Beckman Wins Academy of Management Award

Senior lecturer Sara Beckman, along with colleagues from three other universities, won the Academy of Management’s MED Best Symposium in Management Education and Development Award for a symposium on teaching design thinking.

Beckman and her colleagues presented the symposium, titled "Finding the Right Side of the MBA Brain: Teaching Design Thinking," and received the award on Aug. 9 at the Academy of Management’s annual conference in Montreal. The award is administered through the academy's Management Education and Development (MED) division.

The other faculty members who won the MED award with Beckman are Jeanne Liedtka, a professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business; Heather Fraser, director of the Business Design Initiative at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Management; and Nathan Shedroff, chair of the MBA in Design Strategy Program at the California College of the Arts.

To be considered for the award, the group submitted a paper outlining its symposium, which focused on how to integrate design thinking into business school curricula. The symposium looked at the practical and theoretical teaching of design thinking, the rationale for including it, the challenges involved, and the approaches used at the schools of the four presenters. The interactive session also included specifics on course design and teaching materials.

Their symposium paper was chosen from a field of 24 entrants by a panel of six judges. The criteria included the creativity and innovativeness of the overall proposal, the degree to which the presentation methods will involve the audience, the clarity of the methodology, the learning benefit for the audience, and the degree to which the symposium contributes to enhanced teaching in MED.

“The award comes at a time when Haas is positioning itself as a school for innovative leaders," notes Beckman, who is faculty director of the Berkeley Management of Technology Program. "Design, design thinking, and the design process are important parts of how you innovate.”

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