food recalls are no longer mainly externally oriented; they are systemic in nature.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 113 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Sylvain Charlebois and Sebastian Hielm

This study proposes a straightforward set of performance measurements for industrialized nations. The aims of this paper are twofold. First, the paper explores the notion…

Abstract

Purpose

This study proposes a straightforward set of performance measurements for industrialized nations. The aims of this paper are twofold. First, the paper explores the notion of ranking nations based on food safety performances, beyond benchmarking. The paper appraises how a global comparative analysis could contribute to best practices and continuance improvement in food safety. Second, this paper presents an experiment in which a group of regulators took part in a workshop held in Helsinki, Finland in the Fall 2011.

Design/methodology/approach

A session was held in October 2011 in Helsinki, and many countries were invited. A total of 17 countries were represented. The following countries were represented: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the USA. The session was designed to be informative, interactive and flexibly tailored to the delegates' needs and experience. It was also designed to raise awareness and understanding of benchmarking and supra-national ranking systems, what it is and how it can be applied using practical examples from healthcare and across other sectors.

Findings

The session also introduced the principles of process thinking and illustrated how process benchmarking can be a useful tool for continuance improvement. The session then built upon the theory presented in the introductory portion by focusing specifically on the essence of ranking indicators. In this session, delegates spent time familiarizing themselves with indicators provided by the University of Guelph, discussing how they might implement it within their individual nations and across the trust as a whole.

Practical implications

The collection of primary data was also debated at the session. Public trust, for example, could easily be an indicator which could be included. Measurement of public trust in food safety might be important for governments. It could provide them with information on the performance of the food safety systems from a consumers' perspective. To be an effective indicator of performance the measurement of public trust in food safety should be liable to change. Therefore, changes in performance of the food safety systems have to be reflected through the measurement of public trust in food safety.

Originality/value

The Helsinki session is believed to be the first international meeting in which benchmarking metrics were discussed in order to rank countries based on food safety risk practices. Ranking programs in food safety remain controversial. Most particularly, risk assessors and the public service remain skeptical about their effectiveness. The Helsinki meeting was not met to alleviate the skepticism around ranking systems, but it did allow many to better appreciate several perspectives from around the world.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Sylvain Charlebois and Michael von Massow

The purpose of this paper is to explore the introduction of the concept of co-opetition in an MBA classroom through the use of a live case study competition. As part of a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the introduction of the concept of co-opetition in an MBA classroom through the use of a live case study competition. As part of a capstone course at the University of Guelph, teams of three to four MBA students were required to work with a corporate partner in the food industry during a five-day intensive workshop. After spending one week analyzing and working on a plan, students were asked to compete in the MBA Boardroom Challenge, which is held on the last day of the course at the corporate partner’s headquarters. During the course of the week, while developing their plans, teams could choose to interact and met on two occasions with the corporate partner as a class to ask questions. This meant that teams operated in both a cooperative and competitive context during the course. While presentations were academically evaluated by the instructor, scholarships were offered to the winning team by the company using another set of criteria. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of blending cooperation and competition in a graduate business classroom and finds that the introduction of co-opetition enhanced outcomes for both students and partners. The limitations of this process are considered, and future research directions are suggested.

Design/methodology/approach

This project, the focus of this paper, was in partial fulfillment of a capstone strategic management course for the University of Glebe’s MBA program in Spring 2013. For this iteration, Longo’s Brothers, a well-established food distribution company, was brought in as the case study. The mandate of the course was to set a strategic view of Longo’s and Grocery Gateway (a division of Longo’s), a Canadian-based food e-distributor owned and operated by Longo’s Brothers. The concept of co-opetition and its application was introduced as part of the course.

Findings

Longo’s Brothers provided an ideal environment for a live case study. It was open, available end engaged at all levels. Its status as a family-owned business offered a unique perspective on the food industry as well. Students benefited from the company’s openness to share sensitive information with the group, and were able to ask information on finances, marketing, human resources and the organizational structure of the company. The level of cooperation was more than adequate for a MBA-level course. But students faced a few challenges.

Research limitations/implications

The unpredictable nature of the entire process did not allow for measurement of knowledge acquirement and skill development. This is something such a course should address in future iterations. Future research could usefully explore a number of research questions around this area; namely, how live case studies might enable MBA students to better understand the element of co-opetition in their industry, while going through the interplay between theory and the practical application of theory over time. Also to be assessed is the choice of an incentive for the winning team and the overall effectiveness of doing so. The impact of this crucial elements on the course needs to be measured over a greater length of time.

Practical implications

Live case studies may be integrated into multiple courses, however, they require a lot of work on the part of the instructor, particularly when dealing with a company to negotiate an incentive and leverage the competitive environment. Setting up and maintaining relationships with collaborative corporate partners for the program takes significant time and effort, and the schedule of inputs into the students’ learning may not synchronize with the normal pattern of teaching. Whether this type of course can be sustained within a normal university environment is a moot point.

Social implications

While presentations were evaluated academically by the instructor, scholarships were offered to the winning team by the company using another set of criteria. Criteria for grading are readily available to students at the start of the course, as per the University Senate bylaws. However, criteria used by the corporate partner are not disclosed, not even to the instructor. In fact, for the Longo’s Brothers project, the winning team failed to receive the highest grade. The winning team received the third highest grade of all seven teams competing.

Originality/value

The element of co-opetition in a MBA classroom seems to elevate the quality of projects, but more evidence need to be gathered to reinforce this hypothesis. It is believed that university courses cannot fully negotiate the emotional turmoil or complexity that live case studies encompass with conventional models of evaluation.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

Keywords

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