Interview with M. Klein on integrating students into a research project

Interview de Martial Bellon

Associate professor at EM Strasbourg and member of the HuManiS research center, Michel Klein answered our questions about integrating students into a research project.  


  • Hello, could you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Michel Klein. As an associate professor at EM Strasbourg, I’m involved in pedagogical, andragogical, and research work in the field of sales. I have a background in business and experience with socio-economic players (e.g., CCI).

  • Can you tell us more about the research project?

The research project co-constructed with students is a case study. The project brought together four PGE students from the Negotiation & Sales Management specialization. The research question was as follows: How can French B2B SaaS sales teams improve their sales performance using digital tools? This research was presented in the form of a paper at the World Conference on Qualitative Research in Portugal entitled “Investigating how sales teams in SaaS companies improve their sales performance with digital tools.” My job was to coach the students in their research and writing of the case study. It took a lot of time and effort, but the end result brought a lot of satisfaction!

  • One of your students, Louis Gonnet, involved in the research project tells us a bit about himself and the project.

My name is Louis Gonnet. I completed the Negotiation & Sales Management specialization in 2022/2023 via co-op by working as an Assistant Key Account Manager in the food industry. Today, I work for Mars Petfood & Food as a Sector Manager. The case study was co-written by four students. The topic of sales enablement came about firstly because it's a topical issue in the sales field and secondly because everyone on the team worked or knew people who worked in this sector. This made it easier for us to find people to interview for the qualitative part of the case study.

  • What contribution did Dr. Klein make?

Dr. Klein's input was invaluable, both in terms of advice on how to adopt the right method of thinking and in terms of step-by-step drafting and finalization. For us students, it's not only about acquiring a method for carrying out a long-term project but also about discovering the world of research so as to develop our critical thinking skills. 

  • What have you taken away from this case-study experience?

It was an enriching experience that enabled me to learn a lot. If I had to repeat the experience, I would choose another subject like artificial intelligence, for example, and anticipate more: a co-op year goes by very quickly! Last but not least, the case study is a major project lasting several months, which requires real team spirit.


Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions!

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