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Writing guidelines


+  What is a teaching case?

A teaching case is a rich description of a real-life management situation for the purpose of generating specific learning outcomes in students, such as, notably, the development of judgment and critical thinking skills.
Cases studies in management are most often in the form of a written text (varying in length from as little as 2 to as many as 50 pages!). Multimedia cases combining text, audio, video, web, etc. are becoming increasingly common.
The first criterion of a good case is that it arouses the curiosity, interest and engagement of the reader – in this case, the student. A “good” case generates two effects: you want to read it to the end and you want to discuss it afterward.

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+  Different types of cases

The HEC Montréal Case Centre Catalogue and the International Journal of Case Studies in Management accept the following types of case:

  • Decision-making cases: conclude at the moment when one or more protagonists – most commonly a manager or company leader – must make a decision about the situation or issue described in the case.
  • Descriptive or analytical cases: describe past events or situations, but do not call for decision making.
  • Best practice cases: present the success stories of firms or managers based on an account of good or best practices.
  • Failure and “Dark Side” cases: describe situations marked by failure or offer a glimpse into the darker, less attractive or even outright unethical aspects of the management practices of certain managers or firms.
  • Brief cases: are deliberately short (three pages or less), and are most often decision-making cases that can be read in a mere 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Multimedia cases: combine multiple media such as text, images, photos, and audio and video excerpts.

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+  Steps to producing a case

  1. Come up with the idea for the case and the main challenge or issue
  2. Establish preliminary contact with the firm and individuals
  3. Determine or validate the narrative and the type of case
  4. Proceed with data collection
  5. Draft a preliminary version of the case
  6. Obtain the authorization of the individuals concerned and produce a second version of the case (Authorization Form)
  7. Produce a revised version of the case
  8. Test the case in class
  9. Produce a final version of the case

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Icône de fichier PDF Guidelines for the production of case studies Icône de fichier PDF


+  Producing teaching notes

The teaching notes that accompany a case study serve four complementary objectives:

  • They allow instructors who are considering using a case to quickly decide whether it is suitable for their own teaching objectives and for their specific teaching or training context.
  • They promote knowledge sharing through the disclosure of the authors’, who offer their own “reading” or interpretation, analysis of the case.
  • They document, in a detailed manner, the case teaching strategy and concrete ways in which the case can be used in the classroom as recommended by the case authors.
  • They allow authors to ensure that all the necessary elements for the case analysis have been provided in the case.

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+  Writing Teaching Notes for Decision-Based Cases

A Guide for Writing Teaching Notes for Decision-Based Cases aims to provide beginner case writers with general guidelines for drafting teaching notes for decision-based cases. In particular, it allows authors to rapidly evaluate the time needed to prepare the notes, how to begin the writing process, and how to structure the required information.

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+  Sections in teaching notes

  1. Nature of the case and summary
  2. Teaching objectives
  3. Target group and end-user courses
  4. Case teaching strategies
  5. Case analysis
  6. References
  7. Report on preliminary use in the classroom (when available)
  8. “What really happened” (when relevant)

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Icône de fichier PDF Guide to writing teaching notes Icône de fichier PDF

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