While many credit Harvard Business School for the introduction of the case study method, few know that it was the second educational institution to use it. The first was the Harvard Law School, in 1870. HBS adopted this method in 1920. Today, the case study method is the most popular tool in management education. And not surprising, the best colleges in the world have adopted this tool.
What is the case study method?
Case studies are the presentation of real life business scenarios that are complex and dependent on multiple variables. It includes information about that scenario as well as specific conditions in which it takes place. It could be a business dilemma, a policy decision, or an ethical question. Students have to analyze the facts, and find a feasible solution. The proposed solution should be supported by data and should be logically reached. In class, the professor would present the scenario and ask for responses. Students then present their solution, which are then debated.
Most colleges today follow this teaching methodology. Both teachers and students enjoy the debate that follows. Here are the top 5 MBA programs that are known to be the best in implementing the case study methodology:
1) Harvard MBA Program
The pioneers are also the leaders. As can be seen from the HBS Case Study classroom experience, students love the case study method.
Over 80% of the classes in HBS MBA is taught with his method. By the time a student passes out, he would have analyzed almost two thousand cases, covering hundreds of businesses. The cases cover various aspects of a business: Marketing, strategy, leadership, technology and negotiation. Most schools have followed the lead of HBS and have customized their MBA programs accordingly.
2) Darden MBA
Consider this fact: In 2012, three professors from Darden received the Wachovia Awards for Case Development. Therefore, it is not surprising that Darden is reputed to have among the world’s best collection of cases. All of which is put to good use to develop good decision making skills in MBA students. At Darden, students form Learning Teams to understand and discuss cases. Since most business decisions are not isolated, and cover a combination of different disciplines, Darden’s emphasis is on multidisciplinary cases.
Additional information on Darden’s case study expertise
Ivey B-school has been a major publisher of case studies. It has published over 2,600 case studies till date. A student goes through more than 300 cases a year. The cases are so complex; a student spends approximately 6-8 hours on each one of them. Over time, students develop decision-making abilities that are based on knowledge and intuition. This is a fact testified by ex-students now ruling the top ranks in companies across Canada, as can be seen here:
By the time a student earns an MBA, the case studies would guarantee that the student understand a wide variety of scenarios and would have a good idea on how to handle them. He would have analyzed situations from the point of view of a manager, the CEO and a team member. The many different points of view in the classroom would have broadened his perspective, and the range of available solutions. And this allows the student to make decisions holistically.
Case studies are a proven method in management education and you can’t go wrong in choosing an MBA program that focuses on it. But at the same time, do remember that just case studies are not enough. The top MBA programs, including Harvard are shifting their focus to Experiential Learning, which would be the next biggest advancement in management education.
2018 MBA Research Guide - Choose your MBA
F1GMAT's Comprehensive MBA Research Guide will teach you how to select MBA programs through a bottom-up approach.
Articulating your Post-MBA Goals and Career Path is the FIRST step. Which program will give you that hike in Salary, Switch in Career, Change in Location or Job Satisfaction?
We cover them all through our extensive analysis.
+ How to Choose the Best MBA Program: Factors to Consider
Define Post-MBA Goals
Pick your Path: Generalize or Specialize
Use Moral Algebra Method
Use Multi-Attribute Utility Theory
Understand the Top 5 Risks
Measure MBA Career Service Team's Effectiveness
Use Bookending to Calculate MBA Admission Chance
Use Net Present Value to Calculate MBA Return on Investment
Don't Fall for the Mere Exposure Effect
Best Practices to find the truth in MBA Information Session or MBA Tour
Comprehensive MBA Research Guide: Includes Top MBA Programs by 19 Specializations:
+ General Management
+ Operations Management
+ Supply Chain Management
+ Luxury Management
+ Information Systems
+ Hospitality Management
+ Leadership Development
+ Military &
+ Top MBA Program Ranking
Top 20 MBA Programs - Tuition Fee (2018)
Top 31 MBA Programs in United States – Total Cost & Salary (2017)
Top 60 MBA – GMAT and GPA (Average & Median)
Top 20 European MBA Programs - Tuition Fee, Total Cost & Salary
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Based on Actual Salary Increase)
Top 20 European MBA Programs (Short-term return on investment)
Top 20 Affordable European MBA Programs
Top 10 MBA in UK – Salary & Fee (2018)
Top MBA Destinations Based on Happiness Index
Top MBA Destinations based on Innovation Index
Top 10 MBA Job Markets based on Cost of living and Purchasing Power
Top MBA Destination: By Economy
+Comparisons - Top MBA Programs
Wharton vs. Columbia MBA (2018)
MIT vs. Stanford MBA (2017)
Haas vs. Ross MBA (2018)
Kellogg vs Ross MBA
Booth vs Wharton MBA
MIT Sloan vs Tuck MBA
IMD vs. INSEAD MBA (2017)
IIMA vs. ISB (2017)
+ MBA in France (2018)
Top Industries in France
Top MBA Programs in France
+ MBA in the UK (2018)
Top Industries in the UK
Top MBA Programs in the UK
Scholarships in the UK