National Academy Highlights Corporate Turnaround Class

Mike Braun

When the Academy of Management distributed best teaching practices to 5,000 of its members earlier this year, it shared innovative educational ideas from the University of Montana alongside those from Harvard, Dartmouth, and Georgetown.

The UM course highlighted was the MBA seminar Advanced Strategy taught by Mike Braun, the Poe Family Distinguished Fellow in Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management and Marketing in the College of Business. Braun was selected based on his unique approach to teaching corporate turnaround.

“It is my pleasure to share with you a new set of innovative ideas and practices for the strategy classroom, from faculty members doing some of the most interesting teaching in our field,” said Hakan Ener, the management professor from Illinois State University who distributed the best practice materials on behalf of the Academy.

Students in Braun’s course learn how to diagnose the causes of organizational decline and develop strategies for spearheading a turnaround through individual and group assignments. Real-time case studies of companies such as Jamba Juice and Pier 1 Imports help students consider what it takes to regain competitive advantage once a company has lost touch with its customers.

“There is too much emphasis on the success stories of the Apples and Googles of the world,” Braun said. “In my view, we have lots to learn from failing organizations, and especially those that turn themselves around.”

Braun’s academic research focuses on this topic, as well as the management of family-owned enterprises. He is the U.S. editor of the Journal of Family Business Management, an imprint of Emerald Publishing. He also is co-author of the book and companion website "Mastering Strategy: Workshops for Business Success," published in 2014 by ABC-CLIO.

Braun joined UM in 2006. Prior to academia, he managed leveraged buyout strategies and transactions for private equity firms with an L.A.-based boutique merchant bank. Swiss by birth, he has taught in Switzerland and Italy.

The Academy of Management is the professional association for management and organization scholars that has 20,000 members in more than 120 countries. The Strategy Division — which highlighted Braun’s course — supports the development of knowledge relevant to those who influence the strategy of organizations.

Visit the Strategy Division website for more information and to see Braun’s interview on his corporate turnaround course.