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Types of cases published

The IJCSM publishes cases that are international in scope and that depict or are inspired by real situations touching on all aspects of management, including strategy, finance, marketing, general management, leadership, accounting, social responsibility, operations management, business ethics, information technology, human resources management, governance, international business, organizational behaviour, entrepreneurship, etc. The focus of the case may be a company or a management issue related to any sector or any type of business, including not-for-profit organizations, SMBs and VSBs, arts organizations, and so on. Case authors may choose to use a traditional format or a multimedia approach. All cases must be accompanied by detailed teaching notes which are accessible only to university faculty whose status has been confirmed.

+  Teaching cases

A teaching case is a contextualized description of a real-life, complex situation aimed at encouraging reflection and discussion among students or learners in order to generate specific learning outcomes, such as, notably, the development of “judgment.”

A teaching case is not the same thing as a research case, which is designed mainly for the purposes of qualitative research. Although the two share similarities in terms of their production (data collection), there is a major difference in the “final product” related to their respective objectives and purpose. The objective of a teaching case is to allow students or learners to develop certain skills and knowledge, whereas the objective of a research case is to describe and shed light on a “subject” of research based on a specific conceptual and theoretical framework that is integrated in the case itself. While the qualitative data gathered in the context of a research project and eventually presented in the form of a research case can effectively be used as the basis for the production of a teaching case, there is a clear distinction to be made between the final products.

A teaching case is also very different from an exercise or illustration. In an exercise, there is usually only one correct solution to the problem presented, even if it is complex. On the other hand, in a case, there are often several possible answers, solutions or points of view in relation to the problem exposed. Furthermore, while an illustration seeks to explain a concept, notion or general theory to students, a case is always more complex and “bigger than” the concept, notion or theory, although the latter can shed useful light on the situation. While the main pedagogical objectives of an exercise or illustration are often related to comprehension and application, teaching cases aim for a higher level of analysis, evaluation, decision making, critical thinking and judgment.

+  Cases that are international in scope

A case study is by definition embedded in a specific context, thus giving it a “local” dimension. However, many cases have an “international scope” that others are lacking. The international scope of a case can be recognized based on the following aspects:

  1. The company presented in the case is a large multinational firm that has a world-wide presence and faces issues that resonate globally;
  2. The companies or situations depicted are local, but enough information is provided on the firm and its context to give all readers a proper understanding of them, and the relevance and scope of the issues raised go well beyond the local context described in the case.

While the IJCSM naturally welcomes cases that match the first condition listed above (international companies, generic issues), we intend to place a strong focus on cases that also correspond to the second example (local companies, generic issues).

+  Cases depicting or inspired by real-life situations

The Journal gives preference to real-life cases depicting current or past organizations, individuals or situations. In this regard, we can distinguish between four types of cases:

  1. Public information. The case is based entirely on publicly available information;
  2. Non-public, undisguised information. The case is based on the collection of non-publicly available data, and the information presented, including the names of organizations and individuals, is real and intact. The organizations and individuals depicted agree to allow their names to be used in the case and authorize the publication of the case by signing the authorization form;
  3. Non-public, disguised information. The case is based on the collection of non-public data, but some information, such as company or individual names, is disguised (fictitious names), in order to ensure anonymity. Other information (industry, company location, etc.) may also be masked in order to make the identification of individuals or organizations as difficult as possible. The disguised case is reviewed by the company or individuals, who then authorize its publication by signing the authorization form;
  4. Fictional case study inspired by real facts. The case deals with one or more situations that actually occurred, but the account made of them, though inspired by the actual situation, has been “fictionalized” by disguising or rearranging the data to the point that it is impossible to link the case to a specific company or individual. No company or individual should feel that they are “targeted” by the case, which often combines aspects of several different real-life situations. No authorization is required for this type of case.

While favouring the types two and three described above, the Journal recognizes that the first and fourth types can be extremely valuable and are sometimes the only options available. This is especially true of cases that seek to expose the darker, less pleasant side of management or the business world, where companies generally refuse to provide primary data or to be associated with a case, even if it is for “teaching” purposes.

Regardless of the type of case, the rules governing the collection and use of data for the production of teaching cases are the same as those that apply to the collection of data for research purposes. In this regard, the Journal screens all material submitted for potentially litigious content and to ensure that it does not breach any rules of academic conduct.

+  Cases accompanied by detailed teaching notes

All cases published in the IJCSM are accompanied by detailed teaching notes. These notes specify the case’s teaching objectives, the type of program or course for which the case is optimally suited, the in-class approach recommended by the authors, and the type of analysis that should be used in relation to the teaching objectives.

The teaching notes are written as a practical guide for instructors who wish to use the case in their own classroom setting or training context. Access to these notes is therefore strictly controlled. Only Case Centre subscribers who have provided proof of their status as university faculty may use them.

Guide to Writing Teaching Notes

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