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Case Method

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What is Case Method?

#casemethod #Teachingmethod #Leadership

Case Method is an educational method that becomes famous in Japan owing to Harvard Incandescent Japanese History Classroom. It puts you in the role of a protagonist in a real-life event (case), which will be discussed during the class The main character of a case is always faced with decision-making, so you have to think about what is best in a given situation, then discuss the course of action during a small-group discussion and a large class discussion. Naturally, it is difficult to speak out if you haven't prepared for the class beforehand. However, if you read the case properly and prepare for it, all you have to do during class is to speak. We don't conduct discussion only to gain some knowledge on the subject, the aim of this method is to broaden the world view and perspectives by pursuing participant-centered learning such as independent discussions between students or role play.

A typical case study class will proceed as follows:

1. Preparation
2. Group Discussion
3. Class Discussion


The teaching materials for Case Study courses, called "case books", are distributed before the first class for students to preview. Usually, a case includes also an additional assignment (task), and it always has a defined protagonist of the story. Participants are required to read the case from the perspective of the case protagonist while thinking about a solution for the assignments the faculty professor had set in advance.

Examples of Assignment Questions

  1. Based on your PEST analysis, choose the best method of the market entry(direct investment, joint venture, or franchising). Justify your answer. (International Management)
  2. “By strategically outsourcing and emphasizing a company’s core competencies, managers can leverage their firm’s skills and resources for increased competitiveness.” Critically analyze the significance of “Outsourcing” as a business strategy for a manufacturing company. (Organizational Management)
  3. Which kind of support do you think is most important for a startup? Any reasons? (Business Model Design)
  4. What role has web analytics played in enhancing the overall customer experience? How can the customer’s journey be mapped? (Marketing Research)

Group Discussion

The first 20 minutes of the lesson are allocated to a group session. Participants are divided into groups of 7-8 people and prepare for the following class discussion by exchanging opinions on the assignment.
It is important to remember that this is not the time to prepare for the class, but a time to freely discuss one's thoughts and teach one other new facts.

Class Discussion

Finally, the rules in case study classes are as follows:

1. There is no correct or incorrect answer
2. Speak to the whole class
3. Contribution to a class discussion will be reflected in your grades

It is common sense in business that 1 + 1 = 2 is not achievable; therefore, it is important for teachers and students alike to remember that they should not seek "THE answer".  We can say that the real pleasure of the Case Study classes is to increase one's experience by using real-life cases from the past as teaching materials and reevaluating how one should analyze that situation and act on it.