In the preceding paper Professor Borden has described one approach to the organization of a case course by narrating the development, over more than twenty-five years, of his course in Advertising Problems in the Harvard Business School. The resulting course outline, as reproduced at the end of Professor Borden's paper, is one which might be termed broadly as functional in character. Such a functional course structure, however, is by no means the only possible one. Quite a different concept for the organization of a case course is set forth in the following paper by John G. McLean,* in which he explains the development, during the postwar period, of a course in Advanced Production Problems. The concept around which Professor McLean's course is built is that of the industry rather than the function.
Administration by the Case Method JOHN G. McLEAN
Many of the case problems dealing with the programs and policies of industrial companies require for their solution (1) a general understanding of the technological characteristics of the manufacturing process with which the company is working and (2) a thorough comprehension of the competitive situation, economic conditions, and trade practices prevailing in the industry in which the company operates. Typical of the problems which may require either or both of these two kinds of background understanding are problems having to do with such matters as the following: a company's over-all competitive strategy and the interrelationships among its manufacturing, marketing, financial, and research programs; the timing and extent of major plant expansion programs; the advisability of various types of vertical or horizontal integration moves and the balance to be maintained among manufacturing operations at successive levels in vertically integrated structures; the optimum composition of a company's product line from a manufacturing and marketing standpoint; the location of plant facilities and the desirability of centralized versus decentralized manufacturing operations; the wisdom of various types of industrial mergers; and the appropriate management responses to new technological developments or fundamental changes in the economic and competitive environment in which a company operates. In____________________