Term Paper: Bonoma, T. ). Learning With Cases

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¶ … Bonoma, T. (1989). Learning with Cases. Harvard Business Review. February 1989.

Education has always been stressed as an important factor historically; however in recent years, the actual "learning" process has emerged as a significant causal factor. The above article by Thomas Bonoma discusses education and methods of learning marketing principles through the process of experiential learning methods. Bonoma's article stresses the importance of learning through one's reactions to certain situations. He defines learning as the process by which an activity originates or is changed through reacting to an encountered situation, as long as the basis of the changed activity is unexplainable through automatic human responses. Bonoma matches certain goals to different learning methods. For example, one of the goals of marketing education is to provide students with the skills to be effective general managers, with competence in marketing. The constraint that he matches to this goal is that no one can provide skills to the students, but instead, students can be assisted in acquiring and improving these skills.

Bonoma also discusses the pros and cons of experiential learning; one of the main advantages of it is that it is very effective if carried out correctly. Other advantages that Bonoma discusses are that since this type of learning is experience based, it is easier remembered by the student than memorization or other types of studying. Another main advantage is that since each learner learns in his or her own customized manner, the experience is powerful and personal. However, with these advantages also come a few disadvantages. One of them is that due to the nature of the individual experience, there are no right or wrong answers, so the guidance received from a professor is minimal. Since there is no exact structure, the learner has a lot of freedom to learn on their own, and become responsible for their learning successes and failures. A final flaw is that it takes a little while for the learner to figure out the best method for dealing with unknown situations that they come across. However, even with these disadvantages, ppsychologists and educators have encouraged this learning movement, arguing that actual experience provides a better job of instructing marketing education than professors can do at school facilities.

Bonoma then discusses the key point of the articles, which is;the actual process of learning with case studies. A case study is a description of a management situation, which he compares as the business equivalent of the medical second opinion. He discusses how the case history in marketing consists of interviews with the management team regarding their behavior. He compares this to someone's medical history, such as when the nurse is asking questions about the patient's prior medical issues. However, unlike the medical practitioner, the marketer will be prepared with a clear set of objectives to discuss before approaching a company. This differs from the medical practitioner because the medical practitioner has no preformed opinions or objectives before they meet with the patient. Bonoma states that the majority of cases are taken from real companies based on real problems; this benefits the company as well because it provides management with new, fresh ideas from well-prepared students.

In the article, Bonoma also discusses the role of the professor in this type of learning. The professor serves as the discussion leader, recorder and organizer of the student's analysis. The professor points out any detected conflicts and challenges the students to new ideas. The professor may also summarize the case discussion, and give a lecture on materials related to the case. However, Bonoma states that this may be uninteresting enough so as to draw away from the actual experience itself. Bonoma explains that experiential learning is so powerful because students are forced by exposure, to problems that have no right answer, and could take several different routes. In addition, repetitive exposure to these problems creates an increase in confidence on the students that will have to really face that type of issue in a future work setting. Bonoma discusses that the student's preparation of a case study is a personal matter and that the majority of students follow general procedures. These procedures include reading the case quickly, skimming it for major issues. Then the student rereads the case, annotating, highlighting, and distinguishing important information, omissions, and questions raised by the reading. The student then formulates an analysis, going over many different possible solutions and courses of action. Finally, the student develops a plan by which the desired action may be achieved or implemented within the company. The student tests the plan before the class, giving other students an opportunity to learn from their case study and experience.

The Bonoma article is beneficial in describing the process, advantages and disadvantages of experiential learning through realistic case studies. The article closes with a discussion of what the case study method brings to the student; it aids the student in becoming an excellent administer by giving him/her the tools to make them teach themselves and learn through their own experiences. In this way, the marketing student is actually teaching themselves the best possible route for their individual style.

Wheeler, M. (2001). Negotiation Analysis: An Introduction. Harvard Business Review. June 2001.

The article by Michael Wheeler discusses the best possible routes to take in the process of negotiating an agreement. He states that different circumstances call for different strategies, but that the core elements of negotiation analysis are universal. For example, some of the questions that negotiators and analysts must ask are: What will the parties do if an agreement is not reached?; what are the fundamental needs and priorities of the parties?; How might the various parties influence the negotiation process and its outcome; and what is the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint? Each of these different questions are discussed in the article, through the use of a method called BATNA, which stands for the "best alternative to a negotiated agreement." Wheeler states that the BATNA is the preferred course of action, or what one would do if there was no agreement. He states that once the best alternative has been identified, then a value must be placed on it. However, he points out that a rigid bottom line can be dangerous because it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Wheeler also discusses what he terms as the ZOPA, or "zone of a possible agreement." For example, the ZOPA could be an amount between $1,000 and $3,000 dollars. Any price between these figures would of course leave both parties better off than they would be if they failed to make a deal. He additionally states that it is difficult, however, for negotiators to have an accurate picture of what the ZOPA amount must be. They can base the ZOPA off of general market conditions, the behavior of the other party, and the general rationale behind making the deal. Wheeler states that one of the early tasks in negotiation is to understand better how the opposing party views its alternatives, and how well it perceives your alternatives. He states that the process of offers and counteroffers is a method of simultaneously testing the true dimensions of the ZOPA. Wheeler includes the fact that judging how other parties view their alternatives is difficult because it is easy to fall into the trap of deciding how they view their BATNA, instead of how they really se it. One of the most aspects of the negotiation process to Wheeler is the proper identification of the parties, to make sure that a key individual has not been left out.

Wheeler compares the identification process of the parties to the structure of a car dealership; the salesperson builds a relationship with the customer and then the manager gets the most out of the deal by throwing in freebies in exchange for a higher price for the car. He states that identifying the correct and potential parties in negotiation may raise other important questions as well as problems. For example, is the correct person being talked to, and would getting the support of a certain person decrease the support of someone else involved in the negotiation. Next, Wheeler discusses the interests and priorities of the parties. For example, there may be company policies in place that govern the company's priorities. He states that assessing interests is important before and after the negotiation, as well as the end where agreements are being refined and implemented. Finally, Wheeler states that negotiation involves a process of discovery, so interests can evolve, even fundamentally.

The article also discusses the importance of value, how it is created, and who will receive it. The potential for value-creation depends on how the other parties' interests compete with your own interests. He uses the example of a case deal to illustrate how value-creation operates; negotiators must manage the tension between creating and claiming value. Creating value usually requires revelation of information and brainstorming. He further adds that by establishing the right problem-solving atmosphere, the parties can… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Bonoma, T. ). Learning With Cases.  (2007, June 5).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/bonoma-t-1989-learning-cases-harvard/654337

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