Cases reach beyond the classroom

R Blog

Some of the ICSC participants and organisers

I spent last Saturday (7 October) presenting via Skype to the International Case Study Conference 2017, organised and hosted by IBS Hyderabad.

The conference combined a call for new cases with an opportunity for authors to present their cases, and a workshop and presentations on aspects of case writing and teaching.

The Case Centre was very pleased to be Knowledge Partner for ICSC 2017.

My presentation on the last afternoon of the conference explored the impacts that cases can have outside the classroom: the value they can bring to authors, students, schools and businesses.

Cases contribute to an author’s career development. A published case can trigger invitations to present at conferences or at other schools. Many case authors find publication brings opportunities to conduct further research or consulting work.

Cases offer life-long support to students way beyond the classroom, often acting as touchstones in moments of greatest need throughout their careers.

Cases support schools in aligning teaching and research, supporting accreditation, and spreading the school brand.

Cases support businesses who collaborate in researching and writing the case by spreading their brand, encouraging recruitment and enhancing the induction experience for new recruits, and as a valuable reflection on current and emerging practice within the business.

I always enjoy participating in conferences.

This was my first experience of delivering a substantial conference presentation online. Technically, the level of support from the IBS team ensured it went smoothly and those in the Hyderabad auditorium seemed to enjoy the experience. I’d like to do it more often and it’s a good way to participate in conferences that otherwise I’d be unable to attend.

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A case for classics

Facebook user on ipad

Facebook plans to create a new urban settlement

John Naughton is a highly respected academic, author and commentator on the social, educational and cultural impacts of new technology.

In one of his recent pieces, John highlights some similarities that are emerging between today’s leading technology players, and businesses that were similarly disruptive over 100 years ago.

Case authors and teachers tend to obsess about what’s the newest of the new – not least in response to student pressure for ever more up to date cases. And it can sometimes feel like students see cases as either completely current with this week’s latest thing or completely dead in the water.

This is particularly evident in cases about technology companies.

John points to the recent acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon and Facebook’s plans for a company town. Both of which bear a remarkable resemblance to over-extended mistakes made by previous disrupters such as Sears and Roebuck and the Pullman railroad company.

It’s a very good read.

Maybe choosing to use classic cases can help students recognise that in order to avoid repeating the past we should pay attention to history.

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