Revisiting Case Studies

Manila Bulletin, February 25, 2016 | Go to article overview

Revisiting Case Studies


The Harvard Business School has been considered as the most prominent developer and user of teaching case studies. As it formed partnerships with business educational institutions all over the world as with the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines and as some of its graduates went back to their countries and pursued careers in the academe, the use of case studies in business education accelerated. The case studies are developed with particular learning objectives in mind. Tested in the classroom, case studies undergo refinements. The case studies contain additional relevant documents (financial statements, news clippings, etc.) referred to as exhibits, multimedia supplements (more recent development) like interviews and a well crafted teaching note.

In management education, a lot of learning's surfaces during case discussions from the interventions of the class members and the class benefits from seeing how different perspectives lead to a variety of decisions. The dynamics of the class interactions prepare the students to the realities of business and industry whether in the corporate world or in countryside small and medium firms.

Let me share one case-let and ask you the reader to send in your analysis. A forthcoming column will summarize the feedback and hopefully the learning's make us better equipped for the management tasks. The case-let title is "Meeting Gone Awry."

The text message came on Friday morning - "Please come to a meeting on Monday. We will talk about our right sizing plans. No substitutes, please." The recipient replied, "Kindly send agenda and materials." The return text was, "Agenda is about the right sizing plans. We still can't send the materials but will be available on Monday." The corresponding query, " Re: Agenda. Will each department report? Will there be a presentation on any changes from company policies provided in the Quezon City meeting and/or pre-planning meeting? What issues will the discussion focus? Reply, "No, there are no minutes. First, we will discuss the positions for right sizing presented during the preplanning because there were reactions from the managers so they were revised. And then maybe we get feedback from the managers re:initial reactions of staff and come up with initial decisions regarding options. …

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