Information Technology Champions

The Information Technology Champions program works with selected faculty members to create high-impact IT teaching innovations for use in BBA, MBA, and Executive MBA classes. In its first three years the Champions program has developed eleven teaching innovations involving professors from five different specialties across the Business School.

Mission and Evaluation

Many of the IT Champions projects are pushing the research envelope of educational technology. The aim of the Champions program is to support professors who are developing new ways to teach important business topics to wide audiences. The Champions program conducts internal evaluations of all projects. Based on these findings, new projects are developed and existing projects are modified and offered to a broader audience.

The IT Champions program also publishes results in the research literature. Papers based on Champions projects are appearing in the journals Simulation and Gaming and Educational Technology Research and Development, and are being presented at conferences including E-Learn and the Association for Business Simulations and Experiential Learning.

Simulating Action-Based Learning: Kathleen Sutcliffe and Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks
Role Playing: Corporate Social Responsibility: Tim Fort
Searchable Video Database: Rajeev Batra and Christine Brown
MAP Video for Teaching: Paul Clyde and Gretchen Spreitzer
Leadership Inbox Simulator: Susan Ashford
A Web Presence for the Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) Community: Jane Dutton
XMAP and The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: CK Prahalad

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Kathleen Sutcliffe
Management &

Management &

Simulating Action-Based Learning

Kathleen Sutcliffe and Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks created a simulated MAP experience for first-year MBA students. (MAP is the seven-week action learning project that Michigan MBA's undertake at the end of their first year.) Sutcliffe and Sanchez-Burks' students worked in groups to evaluate a set of proposals related to performance evaluation at India's famous Aravind Eye Hospital. Students viewed video interviews shot by a 2004 MAP team and analyzed survey data from Aravind to produce recommendations that were grounded in theory and in data—just like a real IMAP team would. This exercise in authentic problem solving was done with all 400+ members of Sutcliffe and Sanchez-Burks' M&O core class in the fall of 2004.

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Tim Fort
Law, History, and


Role-playing: Corporate Social Responsibility

Island Telecom is a role-playing simulation game developed by Tim Fort to promote learning and discussion about issues of socially responsible globalization. Fort's students play the roles of companies trying to balance the demands of creating a profitable business with various other opportunities for socially responsible corporate actions. Companies bid against each other for government contracts while navigating complex tradeoffs related to outsourcing, corruption, environmental health and safety, gender equity, social justice and cultural sensitivity.
Fort has used this simulation with classes of undergraduate students, MBA's, and Executive MBA's.

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Rajeev Batra
Christina Brown

Searchable Video Database

Rajeev Batra and Christina Brown created a database of video clips to support teaching their marketing courses in branding and advertising. They used advanced video storage and retrieval software capable of creating and displaying pre-selected groups of TV commercials, as well as allowing them to select appropriate clips on-the-fly to illustrate a particular concept of immediate interest to their classes.

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Paul Clyde
Economics and
Public Policy
Gretchen Spreitzer
Management & Organizations

MAP Video for Teaching

Two other professors also helped the school explore how authentic MAP video taken by students can be re-used to enrich the classroom experience for other students.

Gretchen Spreitzer developed and implemented a training exercise on Interviewing skills. Students in her Organization Change class viewed and critiqued a field interview and read expert commentary on the same interview by UM Professor Anne Harrington.

Paul Clyde used videotape from the Aravind MAP team plus an interview videotaped at the U-M Hospital to explore comparative advantage. He used other interviews from Aravind to explore different cost concepts in the context of the Aravind Hospital System.

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Susan Ashford
Management &


Leadership Inbox Simulator

How does leadership emerge through daily activities, such as managing an email inbox? Students in Susan Ashford's leadership class take on the role of a busy executive about to leave for a trip who has to prioritize and respond to an inbox full of requests, complaints, and opportunities and lead while doing it! Student responses to this task are then compared with those of an executive panel, and to video commentary provided by former Business School Dean and University President, Joe White. The class of 2006 completed this simulation as part of their MBA orientation.

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Jane Dutton
Management &


A Web Presence for the POS Community

The Champions program helped Jane Dutton and the fast-growing Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS) extend their community beyond the walls of the Ross School by developing an interactive website. The site now receives thousands of visits every month, and provides these community resources:

  • Online video of the monthly "Positive Links" speaker series
  • Shared syllabi
  • A calendar of upcoming events
  • A directory of active researchers in the field
  • Teaching resources
  • Research assessment tools

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CK Prahalad
Strategy and


XMAP and the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

In the spring of 2003, ten teams of MBA students were selected to work on a special ‘XMAP' project to document how companies across the world were working successfully to provide products and services and improve the living conditions of the poorest of the poor. Along with written case studies, each team produced a video documentary of the companies and the people they serve. The cases and videos have influenced leading corporations as well as global development policy at the United Nations and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Videos are also distributed on a CD with Prahalad's book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits.

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Introduction by C.K. Prahalad
(2 min 31 sec)


Serving the Bottom of the Pyramid

The cases and videos created have helped change global development policy at the State Department, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Condensed versions of the cases and videos will be featured in Prof. Prahalad's book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, available now.

The Student Experience

“Doing this project was in a sense a dream, that I think any business school student would feel so lucky to have come true.”

“To me, this experience really epitomizes what it means to be a Michigan Business School student, where you’re given the tools and flexibility to pursue your dreams, and to be on the cutting edge of new fields that are really going to change the way the world thinks about business.”

“..then I found myself in a rural village [in India], talking with women about how they care for their families, and how Hindustan Lever can be vital to the success and the development of their children. That is more powerful than anything you can do sitting in a classroom and reading about it.”

“...the first year of Business School kind of grew the box, and xMAP showed me absolutely everything that was outside of that box.”


Produced by Andrew Wilson Sami Foguel

Casas Bahia (Brazil)

In fifty years, Casas Bahia has grown from one man selling blankets and bed linens door-to-door to the largest retail chain in Brazil, offering electronics, appliances, and furniture. With its emphasis on serving the poor customer, its low prices, and credit determined by payment history rather than formal income (70% of CB customers have no formal or consistent income), Casas Bahia grosses over a billion US dollars a year, and has invoked deep loyalty in its customers.

Condensed Video (5 min 53 sec)
Full Video (12 min 8 sec)
Case (PDF)
Casas Bahia Web Site

Produced by
Ajit Sharma
Sharmilee Mohan
Sidharth Singh

CEMEX (Mexico)

The third largest cement manufacturer in the world, CEMEX decided it needed to move from selling materials to selling solutions. With low fixed prices, materials on credit, pre-costed housing designs, and even supervised construction services for Mexicans working abroad, CEMEX makes housing affordable and possible for the poor in Mexico.

Condensed Video (3 min 7 sec)
Full Video (9 min 13 sec)
Case (PDF)
Cemex Web Site

Produced by
Sachin Rao

eChoupal - ITC Ltd. (Secunderabad, India)

In setting up rural farmer-entrepreneurs with Internet access, and using modern technology to accurately weigh farmers crops (and paying them promptly), ITC's eChoupal system is transforming India's agricultural supply chain, reducing systemic corruption and giving farmers both better prices for their crops and a sense of dignity and confidence in being connected to the rest of the world.

Condensed Video (4 min 7 sec)
Full Video (16 min 18 sec)
Case (PDF)
e-Choupal Web Site

Produced by
Praveen Suthrum
Jeff Phillips

eGovernance - Andhra Pradesh, India
Government Services

Partnering with business to deliver government services electronically is fundamentally altering the relationship between government and citizens in Andhra Pradesh, the fifth-largest state in India. Government processes are more transparent; bribes paid to officials to facilitate transactions through a bureaucratic, paper-based system are eliminated. Citizens find it easy to pay bills and get answers, and easier to trust their government.

Condensed Video (3 min 30 sec)
Full Video (12 min 1 sec)
Case (PDF)
Andhra Pradesh State Web Site


Produced by Sachin Rao
Kuttayan Annamalai

EID Parry (India) Ltd. (Chennai, India)

Like ITC, EID Parry provides local entrepeneurs the technological backing to run Internet kiosks in rural villages. EID Parry has also created its own Internet portal, to support farmers with access to fertilizers and tools, education and crop disease diagnosis, and a direct market for their crops of rice and sugarcane. While the cases are similar, the EID Parry video focuses on the entrepeneur, and highlights how a single computer can change a whole village.

Condensed Video (4 min 12 sec)
Full Video (12 min 56 sec)
Case (PDF)
EID Parry Ltd. Web Site

Produced by George Weinmann
Scott Baron

E+Co & Tecnosol (Nicaragua)

By providing growth capital to local entrepreneurs, E+Co helps deliver alternative energy solutions to people around the world. In Nicaragua, where nearly fifty percent of the population is "off the grid," E+Co's investment in solar energy provider Tecnosol means people can have refrigeration, lights, running water, and jobs. The Nicaraguan government welcomes this effort, as scarce financial resources have stymied efforts to completely build out the electric grid.

Condensed Video (4 min 33 sec)
Full Video (13 min 57 sec)
Case (PDF)
E+Co Web Site

Produced by
Todd Markson
Michael Hokenson


ICICI Bank (Mumbai, India)

As the second-largest bank in India, ICICI Bank has led multiple initiatives to provide banking services at an affordable costs to the poor. ICICI has partnered with others to co-locate ATMs with rural Internet kiosks, and explore SmartCard technology to provide secure, low-cost transactions and loan management. More importantly, ICICI Bank has created a network of eight thousand Self Help Groups, each with twenty women, to serve as the vehicle for creating successful, micro-financed businesses. In the process, ICICI Bank has given these women the means to transform their social and economic lives, their families, and their villages. 

Condensed Video (4 min 22 sec)
Full Video (17 min 10 sec)
Case (PDF)
ICICI Bank Web Site

Produced by
Scott Macke
Ruchi Misra
Ajay Sharma

Jaipur Foot (Jaipur, India)

With five and a half million amputees, there is an almost overwhelming need for an inexpensive artificial foot/lower limb prosthesis in India. Any solution also has to meet the needs of the Indian lifestyle - walking barefooted, squatting, and sitting cross-legged. With innovative design and use of materials, Jaipur Foot (a non-profit organization) has created a low-cost prosthesis that it fits on sixteen thousand patients annually, allowing their return to their chosen professions in the fields and cities without loss of income or productivity.

Condensed Video (4 min 30 sec)
Full Video (10 min 32 sec)
Case (PDF)
Jaipur Foot Web Site

Produced by
Anuja Rajendra
Tej Shah

Salt - Hindustan Lever Limited (Mumbai, India)

In India, Iodine Deficiency Disorder hinders the growth and intellectual development of 70 million people, with twenty percent of the population at risk. Yet up to fifty percent of the iodine in iodized salt can be lost during storage, transportation, and Indian cooking. Using world-class technology, Hindustan Lever Ltd. has developed a more stable iodine for salt that is effective in preventing IDD and affordable; by using village-based entrepeneurs to sell products in remote areas, HLL is ensuring its availability, as well as providing jobs, income, and self-respect for the poor.

Condensed Video (4 min 3 sec)
Full Video (14 min 54 sec)
Case (PDF)
Hindustan Lever Limited Web Site

Produced by
Mindy Murch
Kate Reeder

Soap - Hindustan Lever Limited (Mumbai, India)

Around the world, 2.2 million people die from diarrheal disease every year. Children are especially at risk - one child dies every 30 seconds. India alone contributes thirty percent of the world's diarrheal deaths. By teaching and demonstrating the benefits of handwashing through both UN and branded programs that reach into the villages, Hindustan Lever Ltd. is reducing infectious disease and improving soap sales.

Condensed Video (4 min 16 sec)
Full Video (13 min 57 sec)
Case (PDF)
Hindustan Lever Limited Web Site

Produced by
Cynthia Casas
Will Lajoie


Voxiva (Lima, Peru)

Peru's struggle in the early 1990s to control a cholera outbreak took years, cost thousands of lives, and meant over $770 million dollars in lost productivity, trade, and tourism for Peru's economy. Voxiva's product, Alerta, is one tool Peru is using to fight back against infectious disease outbreaks. It transforms the typical village telephone into a tool for effectively reporting health conditions and disease outbreaks in rural areas, improving the speed and quality of medical responses and saving lives.

Condensed Video (3 min 33 sec)
Full Video (21 min 51 sec)
Case (PDF)
Voxiva Web Site

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