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Five minutes with Mats Urde

Mats Urde is an associate professor in strategic brand management at Lund University, School of Economics and Management (LUSEM).

What is it you like about writing and teaching with case studies?

Writing cases gives educators the opportunity to bring real-world problems into the classroom and place the reader in action mode. In case teaching, I love seeing how a group of participants work together to find alternative solutions to difficult questions, find out what works, and what it takes to make it happen.

What’s your favourite case, and why?

My favourite case is about the Tylenol brand and a reputational crisis (1982), and it is written by my research colleague and mentor, Professor Emeritus Stephen A. Greyser, Harvard Business School. It is a short case that we once used together in one of my classes many years ago. Teaching the Tylenol case together, I saw for the first time the full potential of a case and how to use it.

Mats Urde teach

Having worked with case studies for 30 years, how do you see the case method developing in the next 30?

At the root, cases and case teaching will stay the same, with real-world challenges brought into the classroom. We have seen changes in the last year due to COVID-19 and how it is possible to use cases in a hybrid or fully digital setting. Nevertheless, how we work together by pooling intelligence, knowledge, experiences, and creativity will continue to be a vital part of learning and problem-solving in the future. To me, this is the essence of the case method of teaching and learning.

If you could be transported into another profession for one week, which would you choose, and why?

I would like to be a yacht skipper for a week in the famous Ocean Race, arriving at Newport with fair winds and following seas. I am a passionate sailor, and I have, in fact written a case about the Around the World Race. When I present the case in class, there is a video with the surfing 60 feet yachts, and I say to myself, don’t I wish…

Icelandic horseHow do you relax?

Beyond sailing, I like riding my Icelandic horse. Riding is about balance, communication, and being there. If you start thinking about something other than riding, it is like hanging up a telephone conversation.

Do you have a favourite quote or guiding principle?

Learn something new every day, and ideas are like bulbs in the garden and should be given the opportunity to grow.

About Mats

Based at Lund University in Sweden, Mats Urde is currently an associate professor in strategic brand management with the key concepts of identity, communication, and reputation.

A strong proponent of the case method, Mats is co-founder of the LUSEM Case Academy, seeing first-hand the potential of this method and its impact on research, teaching, and learning.

Mats was recognised for his commitment to teaching with the case method by winning the 2021 Outstanding Case Teacher Competition.

Furthermore, Mats has 25 years of experience as an independent brand strategy advisor for companies and non-profits, including Volvo, Ericsson and IKEA.

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