Why Case Studies are Important for a Management Student

Management Education in India and across the globe is transforming, welcoming new and innovative techniques and methods of teaching. Ever since the arrival of contemporary management education, the focus has been shifted to developing and fostering the students’ ability to improve analytical, interpersonal, leadership, communication skills, etc. along with preparing them academically. Nowadays, business institutes aim at providing ample opportunities to students so that they can be trained for their professional careers. And one of the things that have greatly helped students in their understanding of subjects, concepts, etc. is Case studies.

Case studies, in a way, are a peek into the real-world for students as they get to see how professionals dealt with real business problems and overcame certain issues to get back to the top. Studying cases, analysing them, enhances students’ decision-making abilities and builds confidence. Unlike the traditional classroom teaching approach, this one demands active participation from the students’ end and is way more fun for them. This approach is being adopted by a greater number of private management institutes over the recent few years, the reason for which is the activity’s brilliant results.

The Methodology of Case Studies

In this approach, a student is given a task to select one from a few available examples to study and then evaluate and investigate the outcomes, analyse the decisions, come up with better alternatives, etc. This close examination of a case brings out the investigative abilities of a student and his perception towards solving a problem. During the course of two years, students are given numerous case studies to work on, which, upon comparison, students realize how different circumstances require different handling approaches.

After a case study is selected, the initial examination is done, the collection of data to supplement the evaluation and analysis is required. This step is extremely essential, as it allows students to focus on other elements as well that may be causing the problem and may go unnoticed. This entire process makes the case study research method an efficient one.

Harvard Business School, one of the most prestigious B-Schools all over the world, has accredited case-studies to be of huge importance. The management program there consists of over 500 case studies, and therefore, has attained a near-religious status in the college. Popularly known as the HBS Case Study Method, Harvard takes pride in using this as the highlight feature of their institute. Leading thousands of other management colleges, the objective of Harvard is to bring forth the real business issues to the students and make them wear the hat of the decision-maker. These are so important, that several colleges including HBS have created a grading model which offers a major chunk of marks-weightage, as much as 40-50% to case studies and class participation.

Advantages of Case Studies

Studying actual business scenarios has plenty of advantages. Listed down are a few, have a look:

– Real-life business skills

The case study method familiarizes students with real-life situations that might come up while running or managing a business. These studies work as examples for students who can extract and exercise the basic principles and fundamentals of business management. Along with this, they also get a chance to learn cognitive skills, analysis abilities, leadership skills, communication skills, etc. which will come in handy in their professional career.

– Better than lectures

The traditional way of learning, attending lectures, reading from the textbook, can be at times boring. And a method like case-studying can serve as a refreshing change in the students’ curriculum. This would give them an opportunity to pay a part of the manager, team leader, etc. with power to exercise responsibly. An engaging activity like this would be better received by the students, helping them understand more.

– A Holistic approach to business

Case studies present often realistic yet complex situations in front of students that involve a dilemma or a direct conflict. While discussing the case, they learn to develop a sense of a holistic approach to business and take in all the factors into consideration. The sooner students learn to factor in the overall success of the business or the organization, the sooner they will climb the corporate ladder of success.

But along with the list of several advantages to this approach comes a few disadvantages too. The case study method can have an influential factor within the given data. A solution for a particular situation may be ineffective totally in another. A slight change in the demographics may result in another round of review. All of this can make the case study method time-consuming and labour-intensive. But the way out of this is experiential learning.

Experiential Learning is the new teaching approach adopted by several management institutes in order to create more efficient and career-ready professionals. To make this ‘Learning by Doing’ method a success, they organize workshops, guest lectures, industry visits, student exchange programs, include case studies in their pedagogy, etc. All of this helps students gain exposure in their respective fields, making them more open to new learning experiences. This is the way forward and an institute that offers all of the above mentioned features is most suitable for students aspiring to make a career in the business world. One such institute is the Krupanidhi School of Management, Bangalore, which offers the best MBA courses in Bangalore and has been imparting quality contemporary management education to students and moulding them into highly productive professionals of the corporate sector.

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