B-Schools with Case Study Method

The Harvard Business School is well known for its case-study method of teaching. I was wondering if any other top tier b-schools are also known for this as I think this is the best way to learn. I've read that it's been adapted by other top business schools, but is that universal for all of the top MBA programs? Thanks Monkeys

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Comments (23)

Aug 3, 2017

every school uses the case method to varying degrees but its generally going to be used fairly often at all schools. the only other school i know of that exclusively uses the case study method like HBS does is Darden

Aug 3, 2017

That's interesting

Aug 3, 2017
Stay.Hungry:

The Harvard Business School is well known for its case-study method of teaching. I was wondering if any other top tier b-schools are also known for this as I think this is the best way to learn. I've read that it's been adapted by other top business schools, but is that universal for all of the top MBA programs? Thanks Monkeys

In terms of primarily using the case method, the only schools other than HBS that I'm aware of are Darden, INSEAD, and Ivey (Canada).

    • 1
Aug 4, 2017
Rational Economic Man:
Stay.Hungry:

The Harvard Business School is well known for its case-study method of teaching. I was wondering if any other top tier b-schools are also known for this as I think this is the best way to learn. I've read that it's been adapted by other top business schools, but is that universal for all of the top MBA programs? Thanks Monkeys

In terms of primarily using the case method, the only schools other than HBS that I'm aware of are Darden, INSEAD, and Ivey (Canada).

Do Darden, INSEAD, and Ivey (Canada) use Harvard cases?

    • 1
Aug 4, 2017

Most of Harvard's case studies are written by LUMS in Pakistan, the business school there. They use like 500 case studies during their 20 month MBA

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Aug 4, 2017

You are saying that LUMS writes cases for Harvard?

Aug 8, 2017

It makes perfect sense to outsource casewriting to a developing nation. Your getting so much more bang for the buck. Right?

Aug 8, 2017

Well if that's what she meant then yeah obviously, no need to discuss outsourcing labor.

Aug 8, 2017

Ivey uses Harvard branded cases, yes

Aug 8, 2017
BorseBulldog:

Ivey uses Harvard branded cases, yes

Ivey also uses their own cases. They are the #2 producer of case studies in the world, behind HBS.

Aug 8, 2017

Hm. TIL

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Best Response
Aug 8, 2017

You're going to see hundreds of cases at almost any top business school. As an aside (and as alluded to), Darden is pretty much an HBS clone in many ways, both pro and con.

Cases are a great learning tool and cases can have a strong learning impact by buttoning up all the data you need and allowing for a clear takeaway and insights for each case. There are cases that you will see in business school that will change the way you view business (and these cases are usually used across the board). It's also nice to see what insights a whole class gets from the same pool of data. This challenges individuals to be creative in how they analyze the data in front of them - but they don't teach you how to generate that data in the first place. Often times, only cursory analysis is needed since you can tell what data is relevant to the questions in front of you and what isn't - where in the real world, you would need to develop the relevant drivers yourself. Even so, they help provide direction to the group when an entire class is working on the same problems within the same scope.

Though cases broadly positively impact the educational experience, I wouldn't say they are always the BEST way to learn, and the 100% case method is sometimes criticized for this reason. For example, I took a VC-oriented class at Booth that instead of cases, each class you're given you a deck that the VC has received from an entrepreneur in the past and then forces you to do live research in the market (with HBS cases, you aren't really expected to do research outside of the case), including calling analysts and industry insiders. Much more impactful than what you can get in 17 pages that end with "As CEO stared out his office window into the dark incoming storm, he wondered if he would soon be deluged with more than just rainwater...".

At the end of the day, the 100% case method can obviously produce some excellent results (else it wouldn't be used at HBS), but a hybrid approach that you find at most other schools can be equally compelling. Bear in mind that HBS sells cases (at Booth, probably 70% of cases I used were HBS cases) and they contribute significantly to the school's revenue, so their exclusive reliance on them might also have a marketing tint to it. And the overabundance of cases at all top schools is greater than you would think. It's not much of a differentiator. Bigger differentiators are cohort vs flexible structure, how top courses and top instructors are allocated, campus/living quarters location (in a major city or not), etc.

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Aug 8, 2017

I think the problem is that you go to a school where teaching you how to write an email is something they actually do.

Aug 8, 2017

The case study usually has an open end to the story or comes with some questions. You take the information in the study and use when you have learned and try and come up with a logical solution.

I did a case study talking about apartment rents and optimal price. It was under the guise of an analyst with a deadline. we made a decent DCF of the buildings, came up with an appropriate price for the proposed building and made a power point and typed up a 5 page paper summarizing our assumptions and methodology. Done.

And yes, who the fuck teaches you how to write a business email.

Aug 8, 2017

It's a new course at HBS. How to Swipe Your Keycard, Write an Email, and Perform Other Advanced Tasks

Aug 8, 2017

Tell us what case study it is and we may be able to offer some specific adivce. Most of the time the same case study is used by multiple schools.

Aug 8, 2017

tell us what school too

Aug 8, 2017

use frameworks that are applicable...google them if necessary...quant and qual the information...give the pros and cons of your strategy or several depending on the case and state your specific assumptions that led you to form your strategies

Aug 8, 2017

Lmao, the e-mail writing was actually just part of a Business Communication course in which we went over different forms of internal/external communication, their structures/formats/diction.

It's actually very informative - I learned quite a bit from our business communication workshop. (expletive constructions, common grammatical mistakes that I had been making, certain things in formal writing such as when to use numbers as numerals vs. words, etc)

Aug 8, 2017

(do not use parentheses if you can use the word such as or it is over 4 words!!#$!#%!#%!#%)

Aug 8, 2017
Aug 8, 2017

I win here, I win there...