Students learn about motivation through working as consultants

In Economics of Motivations at UiS Business School, students participated in a case competition as consultants. The winning team received 40 000 NOK from Sandnes Sparebank.

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Studentar foran Elise Ottesen-Jensens Hus
The winning team! Front from the left: Ana Karen Flores Garcia, Tonje Hamarsland Oaland, Lene Katrin Salte and Mari Vie Murvold. Behind are the judges Simone Valerie Häckl-Schermer and Tomas N. Middelthon, and course leader Espen Sagen.

– We are relieved, happy and full of adrenalin! This was unexpected, but we had a good feeling. We thought it went well but didn't know how the other teams did.

Mari Vie Murvold, Lene Katrin Salte, Ana Karen Flores Garcia and Tonje Hamarsland Oaland won the Sandnes Sparebank Case Competition and the price of 40 000 NOK. This was at the end of the course Economics of Motivation.

This course teaches the students about motivation in the workplace through theory and practice. They are in groups and will function as consultants for a real company/organization of their choosing. Based on interviews with a leader at the company, they will write a report on how the employees are motivated and suggest solutions on how the company can increase motivation.

Important to recognize motivation in the workplace

The winning team chose the company Akva Group because they wanted to learn from a relevant and interesting industry. And there was also an exciting challenge there:

– It's hard to find new ways to motivate already motivated employees. It could decrease. That was our biggest challenge, the team says.

They are all last-year students at the MSc in Business Administration, taking the specialisation Strategy and Leadership. That made this course even more relevant.

– The topic is generally quite interesting, and you'll learn personally and professionally. And at the end of the day, it's also important as an employee to recognize motivation.

Useful for both companies and students

Bilde frå førlesingssal der to dommarar leser opp kven som har vunne ein konkurranse
Stor spenning då ekspertpanelet las opp kven som vann førstepremien på 40 000 kroner.

Den Gule Banken, Sandnes Sparebank, arrenges this competition, with CFO and co-director Tomas N. Middelthon, in charge. He could see that the students were excited before and during the contest.

– They are well prepared, and it looks like this means a lot to them. They've really put their heart and soul into this report and presentation.

Sandnes Sparebank is holding this competition to contribute to a collaboration between academia and business life.

– This is useful to both the students and the companies. The students get prepared for work life. And the companies get asked questions they'd typically not get elsewhere.

From theory to practice

This is the sixth year Sandnes Sparebank Case Competition has been arranged.

This year, PhD fellow Espen Sagen was responsible for Economics of Motivations. He has taught the class with professor Mari Rege and assistant professor Simone Valerie Häckl-Schermer at UiS Business School. Sagen also had the responsibility for the case competition. He thinks that the students get a lot out of this course.

– In many courses, the students are tasked with remembering a bunch of information and asked to “gulp” it all up during an exam. By having the students write this report and engage with a real firm, they get to practice relating scientific theory to real-life situations. Even though it takes a lot of work, my impression is that the students (and the companies) get a lot out of this task. After all, this is what most of them will work with after they’ve graduated.

En gjeng studentar står sammen foran Elise Ottesen-Jensens Hus
Three out of seven groups got to participate in the Sparebank Case Competition finale.
Top from the left: Tomas Nordbø Middelthon, Lene Katrin Salte, Kristine Broen, Daria Frolikova. 
Down from the left: Simone Valerie Häckl-Schermer, Ana Karen Flores Garcia, Mari Vie Murvold, Seren Demirbas, Alina Christin Spraul, Nicole Wendt, Arvid Victor Sundstrøm, Harald Østebø Østhus, Espen Sagen.
 On their knees: Tonje Hamarsland Oaland, Julija Tisko

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