A case study is a description of an actual situation involving a decision to be made or a problem to be solved.
Business cases summarise fictional or real life events faced by managers, companies, and industries. Cases are used for educational or training purposes, or as the basis for problem solving events like business school case competitions. There are publishers, such as Harvard Business School Press, which produce and sell cases for teaching and learning purposes. There are also several other sources for case studies including books, journals, and free (open access) online sources.
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Emerald teaching case studies give you the opportunity to explore real world challenges and test their decision-making skills before taking their knowledge to the workplace. Emerald cases are rigorously peer-reviewed and 100% of cases in our Emerging Markets Case Studies (EMCS) or The CASE Journal (TCJ) collections have teaching notes to help you facilitate dynamic classroom discussion and make the most out of your case study.
A number of universities and organizations provide access to free business case studies. Below are some of the best known sources of case databases.
A number of universities and organizations provide access to free business case studies. Below are some of the best known sources.
Once you have identified a case study that you wish to analyze, the sources listed below can help you analyze the case materials.
Explains how to effectively analyze cases and write a case study analysis. Provides a checklist and explanation of areas to consider, suggested research tools, and tips on financial analysis.
From the publisher McGraw Hill. Includes sections on objectives of case analysis, preparing a case for class discussion, preparing a written case analysis and the Ten Commandments of Case Analysis.
From the publisher Prentice Hall: “This Hands-on Guide presents a structured framework to help you analyze case studies.”
A case interview is a type of job interview technique used mainly by management consulting firms to screen candidates by assessing analytical skills in a pressured real-time environment. Below are several resources that may be helpful when preparing for a case interview.
Free blog content, but registration required. Caters to aspiring management consultants. Founded by Victor Cheng, author of “Case Interview Secrets,” who is a frequently cited expert on the case interview.
Marc Cosentino, author of Case in Point, conducts workshops for all academic levels at numerous colleges and graduate schools. This workshop was recorded in 2012 at the University of Pittsburgh.
Reviews consulting interview process and tips.
Deloitte’s case interview prep tool allows you to practice problem-solving skills, analytical ability, and strategic and logical thinking.
The case method is a teaching approach that uses cases to place students in the role of people who were faced with difficult decisions at some point in the past. Below are some resources that may be helpful to instructors who are using the case method.
- The HBS Case Method
- Brief overview of the HBS case method.
- How They Teach The Case Method At Harvard Business School
- From the September 29, 2015 issue of Poets & Quants. Provides detailed background on how the case method is taught at Harvard Business School.
- Teaching by the Case Method: Christensen Center for Teaching & Learning Harvard Business School
- Explores the case method in practice and provides tip sheets for effective case method teaching.
- Teaching with Case Studies: Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence ( PennState)
- Describes how to use case studies as strategies to provide active learning experiences for students.
- Using Case Studies to Teach: BU Center for Teaching & Learning
- Provides a brief overview of how to most effectively use cases in Boston University classes.