RETAIL AND CHANNEL MANAGEMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
As for knowledge and understanding, at the end of the course the student will have acquired expertise in the field of retail and channel management issues, developing an advanced understanding of the theoretical and practical concepts.
In terms of skills, at the end of the course students will have an advanced knowledge of retail marketing and management of distribution channels in the perspective of both industrial and commercial firms. Students will be given the conceptual and operational tools to understand changes form the macro-environment and the implications for the role of retailers and channel relationships. Finally, the course aims to help students to develop a proper independence of judgment and communication skills.
With regard to the independence of judgment, students will be able to use the conceptual and operational tools acquired during the course in order to develop their own independent thinking. This will be expressed through the ability to develop an individual process of information analysis and interpretation of the same from the quality and quantity point of view. Students will be able to take strategic decisions and to identify operational solutions with respect to the various problems of retail and channel management. Judgment will be pursued through the combined use of different teaching tools: critical analysis of some case studies that will be discussed in the classroom with the active participation of the students, the realization of specific group work and interaction with qualified manager who will present in classroom case studies on topics covered during the course.
In terms of communication skills, students will be able to transfer information and concepts relating to issues in retail and channel management in a clear and timely manner. In addition, during managerial lessons, students will adopt behaviors of "active listening" understanding the concepts and terms used by corporate stakeholders. Students should be able to prepare brief papers, or providing an oral summary of a particular theme, even with an information technology presentation. At the end of the course students will be able to transfer information clearly to any audience (managerial, academic or non-experts).
In terms of learning skills, at the end of the course students will have developed the ability to expand, update and develop the level and variety of the knowledge acquired in the classroom. More specifically, the development of these skills will enable students to have a broad intellectual curiosity and wanting to be updated in order to understand the issues of retail and channel management in a competitive scenario evolving.
Course contents summary
The aims of the course is to illustrate the strategic and operational decisions related to the configuration and management of distribution channels, in an increasingly complex environment created by technological innovation and changes in consumption patterns. The course is structured in three parts. The first part illustrates the dynamics that characterize the environment in which firms operate, with particular attention to changes affecting the boundaries of the competitive environment and consumer decision process. The second part explores the structure of the retail sector, the role of commercial intermediaries and the issues related to retail management. The third part focuses on the management of distribution channels and vertical relationships between manufacturers and retailers, with particular attention to the multi-channel phenomenon, made even more complex by the convergence and diffusion of electronic commerce. Particular attention will be devoted to the exploration of the new frontiers of distribution channels, with the discussion of the main types of innovations, particularly technology-based, involving retailers and changing vertical relationships. The course includes lectures of managers in order to verify the correspondence between the theoretical models and business practices.
- CASTALDO S. (2010), Go to market, Il Mulino.
- Further readings available at the end of the course
In order to develop the skills and the ability to apply the knowledge gained, the course will combined different teaching tools: lectures, exercises, group work, discussion of case studies and business testimonials. The combined use of different teaching tools will help students develop a proper independent judgment, communication skills and ability to learn. In particular, students will be able to prepare brief papers, or providing an oral summary on a particular theme. At the end of the group work students will be able to transfer information clearly to any audience (managerial, academic or non-experts).
Assessment methods and criteria
Learning will be assessed through an oral examination consisting of three questions. Two questions are aimed at assessing the degree of knowledge of the issues addressed in the classroom. The third question aims to test the ability to apply the knowledge gained to a specific business case or with reference to the managerial lecturers.
Each question is evaluated on ten points: three points will be awarded to knowledge and understanding, five points to applying knowledge and making judgments, two points to communication skills.