Multinational Cases Dominated in B-School ‘Oscars’

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INSEAD and Harvard Business School were the top performers at the 2016 annual Case Centre Awards, a celebration of excellence in case writing and teaching from across the globe that are now considered the case method community’s annual ‘Oscars.’

Awards for cases are presented for nine management categories plus an Overall Winner Award. Each year, an award is made to recognize an individual who has made an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method.

The Overall Winning Case, L’Oréal in China: Marketing Strategies for Turning Around Chinese Luxury Cosmetic Brand Yue Sai, was authored at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School by Haiyang Yang and at INSEAD by Pierre Chandon.

The case addresses an important business issue—marketing in emerging markets—and illustrates how even proven strategies need to be fundamentally reshaped to achieve success.

Case Centre AwardsChandon also won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award. According to the awards committee, Chandon  has elevated case teaching to another level at INSEAD and his many achievements include being the first to use online case surveys systematically in his teaching at INSEAD.

“To me, great cases are like reality TV: they are about real people and real companies, they have a story and a problem to be solved, and we desperately want to know what happens next – but they are not reality and nor should they be,” says Chandon.

“They are a simplified, stylised, version of reality, which allows us to understand the fundamental business issue at hand, while being embedded in an exciting context full of suspense.”

A new award debuted in 2015 for Outstanding Case Teacher, which recognizes an excellent practitioner in the case classroom. This year, the Outstanding Case Teacher competition was won by Harvard Business School’s Anita Elberse. This is the first year that students have been invited to provide nominations.

Elberse is one of the youngest female professors to have been promoted to full professor with tenure in Harvard Business School’s history. She develops and teaches an MBA course covering entertainment, media, and sports, called Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, which is among the most sought-after courses in Harvard’s curriculum.

For a second consecutive year, winning cases showed a focus on multinational companies (eg GE, IKEA, L’Oréal), especially on those with a new media and technology basis (eg Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Uber).

Companies pioneering new and alternative approaches to technology and business leadership were strongly represented (eg AirThread, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), New York Times, Semco Partners, Tesla Motors).

“The results of The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2016 reflect the diversity of faculty providing topical and relevant materials to the next generation of business people currently learning across the globe,” says Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre. ”

“Top performers in 2016, INSEAD and Harvard Business School, are adding to their recent business school rankings successes, both demonstrable pedagogical excellence on their own campuses, and the impact of their original teaching materials in classrooms worldwide.”

The Case Centre is a non-profit organization that advances the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. The Case Centre Awards are in their 26th year and have been awarded on a global basis since 2011.

Image credit: phototaku (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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