Are case-studies an obsolete method of teaching in Business schools?
I recently read an article in the Economist where Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi actually criticized the number of case studies crammed in the curriculum of any top MBA institute.
She encourages the presence of more theoretical concepts in the curriculum, and wants there to be more Tech related subjects being taught in the classroom.
To what extent would b-school alumni/students agree/disagree with Ms. Nooyi?
It may be the case because of the increasing number of live project opportunities. But, the purpose of a case is to describe a business scenario and to make the student think all the possible solutions to the business problem. Now, it is not possible to discover all the scenario with live projects so the case studies are are an important part of MBA studies.
Case studies help form a thinking pattern which is required in tackling various business problems. Since case studies involve problem scenarios being faced by businesses and the solutions to them mostly turn out to be theories that are already taught at b-schools. Case studies are like analyses and practical implementations of what is studied.
What the scenario could be that case studies should start adding technological problems that are affecting most of the industries. That is how more tech-related problems will come into the picture with the help of case studies and actual solutions could be worked out.
Case studies are not only a part of B-school curriculum, various consulting companies like Mckinsey and BCG have case study analyses as part of their selection process. They give out real-time scenarios on which the current Mckinsey consultants are working on. This helps them test the skills of the potential candidates and get a chance to derive solutions from the whole process.
I have had a number of opportunities to solve case studies during the PGP-CEM days at XLRI Jamshedpur where the course curriculum had case study analyses as a major part of teaching.
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