What is the Harvard Case Study method?

With the global focus on South East Asia's economic boom, the Hardvard Case Study method is more relevant than ever. How? And why is it important for MBA programs?


A multi-cultural and diverse business environment requires more than your regular management skills. This is type of environment is perfect for applying the Harvard Case Study learnings

According Harvard Business School, the Harvard Case Study method is described as the following :

"Pioneered by HBS faculty and one of the highlights of the HBS experience, the case method is a profound educational innovation that presents the greatest challenges confronting leading companies, nonprofits, and government organizations—complete with the constraints and incomplete information found in real business issues—and places the student in the role of the decision maker. There are no simple solutions; yet through the dynamic process of exchanging perspectives, countering and defending points, and building on each other's ideas, students become adept at analyzing issues, exercising judgment, and making difficult decisions—the hallmarks of skillful leadership. "


Through such case studies, students are taught the value of leadership and what is really means to be an outstanding leader. Over 80 percent of business cases sold throughout the world today are written by the HBS faculty. Approximately 350 new cases are published every year by Harvard Business School.


What is a Case Study and where did it come from?

Wikipedia says "The case method is a teaching approach that uses decision-forcing cases to put students in the role of people who were faced with difficult decisions at some point in the past. It developed during the course of the twentieth-century from its origins in the casebook method of teaching law pioneered by Harvard legal scholar Christopher C. Langdell. In sharp contrast to many other teaching methods, the case method requires that instructors refrain from providing their own opinions about the decisions in question. Rather, the chief task of instructors who use the case method is asking students to devise and defend solutions to the problems presented by each case."


So, the case study teaching method was pioneered by Harvard. Which explains why they continue to be the leaders in this field.


Why Is The Case Study Method Ideal For Business Schools In ASEAN?

The global economic focus is squarely pointing to ASEAN, especially South East Asia. Indonesia specifically is classified as the startup hub of ASEAN, the manufacturing industry is booming, infrastructure is finally supporting economic growth and the education system is continually upgrading to meet the demand of a qualified and skilled workforce.


ASEAN is a very diverse region, which is why troubles arise frequently within leadership. The case study methodology encourages students to analyse real life business situations and how there are many roads to success as well as failure. Often, executives are surprised to discover that 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. When you begin to understand the context, you can appreciate the reasons why those decisions were made.


Which Business Schools In Indonesia Use HBS Case Studies In Their MBA Programs?

The first business school to use HBS Case Studies in their MBA programs was IPMI International Business School, which was also the first English language MBA program available in Indonesia. You can learn more about HBS Case Studies here.



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