First-time winners dominated in the 31st annual Case Centre Global Awards and Competitions. A record 30 individuals won their first-ever Case Centre award or competition, formally known as the European Case Awards until going global in 2010. First-time winners have been trending up the last three years, as 18 newbies won in 2019 and 22 took home top honors last year.
“The 2021 Awards and Competitions reveal a new generation of case method talent emerging across the globe with an astonishing, record-breaking, 30 new laureates,” Richard McCracken, director of the Case Centre, said in a prepared release Monday (March 1) announcing this year’s winners. “Particularly noteworthy is that all six Competitions were exclusively taken by a total of 10, first-time winning individuals. Established authors at schools long associated with the case method still took several Case Award categories, but the 31st Awards’ and Competitions’ winners also included six new schools, from five countries.”
Those six new schools include EDHEC Business School, IAE Aix-Marseille Graduate School of Management, Lund University School of Economics and Management, Management Development Institute (MDI) Guragon, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, USC Marshall School of Business, and York Management School.
WINNERS REFLECT INNOVATIONS IN BUSINESS
A look at the winners reveals those cases that rose to the top reflected the signs of the times, with a focus on innovation, tech, and even “influencers.” The Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method award was won by Paul Beamish of Ivey Business School. For the second straight year, London Business School was one of the winners of the Overall Winning Case category. This year’s winning case focused on The Dollar Shave Club and looked at innovation in the shaving industry.
First-time winners Patricia Lui and Lipika Bhattacharya of Singapore Management University won the Outstanding Case Writer Award for their case called Kobe Influencer Marketing: Building Brand Awareness via Social Media. USC Marshall School of Business secured its first win ever in the Outstanding Case Writer: Hot Topic division. USC’s Jeremy Dann won that award for his case entitled Barnana: Adventures in Upcycling.
“The Awards provide an annual snapshot of the topics being used to teach business and management around the world,” McCracken said. “This year saw a resurgence of interest in multinational companies, in particular those with an online or technology focus. For the first time, we also saw a case relating to the social media phenomenon of ‘influencers’ (Kobe). Broadly ethical issues also keep their place including energy sustainability (Enel), food upcycling (Barnana), and gender pay equality (FTS). 27% of winning cases featured female protagonists.”
MOVING CASE-FOCUSED COURSES ONLINE
A focus was also given to many professors that had to make the switch from in-person to online learning during the previous year because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Educators have faced challenges during the pandemic, especially to take teaching — including case classes — online,” McCracken said. “This has highlighted the need for cases to adapt. The authors of the Overall Winning Case are integrating this flexibility, including guidance for educators worldwide, in their comprehensive teaching note, and offering direct dialogue and a webinar.
“We anticipate that teaching with cases online will become an enduring norm as part of blended programs. So, building on our learning from this year’s Awards, we will be encouraging published authors in The Case Centre catalogue to update teaching notes to reflect the new online teaching reality.”