facebook Unlocking Strategic Thinking: Business Case Studies for Effective Learning

Case Studies

Business case studies are usually summaries of real-life business scenarios or fictitious accounts of a business situation or dilemma. The objective of the case study is not to reach consensus, but to understand how different people use the same information to arrive at diverse conclusions.

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what is this about
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What is this about?

Business cases allow learners to imagine situations and place themselves in the shoes of the protagonist and apply their learnings to solve real-life problems through discussion and debate.

As Dean Nitin Nohria of Harvard Business School says: Cases teach students how to apply theory in practice and how to induce theory from practice. The case method cultivates the capacity for critical analysis, judgment, decision-making, and action.

Besides this, this methodology also aids the development of several meta skills in learners:

  • Preparation: Learning to be prepared — to read materials in advance, prioritize, identify the key issues, and having an initial point of view.
  • Discernment: Knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff.
  • Bias recognition: Recognizing and correcting personal bias.
  • Judgment: Making decisions under uncertainty, communicating that decision to others, and gaining their buy-in.
  • Collaboration: Orchestrating a good collaborative discussion in which everyone contributes, every viewpoint is carefully considered, yet a thoughtful decision is made in the end.
  • Curiosity: Exposing learners to lots of different real-life situations and roles.

No wonder then, that the case study method is the methodology of preference at the Harvard Business School.

Our approach in using case studies

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Scenario based

Quick cases, customised to learner contexts. No prior preparation time needed.

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Classic cases

Drawn from rich, existing resources from across the world and often used in premier B-schools. Needs prior learner preparation.

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Multimedia cases

Video & audio based short scenarios that engages learners from the word go!

Where can you use case studies?

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Shared before the session to be discussed in a flipped-classroom format during the learning session.
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Shared during the session (generally as scenarios) to help learners immerse themselves in a situation before it is debriefed and the theory is teased out.
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Shared after the session as post-work that can be submitted on our LMS and peer reviewed by other participants.

Frequently asked questions

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Case studies are very effective because they bring learners right into their context. This makes it very interesting and comfortable for learners to participate. At Harvard this methodology has been so successful that it recently completed 100 years!

The length of the case studies depends on the type of case study used. Refer “Our approach in using case studies” above. While scenario based and multimedia case studies would take 5-10 minutes to understand the scenario, the classic ones typically run into a few pages - they hence take 30-45 minutes for learners to prepare.

We don't sell case studies separately - they are used in the context of a workshop.

Yes! If desired, we can contextualize our cases to the specific challenges discussed with the client and/or learners before the start of the learning journey.

Thousands of businesses of all sizes, from
startups to large enterprises trust us

  •  compnany logo

    Thank you FocusU and Smollan L&D team for designing such a wonderful continuous learning program. It acted like small and effective doses to look for what next. Case studies chosen were all relevant for my Global Development Team & I could not ask for more. Let’s plan for some monthly 1 hour on premise confluence sessions.

    Vijay Varshney
    SMOLLAN Head of Technology - MESA
  •  compnany logo

    Just wanted to let you know that we had a great experience with FocusU. All the activities were well designed and implemented. The team was brilliant.

    Divya Gupta
    Aavishkaar Investment Manager
  •  compnany logo

    The entire set of topics had a good coverage on the day to day activities in a corporate life. It was fun to solve the challenges and a good learning experience. Thank you 😊

    Vinod Unni
    Diageo