What Is a Business Case
- Based on real experience/problem
- Written in narrative form (as a story)
- Intended to teach a skill or lesson
- Usually lacks an ending (students left to resolve the problem/issue through their own involvement in decision-making process)
- Can be short or long – – shorter is better
- Can be simple or complex
Click to reveal the different types of cases
- A very short case that describes a single incident
- Used during a lecture to illustrate a concept or to raise an issue for discussion
- Usually read in class
- No pre-class preparation
- A useful way to introduce students to the case method
- Easy to write
- Imparts information in a way that has more interest than a conventional reading or textbook chapter
- Reads like a story, but the point is just to introduce information about an industry, company, theory, etc.
- Can be written entirely from research (public sources)
- No business contacts needed
- Don’t need to do interviews, or get permission to publish the case
- Data source is the case writer’s personal experience (i.e. with an airline, bank, telecom supplier, etc…)
- A case where the writer may be particularly knowledgeable and passionate
- The type of case likely to teach students and professors the most.
- Focus is on the problem/issue actually facing the company
Case length varies widely…
Reasons for a Long Case
- Students aren’t familiar with the industry and/or company, and background on the industry is important to understanding the problem in the case.
- The case spans several years, & important to cover time span.
- The case contains several key actors, and all of their actions are important to understanding the problem in the case
- The decision in case requires assimilation of extensive data.
Reasons for a Shorter Case
- Most students prefer shorter cases
- Some students (particularly EMBAs) may not have as much time available
- Easier to have a productive case discussion if students have actually read and prepared the case