Competition winner: Outstanding Case Teacher

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Pierre Chandon won the Outstanding Case Teacher Competition at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2018.
The winning entry

A case teaching starA case teaching star

“Pierre is the star of case teaching at INSEAD, a school whose faculty counts many exceptional instructors,” said Gianpiero Petriglieri, Director of the INSEAD Initiative for Learning Innovation and Teaching Excellence.

“Pierre is well known in the INSEAD community and beyond for the breadth and strength of his commitment to educational excellence. He has made several notable contributions to participative management learning in general and case teaching in particular.

“Pierre manages to meet a high demand for his teaching without neglecting the development of PhD students and colleagues. He is a generous mentor — a role model for, and supporter of, the development of many case teachers and writers.”

Great listener

Great listener“Leveraging his own award-winning cases, Pierre is able to deliver his content in a very powerful, effective and managerial way, which is very important to our MBA and eMBA students,” added Joerg Niessing, Affiliate Professor of Marketing at INSEAD.

“It is just great to see how he listens to and interacts with students, as well as building and moderating the discussion to the perfect learning outcome.

“In addition, Pierre prefers to teach his own cases instead of relying on cases from other schools. Many students positively emphasise this after being in his class.”

Proud of recognition

Pierre said: “The very first output that I produced during my PhD studies at HEC Paris was a case study. Since then, I have always considered case writing and case teaching as an essential part of my job and it means a great deal to me to be recognised for case teaching, two years after being recognised for case writing.”

SurveysSurveys key to INSEAD classes

Pierre continued: “Pre-class online surveys, which involves asking questions about the case, are now widely used at INSEAD because they motivate students to read the case.

“First, they permit me to show the distribution of answers in class. This is a key learning moment for students who often falsely believe that everyone else thinks like them (the famous “false consensus effect”).

“Second, they allow me to know what students think before the class starts. This means I can control the flow of the discussion, sometimes calling last on the students who had the best answer (to avoid killing the case discussion too early). It can also call on students who have great insights but who are too shy to spontaneously participate — which they, and the rest of the class, like.

“Finally, even though I may have taught a case for years, I often learn something new about it through the survey.”

Paper still has its place

“I still think that paper is a great medium. As IKEA reminded us in a hilarious commercial, paper loads instantly, needs no power, you can add notes easily,” Pierre explained.

“Of course, all my cases, like all INSEAD cases, are also available in pdf format and come with a website where students can watch videos. But I think that the most powerful use of video is during the class discussion, which is why most of our videos are password protected and only available to instructors.”

Propping up the discussion

Pierre concluded: “I’m a big believer in props. They focus the attention. It’s something to be in favour of black toilet paper, theoretically. It’s another to hold one in your hand. It’s one thing to say that all premium vodkas taste the same, it’s another to fail at a blind taste discrimination test in front of the rest of the classroom.”

Teaching your own casesTeaching your own cases

“If you teach your own cases you know so much more about the case and the company than the students that it will be rare to be stumped by a question.

“Another advantage is instant credibility. That’s why I highly recommend junior colleagues to develop at least one case early on, especially if they are in a research-intensive university, in which they won’t have too much time to work on teaching.”

The teacher

Meet our winner, Pierre Chandon…

Pierre ChandonPierre Chandon is the L'Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing – Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD, and Director of INSEAD’s Sorbonne University Behavioural Lab.

Pierre holds a PhD in marketing from HEC Paris and an MS in Business Administration from ESSEC Business School. He has taught at institutions including London Business School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kellogg School of Management, the Wharton School and Harvard Business School.

Pierre studies innovative food marketing solutions – taking a particular interest in package and portion design – and teaches brand management in the MBA, EMBA and executive education programmes at INSEAD.

Exceptional character

Exceptional characterNicolai Jakobsen, who was taught by Pierre in 2017, nominated him for the award: “Pierre is an exceptional character, which is expressed by the deep conversations I have had with alumni over his cases years after they graduated.

“Additionally, he really understands the dynamics in many different markets. This is a key differentiator for his cases and his teaching compared to other professors.

“Pierre inspired me to search for a career in marketing and brand management, which is far away from my previous experience in economics and industrial segments.”

Impressive credentialsImpressive credentials

Pierre has been nominated multiple times for the Best Teacher award at INSEAD and has received the Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in teaching every year since its inception.

In addition, Pierre has written numerous award-winning case studies, and was placed at number ten in The Case Centre’s Top 40 Bestselling Case Authors 2016/17. He also won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award in 2016.

Pierre has also won awards for his research, including the Journal of Consumer Research Best Article Award (twice) and the O’Dell award for the article in the Journal of Marketing Research that has “made the most significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology, and/or practice.

Pierre on the case method

What the judges said...
what the judges said

The quality of the competition entrants was as high as ever, but there was a consensus among the judges that Pierre’s was the stand-out winner.

“Pierre’s use of his online survey tool to organise discussion and prepare in advance is very smart,” one judge commented. “I particularly like the way he says he uses this to bring out disagreements and explore different points of view.”

Another added: “Pierre is committed to making the best out of every case class, and prepares these sessions exceptionally well through the use of online surveys to ensure an optimal learning experience.”

Pierre also impressed with his commitment to writing cases.

Pierre demonstrates that he has very clear criteria regarding the quality of cases and teaching, and he has made a significant contribution to writing cases that directly address learning objectives for the classroom.”


View all the 2018 winners