A case for learning – in the exec’s shoes

Got particular business problem on your mind? There’s fair chance you’re not the first to ever face it – which is one of the reasons why case studies have become an invaluable aid to business education and knowledge.
With this in mind the University of Auckland is building up cache of business case studies that will be available online to business educators and managers from its newly launched Business Case Centre.
The Centre will produce and distribute case studies about range of businesses and organisations – the goal being to establish library of studies that document important milestones in the operations and management of New Zealand organisations.
Christina Stringer, director of the Centre and lecturer in International Business at the Business School, says case studies are used extensively around the world as an effective teaching tool and are invaluable in teaching decision-making and causal reasoning.
Unfortunately most of them focus on North American, European or Asian multinational companies – very few are based on the New Zealand experience. That’s something the Centre intends to rectify.
Written by faculty and researchers at the university, its case studies will be modelled on those produced at prominent international schools. They will be based on interviews and information provided by the featured company, organisation or individual.
The final document is typically five to 15 pages in length and provides factual description of an important decision or situation company has faced, along with details about the options regarding the managerial dilemma. The aim is to put the reader in business executive’s shoes.
Stringer says the Centre also provides an important linkage between the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
The Centre will create opportunities for academic staff and postgraduate students to participate in multi-disciplinary research in fields of growing importance such as entrepreneurship, innovation and technology, e-commerce/digital business, global business, Maori business development and healthcare management.
Information on the Centre, the case writing process, and copies of cases can be found at www.casecentre.auckland.ac.nz.

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