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UDLAP Faculty Win First Place in their Category at the 2017 EFMD Case Writing Competition

They presented the work Kaizen in Public Service.  A case study in a Mexican public environmental organization.

Dr. Manuel Francisco Suárez Barraza, Dr. Francisco Rodríguez González, and Dr. Manuela Gutiérrez Leefman, Universidad de las Américas Puebla faculty members, were awarded first place in the category Continuous Improvement: the road to excellencein the EFMD 2017 Case Writing Competition, convened by the European Foundation for Management Development.

In an interview, Dr. Manuel Francisco Suárez Barraza, Academic Director of the UDLAP International Business Department, explained that they participated in this contest with the work titled Kaizen in Public Service.  A case study in a Mexican public environmental organization, “which was applied in a state secretary focused on the environment to improve processes and reduce internal red tape, obtaining good results and interesting achievements such as decreases in waiting times and in unnecessary activities in internal processes”, explained the UDLAP professor-researcher, who also highlighted the novelty of his project which applies continuous improvement techniques in the public sector, being also an educational case based on the philosophy of learning by doing. “Taking into account the aforementioned, I thank Dr. Gutiérrez Leefman and Dr. Rodríguez González, who participated in this project by writing the paper, making it understandable, and collecting teaching notes, as we also included how students can learn from this case”, stated the UDLAP International Business Department Director.

Regarding the contest, Dr. Suárez Barraza commented that it was divided into two categories, and they competed in the Continuous Improvement: The Road to Excellence, which is sponsored by the Saint Thelmo International Institute. “We shared the award with another professor from Pacific University in Stockton, USA;  that is, two cases won in this category”, he said.

Finally, he stated that winning this award is amazing, and they feel truly honored “especially because we were the only Latin Americans participating in this category and we won. We know that most participants were Americans, Africans, and Indians”.

It is important to mention that in the last thirty years EFMD has organized a yearly case writing contest with a wide selection of categories focused on specific world regions and topics. The objective of the EFMC competition is to encourage data collection and support writing about innovative cases.  Two evaluation criteria are the topic´s relevance and the ability to design a strong and interesting learning experience.