Filip De Beule, Associate Professor of International Business at the Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation at the Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven (Belgium)
Andreja Jaklič, Professor & Head of the Research Program at the Center of International Relations & Vice Dean for Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences, College of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nukhet Vardar, Director of El Izi Communications Consultancy, UK
Rising popularity of multimedia
Today we are witnessing the use of multimedia in all aspects of business life – whether it be presenting a new offer, introducing a new product/service, assembling new equipment, running an orientation program for new employees, convincing a customer, or providing after-sales services. The use of multimedia has also been largely extended over to business education, mainly because of its power in delivery. Similarly, video has become an increasingly popular communication component in international business and today’s global society. Furthermore, we see more and more educational institutions and universities incorporating the use of multimedia into their curriculum.
To this end, we observe an abundance of multimedia material that could be used in business studies teaching or IB education, more specifically. There are various feature films, platforms like Netflix and Amazon with numerous documentaries, as well as many company executive interviews on YouTube, Wall Street Journal, BBC Business, TedEX Talks, and similar. For instance, a good class discussion on social issues would be the YouTube interview with Mr. van Boxmeer, the CEO of Heineken in 2017, addressing Heineken’s possible connections with human rights violations and corruption in Africa. Similarly, videos available at SDG Academy can be used while teaching IB. Although a wide range of such rich sources can be used as teaching material, instructors need to spend extra time integrating these valuable sources into their IB syllabus.
Here, we would like to introduce a new video case collection produced specifically for IB, with ready-made links to different concepts and theoretical frameworks that need to be covered in any IB course.
A video-case collection for IB
The MNC Whispering video case collection is developed as an open access video case library for IB courses, with the help of an ERASMUS+ project which ran between Sept 2018-Dec. 2021. KU Leuven, Belgium coordinated the project along with four partners from the University of Leeds, UK; the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland, and El Izi Comm. Cons., UK, bringing in the previous technical know-how from Brands Whisper’g® video case series developed earlier for marketing.
In the MNC Whispering series, there are 14 different video cases from 12 companies across four different countries, each sharing real company examples with the help of business-academia co-created video cases. Each video case is designed to address a separate chapter in an IB textbook. However, instead of reading chapters of a textbook, all information is delivered in a video format.
Companies and protagonists are carefully chosen to cover different countries, industries, and firm sizes, with special emphasis on diversity and inclusivity. The video cases include start-up companies as well as MNCs. Regarding gender balance, of these 16 executives interviewed, five were female, and 11 were male. Similarly, considering that not all students will seek employment in big multinational companies, these videos help bring the real work environment in international business closer to students while they are still studying. Special attention is paid to local languages. The video cases produced by individuals from Belgium, Poland, and Slovenia are streamed in their local languages, apart from English. We believe that video cases delivered in different institutional, political, and economic contexts enable students to deal with IB issues, not only from the home-country perspective but also with examples from around the world, in real-life settings.
Each video case has two or three knowledge clips related to academic insights, theories, and frameworks. There are 21 such knowledge clips produced as part of this project. These knowledge clips can be used as a part of a class discussion or as study material, linking the specific case to the theory in each chapter.
How to use video cases in lectures – teaching manual
Each video case is divided into three to six parts that can be used individually or jointly. The full video and videos in separate parts are available for each video case. Every instructor can choose between covering the curriculum with the help of these video cases or selecting specific ones based on their individual needs. Similarly, knowledge clips produced can be used in different lectures, on their own, or as support material.
In addition, IB lecturers can access a Teaching Manual produced as a part of this project, showing how these different video cases can be linked within an IB e-book. By clicking on the Manual, instructors can watch the related video and the corresponding knowledge clip they can use in their lectures. The three tables included at the end of the Manual gives cross-referencing all video cases and knowledge clips with the e-book chapters.
Value-added through video cases
Although the project had started long before Covid in late 2018, we have witnessed that the pandemic increased the demand for the use of video cases in teaching. Experience has also proven that video cases can be used to enhance different types of teaching sessions, including hybrid teaching methods and traditional classroom training. The pandemic and lockdowns enabled us to test these cases in fully online, hybrid, and blended teaching environments, having lively and extended class discussions and yielding increased class engagement.
So, to conclude in the words of Edgar Dale: “We remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we personally experience and 95% of what we teach others.” Using the video cases has thus lots of potential both for students and instructors and might be considered a new skill set for today’s instructors. They also pave the way toward stronger cooperation between IB practitioners and scholars, leading to the use of more current and up-to-date teaching material.
Therefore, we would like to extend our courtesy call to IB scholars to access the MNC Whispering collection, test our video cases, and share their teaching experiences with us. If there are faculty who would like to produce their own video cases, we would be more than pleased to help with the blueprints.
Filip De Beule is an associate professor of International Business at the Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the KU Leuven (Belgium). He is a senior member of the Leuven Center for Global Governance Studies and the Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, and a board member of the KU Leuven Centre for Russian Studies and the Flanders Business School. He was academic secretary of the Western European Chapter of the Academy of International Business (AIB) and board member of the European International Business Academy (EIBA) for several years where he served as national representative for Belgium. He focuses his research on internationalization, international and social entrepreneurship, innovation, and emerging economies. He was a research fellow of the China Europe Management Center and Erasmus Mundus scholar at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has won several AIB and EIBA best paper awards. He has edited several books and published papers on internationalization, innovation, and multinationals.
Andreja Jaklič is a full professor and head of the research program at the Center of International Relations. She currently serves as a Vice Dean for Research at the Faculty of Social Sciences, College of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her research focuses on international trade, foreign direct investment, global value chains, multinational enterprises, internationalization strategies, and their impact on performance (growth, innovation, and productivity). Based on applied and academic research, she has published over 50 journal articles, several monographs (also: Enhanced Transition through Outward Internationalization, 2003, 2017), and book chapters. She is a co-founder and board member of the Academy of International Business Central and Easter European Chapter (AIB-CEEC), active in editorial boards (IBR, EBER, JEEMS, TNCR, CIR Analysis, etc.), and was a board member of the European Academy of International Business (EIBA) from 2010 to 2016.
Nukhet Vardar is the Director of El Izi Communications Consultancy UK, a London based edtech company, developing innovative online teaching tools and adapting them to international markets. Following her MSc and PhD in International Marketing from Univ. of Manchester Institute of Science &Technology (former UMIST), UK; Vardar pursued an academic career while working for the industry since 1985. Her last appointment was as a marketing professor (2004) at Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey. Her research interests are in international marketing/ advertising, brand development; with a special focus on case writing and new pedagogy development for business studies. She is the author of 12 books.