Should Case Method be Scrapped in MBA Teaching?

Case studies are coming under fire in the US, and in Asia they are being remade with a local relevancy. Is there a better way to teach MBA?

For decades, case study has been the gold standard method of instruction for MBA programmes. The method where students pore over real corporate dilemmas, has gained stardom at Harvard Business School, which pioneered the approach, and sells its cases to hundreds of business schools around the world.

But some schools are now railing against Harvard’s cases, claiming that they are outdated and fail to represent protagonists from all of society. These schools are relying less on Harvard’s cases and are developing their own in varied ways, or are rejecting the method fully as online and experiential learning proliferates.

Is there a better way to teach future business leaders? Should the case method be changed, or scrapped entirely?

In an interview with FIND MBA, Dr. Andrew Yuen, Associate Director (e-Learning) of MBA Programmes and Senior Lecturer of Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School, says the beauty of cases is that students experience the relevancy of the knowledge in a real business context. “It is crucial for our students to apply what they learn in practice.”

He adds that cases enable students to encounter a vast number of business scenarios in a short period of time, much more than they could in the workplace.

Another concern is that most cases are written about western companies, which may not be as relevant to Asian students, says Dr. Yuen. “Although the situation is improving, there is still a lack of cases in other regions, including Asia,” he says. For this reason, CUHK Business School’s faculty have written more case studies about local companies.

Dr. Yuen also agrees, “Case teaching is a key component in MBA education and there is no valid reason to scrap it entirely.”… Read More

Source: FIND MBA
Date published: 15 July 2019