MBA Case Studies From Top Business Schools

Where to Find Them

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Many business schools use the case method to teach MBA students how to analyze business problems and develop solutions from a leadership perspective. The case method involves presenting students with case studies , also known as cases, that document a real-life business situation or imagined business scenario.

Cases typically present a problem, issue, or challenge that must be addressed or solved for a business to prosper. For example, a case might present a problem like:

  • ABC Company needs to increase sales substantially over the next several years to attract potential buyers.
  • U-Rent-Stuff wants to expand but is not sure whether they want to own the locations or franchise them.
  • Ralphie's BBQ, a two-person company that makes spices for BBQ products, needs to figure out how to increase production from 1,000 bottles a month to 10,000 bottles a month.

As a business student. you are asked to read the case, analyze the problems that are presented, evaluate underlying issues, and present solutions that address the problem that was presented. Your analysis should include a realistic solution as well as an explanation as to why this solution is the best fit for the problem and the organization's goal. Your reasoning should be supported with evidence that has been gathered through outside research. Finally, your analysis should include specific strategies for accomplishing the solution you have proposed. 

Where to Find MBA Case Studies

The following business schools publish either abstracts or full MBA case studies online. Some of these case studies are free. Others can be downloaded and purchased for a small fee. 

  • Harvard Business School Cases - Harvard offers thousands of case studies on every business topic imaginable.
  • Darden Business Case Studies - Thousands of MBA case studies from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
  • Stanford Case Studies - A searchable database of MBA case studies from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
  • Babson College Case Studies - A large collection of business case studies from the Babson faculty.
  • IMD Case Studies - 50 years of case studies from the IMD faculty and research staff.

Using Case Studies

Familiarizing yourself with case studies is a good way to prepare for business school. This will help you familiarize yourself with various components of a case study and allow you to practice putting yourself in the role of a business owner or manager. As you are reading through cases, you should learn how to identify relevant facts and key problems. Be sure to take notes so that you have a list of items and potential solutions that can be researched when you are done reading the case. As you are developing your solutions, make a list of pros and cons for each solution, and above all, make sure the solutions are realistic.

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case study in mba

  • 10 Jan 2018

8 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Case Method

Ninad Kulkarni just wrapped up the fall semester at HBS and wanted to share what he learned about the case method after his first few months in the classroom. 

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Here are the top 13 case studies every MBA student should know

  • MBA students should expect to read case studies, or real-world examples of why businesses succeed or fail. 
  • The case-reading practice in business school was originally pioneered at Harvard, where the MBA curriculum requires students to read up to 500 cases during their two-year program.
  • Other business schools eventually adopted the Harvard case method, preparing students for future leadership challenges. 
  • Business Insider has compiled a list of the most influential cases recommended by business school professors. 
  • One of the cases include how Apple's name change in 2007 allowed the company to redirect its focus from solely Macintosh computers to the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, and streaming services. Today, computer sales only account for a tenth of the company's $1 trillion market capitalization . 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

If you attend business school , you can expect to read a lot of case studies. Professors love them because they offer real-world examples of why businesses succeed and fail. 

The case method teaching practice was originally pioneered at Harvard Business School (HBS), where the MBA curriculum requires that students read up to 500 cases during their two-year program. The Harvard case method soon spread across business schools as professors sought to prepare their students with leadership and decision-making challenges in the workplace.

There are some classic cases that every business student should know — like why Apple changed its name.

Business Insider has compiled the most influential cases here, with recommendations from business school professors across the nation and abroad.

Max Nisen contributed to an earlier version of this post. 

Why Apple changed its name

case study in mba

Case: Apple Inc., 2008

Key takeaway: Sometimes you can't take a rival head on.

What happened? Three decades after its founding, Apple Computers changed its name and became Apple Inc. in 2007. That reflected the company's shifted focus from its iconic Mac computers toward other digital products like the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, and media streaming services. Apple's widened niche led to skyrocketing sales and spiked share prices, putting the Cupertino company on a trajectory to become the first US publicly traded company with a $1 trillion market capitalization in 2018, Business Insider reported . Now, the Macintosh computer only accounts for a tenth of the company's business. Rather than beating rival Windows for more shares in the computer market, Apple reinvented itself and redefined the realm of digital devices. 

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Chatterji , Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, for his suggestions.  

How Lululemon kept its cult

case study in mba

Case: Leadership, Culture, and Transition at lululemon

Key takeaway: Figure out how to bring the founders into a strategy rather than alienating them. 

What happened?  On December 11, Lululemon announced its third-quarter fiscal results . Between August to November, the retail company generated $33 million, increasing its net revenue to $916 million in 2019. Much of the 21-year-old brand's transformation is credited to former CEO Christine Day , who leveraged her experience in expanding the Starbucks brand worldwide to align with Lululemon's model. 

Day replaced founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson in 2008, and she stepped into her role facing many problems: Outperforming stores, hefty investments in low-demand locations, and poor workflow between teams. 

She convinced the founders to attend management programs at Harvard and Stanford so they could better understand how the company must change. Day nearly tripled her team from having 2,683 employees in 2008 to 6,383 in 2013, all while she redesigned the company's structure, according to Pitchbook data . In five years time, she turned Lululemon into an athleisure powerhouse. 

Day stepped down as CEO in 2013 after a series of quality control issues with the clothing, Business Insider reported . She is now the chief executive at Luvo , a frozen food company. 

Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman , the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management  at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, for her suggestions.

How Cisco bounced back

case study in mba

Case: Cisco Systems: Developing A Human Capital Strategy

Key takeaway: Invest in developing leaders in your team

What happened? Cisco is one of the most acquisitive companies in tech. It buys about 10 companies a year, including a $2.6 billion acquisition of Acacia and $380 million purchase of chip company Leaba in 2019, Business Insider reported . 

During the Dot Com Bubble in the 1990s, Cisco's first priority was to scale, bringing in up to 1,000 new employees each month by buying smaller firms. Between 1991 and 2011, Cisco bought more than 140 companies, Business Insider reported . 

But scaling a startup is much more than just increasing headcount. When the Dot Com Bubble burst, then-CEO John T. Chambers realized he had to redirect his focus by developing leaders within the team and build on his company rather than buying more teams through acquisitions.

The company introduced "Cisco University," a training program to promote a versatile workforce. Within three years, the company was listed as one of the top companies where employees are most likely to become leaders. Today, Cisco has a learning network that offers various kinds of classes, certifications, and webinar programs around the world. 

Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman , the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, for her suggestions.

How USA Today reinvented itself

case study in mba

Case: USA Today: Pursuing The Network Strategy

Key takeaway: Sometimes the old guard can't handle a new reality.

What happened? Like many print publications in the early 2000s, USA Today was facing falling circulation of its business amid the rise of digital news. Tom Curley, the company's CEO at the time, saw the need to better integrate his company with internet and broadcasting platforms. His management team and staff were resistant, claiming insurmountable divides in culture and work style. Curley made the case that it was essential for the future of the business, and eventually replaced five of seven senior managers as part of the change. Nevertheless, this case emphasizes that what the company needed at the time wasn't a complete staff change: It needed a new business strategy and more integration as the company was transitioning into its electronic version. 

As of 2018, USA Today sites have nearly 97.4 million unique visitors and 1.2 billion page views, according to the company's website . It has become an award-winning digital news platform. 

Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman , the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, for her suggestions. 

How Dreyer's survived a disaster

case study in mba

Case: Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream

Key takeaway: Don't try to spin bad news or mislead workers.

What happened? Before rising to become one of the most popular ice cream brands in the US, Dreyer's had to overcome a company restructure.

In the late 1990s, Ben & Jerry's signed a distribution agreement with Häagen-Dazs and ended its partnership with Dreyer's, The Wall Street Journal reported . Despite still having contracts with Healthy Choice and Nestlé, Dreyer's was dealing with a variety of problems including high input prices and collapsing sales of a low-fat product line.

The company's executives flew all over the country and met with every employee to discuss the restructuring plan. They wanted to preserve the company's culture of openness and accountability. Dreyer's continued to invest in leadership programs, and the company was able to bounce back within a couple of years through consistency and effective communication with its workers. 

Dreyer's continued to experience fluctuating sales in the 2000s, which led the company to merge with Nestlé through a $2.4 billion deal in 2002, The New York Times reported .  

How ethical decisions are different abroad

case study in mba

Case: Merck Sharp & Dohme Argentina, Inc.

Key takeaway: Staying committed to the ethical precepts

What happened? 2019 was a good year for US drug giant Merck & Co. Since it debuted the cancer drug Keytruda, the company's stocks has jumped almost 40% in the past year, giving it a market value of nearly $220 billion, Business Insider reported. 

One way to ensure Merck's increasing sales is if it was on the government's healthcare roster, and when managing director Antonio Mosquera joined the company's Argentine subsidiary, he was faced with an ethical dilemma.

Mosquera was tasked with transforming Merck into a more modern and professional business organization. During the selection process of a highly competitive internship, he had to choose between two candidates, one of whom was the son of a high ranking official in the Argentine healthcare system. 

It was implied that hiring the student would ensure that Merck's drugs would be included on the government's list, which would increase sales. It was a conflict between Mosquera's desire to reform, and the realities of doing business in a changing country.

Mosquera ended up picking the student who wasn't of high government prestige. 

Thanks to Dr. Timothy Vogus , Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management, for his suggestions. 

Why Cirque du Soleil moved outside its comfort zone

case study in mba

Case: Cirque du Soleil - The High-Wire Act Of Building Sustainable Partnerships  

Key takeaway: Sometimes you have to move past an old partnership in order to grow.

What happened? Cirque du Soleil had a mutually beneficial and very profitable partnership with the MGM Mirage casinos. The casino made capital investments in theaters for the company's unique shows, and the shows brought in high-spending clients. Faced with opportunities in Asia and the Middle East, CEO Daniel Lamarre had to figure out how to create different partnerships.  

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Chatterji , Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for his suggestions. 

Why Airborne Express lost the delivery race

case study in mba

Case: Airborne Express

Key takeaway: Specialization can compete with economies of scale, but only up to a certain point. 

What happened? Airborne Express, a smaller mailing competitor to giants like FedEx and UPS, managed to significantly grow revenues despite its size. Part of that came on the heels of a strike at UPS, and the company took advantage of that. Airborne found a way to specialize in order to stay in the market along with big corporations like FedEx and UPS. 

They targeted high volume business customers, shipped primarily to large metropolitan areas, aggressively cut costs, and adopted new technology after FedEx and UPS. Ultimately, that strategy wasn't sustainable, and the company was acquired by DHL in 2003. 

Thanks to Dr. Gautam Ahuja , Professor of Management and Organizations at Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, for his suggestions.

Why Nucor Steel took a company-sized gamble

case study in mba

Case: Nucor at a Crossroads  

Key takeaway: Operations expertise has limits; new investment determines its scale. 

What happened? In 1986, Nucor's CEO Kenneth Iverson had to make a critical decision on whether or not to adopt a new steel casting technology that would allow the company to gain significant first-mover advantage and reduce costs in the long run. However, the company would have to make a huge investment, and technology back then was unproven.

In 1989, Nucor followed through with its ambition to build the world's first steel-making mill in Indiana. The company remains an industry giant, announcing a $250 million micromill set to be the first steel plant to run on wind energy in the US, CNBC reported . 

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Chatterji , Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for his suggestions.

How bad communication nearly ruined a manager

case study in mba

Case: Erik Peterson (A)

Key takeaway: The importance of being proactive in defining one's role and engaging in managing up to get the support you need

What happened? The case follows a recent MBA graduate who became the general manager at a subsidiary of a large cell phone company in the late '80s. Erik Peterson's group was in the process of building up to offer cell phone service in parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. The project was behind schedule, and Peterson had offered a plan to meet a revised target reviewed by headquarters.

Peterson had trouble with his immediate superior. He did not know who he had to report to, which created problems on both ends while he was attempting to complete a significant reorganization and had problems with his chief engineer. Because of the lack of support, Peterson had to go it alone in many ways.

Eventually, the company was restructured and Peterson's role became more clear.

Thanks to Dr. Timothy Vogus , Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management for his suggestions. 

When a West Point coach learned how to build a team

case study in mba

Case: Army Crew Team

Key takeaway: There are many different factors to consider when putting together a team. 

What happened?: Colonel Stas Preczewski, the coach of the Army Crew Team for the US Military Academy at West Point, was managing two teams of junior and varsity rowers. He previously picked teams solely based on physical endurance and individual performance. Though the strongest players were all in varsity, the junior team was consistently beating varsity in races throughout an entire season. 

Preczewski eventually realized that the varsity team wasn't winning races because the players didn't know how to work well together. Despite being the strongest rowers, the team neglected a key element of the sport — rowing takes teamwork and a great amount of collaboration.  

Thanks to Dr. Emily Michelle David , assistant professor of management at China Europe International Business School for her suggestions for Harvard Business Publishing Education. 

When a Warren Buffet made his biggest deal

case study in mba

Case: Warren E Buffett, 2015

Key takeaway: The art of investing 

What happened?: In 2015, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and CEO Warren Buffett made a $37 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts Corporation (PCP), an aerospace-parts supplier company. This case is often viewed as an introductory course for business students to understand finance and capital markets. It also examines Buffett's approach to successful investing, as well as his strategy behind building sustainable growth for the company. 

Thanks to Dr. Robert F. Bruner , professor of business administration at Darden School of Business at University of Virginia, for his suggestions for Harvard Business Publishing Education. 

When a major manufacturing company kept costs low – and took care of its employees

case study in mba

Case: Lincoln Electric Co., 1975

Key takeaway:  Businesses can offer value to customers while treating workers and shareholders generously.  

What happened?:  This case study covers the unique business strategy of Lincoln Electric, one of the biggest manufacturing and welding companies in the world. The company built its products at a lower cost than its competitors, but also rewarded employees well with high bonuses and job security. 

Though the case study is from several decades ago, it offers a glimpse into how a company's organizational strategy can lead to strategic success. 

Thanks to Karen Schnarr, assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, for her suggestion for Harvard Business Publishing Education.

case study in mba

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Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.

In 1921, Harvard Business School produced its first, single-page mimeographed case study for students (view here and bottom) , about the practical dilemmas faced by managers at the General Shoe Company. Intended to prompt class discussions, the case method has since been adopted by schools around the world as a core part of teaching.

Today, Harvard , Ivey Business School in Canada and The Case Centre are leaders among 50 producers and distributors of thousands of cases, of which millions of copies are sold annually. They are written by a growing number of institutions, in formats including video, describing challenges on an ever broader range of issues, geographies and protagonists.

Below is an abstract of one of Harvard’s most recent cases, on the African media company EbonyLife.

Decision maker: Mosunmola Abudu of EbonyLife Media

One unusually quiet morning in Lagos, Nigeria in December 2020, Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, founder and chief executive of EbonyLife Media and one of Africa’s biggest names in the business, brought her laptop to work on the rooftop patio of EbonyLife Place, the company’s flagship lifestyle and entertainment resort.

Founded by Abudu in 2012 with a mission to bring high-quality African stories to the world, EbonyLife was the company behind many of Nigeria’s biggest movies and television shows. It began with a linear TV channel on the Africa-wide direct broadcast satellite service DStv. By 2020, it had produced more than 5,000 hours of TV content and Nigeria’s top-three highest grossing movies.

With a desire for greater control over production and following the end of its relationship with DStv, EbonyLife launched EbonyLife ON (EL ON), an on-demand streaming service. However, it struggled to grow the number of EL ON subscribers.

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case study in mba

Find out which schools are in our ranking of MBA degrees . Learn how the table was compiled and read the rest of our coverage at .

Abudu started to think about whether she should continue fighting to grow EL ON. Should EbonyLife focus instead on co-production deals with international media distributors such as Netflix, Sony and AMC? Abudu, who had been in the media business for nearly 20 years, needed to make this significant decision for EbonyLife.

Her interest in the media and entertainment industry emerged from a desire to correct harmful stereotypes about Africa. Born in London to Nigerian parents, she grew up in the UK and Nigeria. Drawn to African stories, she wanted to address the fact that there was so much the world did not know about Africa. “I think somewhere deeply buried in my subconscious was a need to tell Africa’s story,” she says.

Growing up in the UK, she routinely encountered misconceptions about Africa and was surprised by how they persisted when she was an adult. “The same questions I was being asked in England [40 years ago],” she says, “are the same questions my children were being asked when they went to school in England.” Questions like, “Do you guys live in trees?”

In July 2020, following its exit from DStv, EbonyLife publicly announced EL ON, with plans to make the platform its main distribution channel. While EbonyLife had already created extensive programming, “a lot of that content was consumed on a daily basis and had a very minimal shelf life”, Abudu explains.

She began to explore the new opportunity of co-productions with global partners that would eventually be distributed through Nigerian TV channels. She signed a multi-title co-production deal with Netflix to make several movies and TV series. Partnering with such companies reduced the upfront financial risks of production. But it was difficult to assess the size of the global audience “ Nollywood ” (Nigeria’s Hollywood) films gained because of the reluctance of the international platforms to share viewership data. Also, Nollywood producers could not interact directly with these viewers. As a result, it was difficult for them to learn who had viewed the content and what aspects of the stories the audience had enjoyed, and then use this insight to plan their future productions.

Beyond producing content, EbonyLife sought to build its own media and entertainment ecosystem. It helped grow the pipeline of local talent through a creative academy that enabled students to attend classes free of charge, funded by the Lagos state government. Abudu also believed EbonyLife could grow further by investing more in its audience’s experiences. In December 2019 in Lagos, she opened the multi-purpose resort EbonyLife Place, which included two restaurants, a boutique hotel, five movie theatres, meeting rooms and a larger multipurpose function hall.

A year later, Abudu was at EbonyLife Place to plan for its relaunch after the lifting of pandemic restrictions. However, she faced other pressing concerns. She reflected on her options around how EbonyLife would distribute its content. Was it too early to make judgments about EL ON? What changes should EbonyLife make to EL ON? Equally, she considered the alternative: could she realistically build a sustainable media business just on international partnerships with streaming services? Was there a scenario in which she could keep EL ON operational while pursuing these international partnerships? After two decades in the industry, pivots were no longer quick or painless. Abudu wondered which option she should pursue. 

The above is an adapted abstract of Harvard Business School’s teaching case study EbonyLife Media, written by Andy Wu, Feng Zhu, Wale Lawal and Pippa Tubman Armerding

The original 1921 Harvard Business School case study

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Here are the top 10 case studies every MBA student should know

Here are the top 10 case studies every MBA student should know

REUTERS / Brian Snyder

Business schools adopted the Harvard case method.

  • MBA students should expect to read case studies, or real-world examples of why businesses succeed or fail.
  • The case-reading practice in business schools was originally pioneered at Harvard, where the MBA curriculum requires students to read up to 500 cases during their two-year program. Other business schools eventually adopted the Harvard case method, preparing students for future leadership challenges.
  • Business Insider has compiled a list of the most influential cases recommended by business school professors.
  • One of the cases include how Apple's name change in 2007 allowed the company to redirect its focus from solely Macintosh computers to the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, and streaming services. Today, computer sales only account for a tenth of the company's $1 trillion market capitalization, Business Insider reported .
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

If you attend business school , you can expect to read a lot of case studies. Professors love them because they offer real-world examples of why businesses succeed and fail.

The case method teaching practice was originally pioneered at Harvard Business School (HBS), where the MBA curriculum requires that students read up to 500 cases during their two-year program. The Harvard case method soon spread across business schools as professors sought to prepare their students with leadership and decision-making challenges in the workplace.

There are some classic cases that every business student should know - like why Apple changed its name and how Ryanair beat two industry giants.

Business Insider has compiled the most influential cases here, with recommendations from business school professors across the nation and abroad.

case study in mba

  • Nothing Phone (2a) blue edition launched
  • JNK India IPO allotment date
  • JioCinema New Plans
  • Realme Narzo 70 Launched
  • Apple Let Loose event
  • Elon Musk Apology
  • RIL cash flows
  • Charlie Munger
  • Feedbank IPO allotment
  • Tata IPO allotment
  • Most generous retirement plans
  • Broadcom lays off
  • Cibil Score vs Cibil Report
  • Birla and Bajaj in top Richest
  • Nestle Sept 2023 report
  • India Equity Market
  • Best printers for Home
  • Best Mixer Grinder
  • Best wired Earphones
  • Best 43 Inch TV in India
  • Best Wi Fi Routers
  • Best Vacuum Cleaner
  • Best Home Theatre in India
  • Smart Watch under 5000
  • Best Laptops for Education
  • Best Laptop for Students

Here are the top 10 case studies every MBA student should know

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HBS Case Selections

case study in mba

OpenAI: Idealism Meets Capitalism

  • Shikhar Ghosh
  • Shweta Bagai

Generative AI and the Future of Work

  • Christopher Stanton
  • Matt Higgins

Copilot(s): Generative AI at Microsoft and GitHub

  • Frank Nagle
  • Shane Greenstein
  • Maria P. Roche
  • Nataliya Langburd Wright
  • Sarah Mehta

Innovation at Moog Inc.

  • Brian J. Hall
  • Ashley V. Whillans
  • Davis Heniford
  • Dominika Randle
  • Caroline Witten

Innovation at Google Ads: The Sales Acceleration and Innovation Labs (SAIL) (A)

  • Linda A. Hill
  • Emily Tedards

Juan Valdez: Innovation in Caffeination

  • Michael I. Norton
  • Jeremy Dann

UGG Steps into the Metaverse

  • Shunyuan Zhang
  • Sharon Joseph
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Julia Kelley

Metaverse Wars

  • David B. Yoffie

Roblox: Virtual Commerce in the Metaverse

  • Ayelet Israeli
  • Nicole Tempest Keller

Timnit Gebru: "SILENCED No More" on AI Bias and The Harms of Large Language Models

  • Tsedal Neeley
  • Stefani Ruper

Hugging Face: Serving AI on a Platform

  • Kerry Herman
  • Sarah Gulick

SmartOne: Building an AI Data Business

  • Karim R. Lakhani
  • Pippa Tubman Armerding
  • Gamze Yucaoglu
  • Fares Khrais

Honeywell and the Great Recession (A)

  • Sandra J. Sucher
  • Susan Winterberg

Target: Responding to the Recession

  • Ranjay Gulati
  • Catherine Ross
  • Richard S. Ruback
  • Royce Yudkoff

Hometown Foods: Changing Price Amid Inflation

  • Julian De Freitas
  • Jeremy Yang
  • Das Narayandas

Elon Musk's Big Bets

  • Eric Baldwin

Elon Musk: Balancing Purpose and Risk

Tesla's ceo compensation plan.

  • Krishna G. Palepu
  • John R. Wells
  • Gabriel Ellsworth

China Rapid Finance: The Collapse of China's P2P Lending Industry

  • William C. Kirby
  • Bonnie Yining Cao
  • John P. McHugh

Forbidden City: Launching a Craft Beer in China

  • Christopher A. Bartlett
  • Carole Carlson

  • Stefan Thomke
  • Daniela Beyersdorfer

Innovation at Uber: The Launch of Express POOL

  • Chiara Farronato
  • Alan MacCormack

Racial Discrimination on Airbnb (A)

  • Michael Luca
  • Scott Stern
  • Hyunjin Kim

Unilever's Response to the Future of Work

  • William R. Kerr
  • Emilie Billaud
  • Mette Fuglsang Hjortshoej

AT&T, Retraining, and the Workforce of Tomorrow

  • Joseph B. Fuller
  • Carl Kreitzberg

Leading Change in Talent at L'Oreal

  • Lakshmi Ramarajan
  • Vincent Dessain
  • Emer Moloney
  • William W. George
  • Andrew N. McLean

Eve Hall: The African American Investment Fund in Milwaukee

  • Steven S. Rogers
  • Alterrell Mills

United Housing - Otis Gates

  • Mercer Cook

The Home Depot: Leadership in Crisis Management

  • Herman B. Leonard
  • Marc J. Epstein
  • Melissa Tritter

The Great East Japan Earthquake (B): Fast Retailing Group's Response

  • Hirotaka Takeuchi
  • Kenichi Nonomura
  • Dena Neuenschwander
  • Meghan Ricci
  • Kate Schoch
  • Sergey Vartanov

Insurer of Last Resort?: The Federal Financial Response to September 11

  • David A. Moss
  • Sarah Brennan

Under Armour

  • Rory McDonald
  • Clayton M. Christensen
  • Daniel West
  • Jonathan E. Palmer
  • Tonia Junker

Hunley, Inc.: Casting for Growth

  • John A. Quelch
  • James T. Kindley

Bitfury: Blockchain for Government

  • Mitchell B. Weiss
  • Elena Corsi

Deutsche Bank: Pursuing Blockchain Opportunities (A)

  • Lynda M. Applegate
  • Christoph Muller-Bloch

Maersk: Betting on Blockchain

  • Scott Johnson

Yum! Brands

  • Jordan Siegel
  • Christopher Poliquin

Bharti Airtel in Africa

  • Tanya Bijlani

Li & Fung 2012

  • F. Warren McFarlan
  • Michael Shih-ta Chen
  • Keith Chi-ho Wong

Sony and the JK Wedding Dance

  • John Deighton
  • Leora Kornfeld

United Breaks Guitars

David dao on united airlines.

  • Benjamin Edelman
  • Jenny Sanford

Marketing Reading: Digital Marketing

  • Joseph Davin

Social Strategy at Nike

  • Mikolaj Jan Piskorski
  • Ryan Johnson

The Tate's Digital Transformation

Social strategy at american express, mellon financial and the bank of new york.

  • Carliss Y. Baldwin
  • Ryan D. Taliaferro

The Walt Disney Company and Pixar, Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?

  • Juan Alcacer
  • David J. Collis

Dow's Bid for Rohm and Haas

  • Benjamin C. Esty

Finance Reading: The Mergers and Acquisitions Process

  • John Coates

Apple: Privacy vs. Safety? (A)

  • Henry W. McGee
  • Nien-he Hsieh
  • Sarah McAra

Sidewalk Labs: Privacy in a City Built from the Internet Up

  • Leslie K. John

Data Breach at Equifax

  • Suraj Srinivasan
  • Quinn Pitcher
  • Jonah S. Goldberg

Apple's Core

  • Noam Wasserman

Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

  • Barbara Feinberg

Apple Inc. in 2012

  • Penelope Rossano

Iz-Lynn Chan at Far East Organization (Abridged)

  • Anthony J. Mayo
  • Dana M. Teppert

Barbara Norris: Leading Change in the General Surgery Unit

  • Boris Groysberg
  • Nitin Nohria
  • Deborah Bell

Adobe Systems: Working Towards a "Suite" Release (A)

  • David A. Thomas
  • Lauren Barley

Home Nursing of North Carolina

Castronics, llc, gemini investors, angie's list: ratings pioneer turns 20.

  • Robert J. Dolan

Basecamp: Pricing

  • Frank V. Cespedes
  • Robb Fitzsimmons

J.C. Penney's "Fair and Square" Pricing Strategy

J.c. penney's 'fair and square' strategy (c): back to the future.

  • Jose B. Alvarez

Osaro: Picking the best path

  • James Palano
  • Bastiane Huang

HubSpot and Motion AI: Chatbot-Enabled CRM

  • Thomas Steenburgh

GROW: Using Artificial Intelligence to Screen Human Intelligence

  • Ethan S. Bernstein
  • Paul D. McKinnon
  • Paul Yarabe

case study in mba

Arup: Building the Water Cube

  • Robert G. Eccles
  • Amy C. Edmondson
  • Dilyana Karadzhova

(Re)Building a Global Team: Tariq Khan at Tek

Managing a global team: greg james at sun microsystems, inc. (a).

  • Thomas J. DeLong

Organizational Behavior Reading: Leading Global Teams

Ron ventura at mitchell memorial hospital.

  • Heide Abelli

Anthony Starks at InSiL Therapeutics (A)

  • Gary P. Pisano
  • Vicki L. Sato

Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A)

  • John J. Gabarro

case study in mba

Midland Energy Resources, Inc.: Cost of Capital

  • Timothy A. Luehrman
  • Joel L. Heilprin

Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES

  • Mihir A. Desai
  • Doug Schillinger

Cost of Capital at Ameritrade

  • Mark Mitchell
  • Erik Stafford

Finance Reading: Cost of Capital

case study in mba

David Neeleman: Flight Path of a Servant Leader (A)

  • Matthew D. Breitfelder

Coach Hurley at St. Anthony High School

  • Scott A. Snook
  • Bradley C. Lawrence

Shapiro Global

  • Michael Brookshire
  • Monica Haugen
  • Michelle Kravetz
  • Sarah Sommer

Kathryn McNeil (A)

  • Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.
  • Jerry Useem

Carol Fishman Cohen: Professional Career Reentry (A)

  • Myra M. Hart
  • Robin J. Ely
  • Susan Wojewoda

Alex Montana at ESH Manufacturing Co.

  • Michael Kernish

Michelle Levene (A)

  • Tiziana Casciaro
  • Victoria W. Winston

John and Andrea Rice: Entrepreneurship and Life

  • Howard H. Stevenson
  • Janet Kraus
  • Shirley M. Spence

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This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

Publicly available cases in this collection are distributed by Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre .

Stanford case studies with diverse protagonists, along with case studies that build “equity fluency” by focusing on DEI-related issues and opportunities are listed in the Case Compendium developed by the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership at the Berkeley Haas School of Business.

CEO Crisis in Napa: Laila Tarraf

Intersections in paradise: economics and sustainability in palau, 2024, udemy: the founding story, adobe in 2023: transforming marketing through digital experience.

Adobe, founded in 1982, set out to develop software that would enable high-fidelity digital printing and publishing. A decade later, Adobe PDF quickly became the industry standard for preserving and sharing digital document formatting, fonts, images, and…

GoodLeap, spearheaded by Hayes Barnard, emerges as a pioneering financing platform offering comprehensive solutions for sustainable living, including solar loans, home purchasing, refinancing, and improvement loans. Barnard, with a robust background at…

Seconds to Save Lives with

Ajaib: building a high-growth southeast asian fintech venture, eyes on the prize: eyewa’s mena journey, hijra: building an islamic challenger bank.

Dima Djani founded Hijra in late 2018 to provide digitally-enabled financial services to businesses and consumers who followed Islamic finance principles. Islamic finance prohibited the use of usury (interest), mandated that all transactions been linked…

Polpharma Group: Transformation Through Innovation

When Markus Sieger was appointed CEO of Polpharma Group in 2016, he found himself at the helm of a company that would be deemed successful by virtually any metric. Polpharma Group included Poland’s leading pharmaceutical company and leading drug…

Stanford Health Care

  • Dean Jonathan Levin

This Managing Growing Enterprises (MGE) case presents a multifaceted examination of leadership challenges in the academic sector, encompassing issues of faculty negotiation, student-faculty relations, crisis management, and institutional response to…

ClearMetal, a supply chain software-as-a-service startup, exemplifies the challenges of innovating in the global container shipping industry. Under CEO Adam Compain, the company developed a solution to reduce the costly repositioning of empty shipping…

Board Dynamics at Defy, Inc.: When is the Right Time to Raise the Next Round?

Defy, Inc. developed individual safety software solutions for highly automated aircraft operation through its FlySafe modular platform. Defy’s cofounders saw great potential in flying drones to solve the last-mile problem in deliveries. In addition to…

Founders Fund: Every Moment Happens Once

Nuveen and ecozen solutions: valuing a private equity impact investment.

In December 2021, Rekha Unnithan, CFA, received a cold outreach from Devendra Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Ecozen Solutions (“Ecozen”), an agriculture-focused cleantech business based in Pune, a major technology and manufacturing hub in India. Founded in…

APA Technologies

APA Technologies, a startup in the trucking industry, faced a significant challenge with its innovative product, the Tyro - an automatic tire inflation device. Founders Brad Miller and Jeffrey Howell, Stanford mechanical engineering students, developed…

APA Technologies (A): Just When We Were Hitting Our Stride

Apa technologies (b): no good deed goes unpunished, apa technologies (c): a potential partnership, apa technologies (d): reveal, senaca east africa (a): a family security business grapples with expansion.

Senaca East Africa, aka Sentry & Patrols, is a Kenya-based security guard firm founded in 2002 by John Kipkorir, a longtime member of the Kenyan police. At the time, there were only a few well-known Kenyan-owned security companies, and crime was rising…

Jason Scott: Creating a Dream Job to Find and Fund Entrepreneurs Across the Globe

Jason Scott’s superpower had always been his ability to connect people and ideas across industries, sectors, and geographies. After graduating from Stanford GSB, he pursued his professional North Star of finding the best entrepreneurs in the world and…

Impact Engine: Measuring Impact Across Investment Stages

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Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2017

We generated a list of the 40 most popular Yale School of Management case studies in 2017 by combining data from our publishers, Google analytics, and other measures of interest and adoption. In compiling the list, we gave additional weight to usage outside Yale

We generated a list of the 40 most popular Yale School of Management case studies in 2017 by combining data from our publishers, Google analytics, and other measures of interest and adoption. In compiling the list, we gave additional weight to usage outside Yale.

Case topics represented on the list vary widely, but a number are drawn from the case team’s focus on healthcare, asset management, and sustainability. The cases also draw on Yale’s continued emphasis on corporate governance, ethics, and the role of business in state and society. Of note, nearly half of the most popular cases feature a woman as either the main protagonist or, in the case of raw cases where multiple characters take the place of a single protagonist, a major leader within the focal organization. While nearly a fourth of the cases were written in the past year, some of the most popular, including Cadbury and Design at Mayo, date from the early years of our program over a decade ago. Nearly two-thirds of the most popular cases were “raw” cases - Yale’s novel, web-based template which allows for a combination of text, documents, spreadsheets, and videos in a single case website.

Read on to learn more about the top 10 most popular cases followed by a complete list of the top 40 cases of 2017.  A selection of the top 40 cases are available for purchase through our online store . 

#1 - Coffee 2016

Faculty Supervision: Todd Cort

Coffee 2016 asks students to consider the coffee supply chain and generate ideas for what can be done to equalize returns across various stakeholders. The case draws a parallel between coffee and wine. Both beverages encourage connoisseurship, but only wine growers reap a premium for their efforts to ensure quality.  The case describes the history of coffee production across the world, the rise of the “third wave” of coffee consumption in the developed world, the efforts of the Illy Company to help coffee growers, and the differences between “fair” trade and direct trade. Faculty have found the case provides a wide canvas to discuss supply chain issues, examine marketing practices, and encourage creative solutions to business problems. 

#2 - AXA: Creating New Corporate Responsibility Metrics

Faculty Supervision: Todd Cort and David Bach

The case describes AXA’s corporate responsibility (CR) function. The company, a global leader in insurance and asset management, had distinguished itself in CR since formally establishing a CR unit in 2008. As the case opens, AXA’s CR unit is being moved from the marketing function to the strategy group occasioning a thorough review as to how CR should fit into AXA’s operations and strategy. Students are asked to identify CR issues of particular concern to the company, examine how addressing these issues would add value to the company, and then create metrics that would capture a business unit’s success or failure in addressing the concerns.

#3 - IBM Corporate Service Corps

Faculty Supervision: David Bach in cooperation with University of Ghana Business School and EGADE

The case considers IBM’s Corporate Service Corps (CSC), a program that had become the largest pro bono consulting program in the world. The case describes the program’s triple-benefit: leadership training to the brightest young IBMers, brand recognition for IBM in emerging markets, and community improvement in the areas served by IBM’s host organizations. As the program entered its second decade in 2016, students are asked to consider how the program can be improved. The case allows faculty to lead a discussion about training, marketing in emerging economies, and various ways of providing social benefit. The case highlights the synergies as well as trade-offs between pursuing these triple benefits.

#4 - Cadbury: An Ethical Company Struggles to Insure the Integrity of Its Supply Chain

Faculty Supervision: Ira Millstein

The case describes revelations that the production of cocoa in the Côte d’Ivoire involved child slave labor. These stories hit Cadbury especially hard. Cadbury's culture had been deeply rooted in the religious traditions of the company's founders, and the organization had paid close attention to the welfare of its workers and its sourcing practices. The US Congress was considering legislation that would allow chocolate grown on certified plantations to be labeled “slave labor free,” painting the rest of the industry in a bad light. Chocolate producers had asked for time to rectify the situation, but the extension they negotiated was running out. Students are asked whether Cadbury should join with the industry to lobby for more time?  What else could Cadbury do to ensure its supply chain was ethically managed?

#5 - 360 State Real Options

Faculty Supervision: Matthew Spiegel

In 2010 developer Bruce Becker (SOM ‘85) completed 360 State Street, a major new construction project in downtown New Haven. Just west of the apartment building, a 6,000-square-foot pocket of land from the original parcel remained undeveloped. Becker had a number of alternatives to consider in regards to the site. He also had no obligation to build. He could bide his time. But Becker worried about losing out on rents should he wait too long. Students are asked under what set of circumstances and at what time would it be most advantageous to proceed?

#6 - Design at Mayo

Faculty Supervision: Rodrigo Canales and William Drentell

The case describes how the Mayo Clinic, one of the most prominent hospitals in the world, engaged designers and built a research institute, the Center for Innovation (CFI), to study the processes of healthcare provision. The case documents the many incremental innovations the designers were able to implement and the way designers learned to interact with physicians and vice-versa.

In 2010 there were questions about how the CFI would achieve its stated aspiration of “transformational change” in the healthcare field. Students are asked what would a major change in health care delivery look like? How should the CFI's impact be measured? Were the center's structure and processes appropriate for transformational change? Faculty have found this a great case to discuss institutional obstacles to innovation, the importance of culture in organizational change efforts, and the differences in types of innovation.

This case is freely available to the public.

#7 - Ant Financial

Faculty Supervision: K. Sudhir in cooperation with Renmin University of China School of Business

In 2015, Ant Financial’s MYbank (an offshoot of Jack Ma’s Alibaba company) was looking to extend services to rural areas in China by providing small loans to farmers. Microloans have always been costly for financial institutions to offer to the unbanked (though important in development) but MYbank believed that fintech innovations such as using the internet to communicate with loan applicants and judge their credit worthiness would make the program sustainable. Students are asked whether MYbank could operate the program at scale? Would its big data and technical analysis provide an accurate measure of credit risk for loans to small customers? Could MYbank rely on its new credit-scoring system to reduce operating costs to make the program sustainable?

#8 - Business Leadership in South Africa’s 1994 Reforms

Faculty Supervision: Ian Shapiro

This case examines the role of business in South Africa's historic transition away from apartheid to popular sovereignty. The case provides a previously untold oral history of this key moment in world history, presenting extensive video interviews with business leaders who spearheaded behind-the-scenes negotiations between the African National Congress and the government. Faculty teaching the case have used the material to push students to consider business’s role in a divided society and ask: What factors led business leaders to act to push the country's future away from isolation toward a "high road" of participating in an increasingly globalized economy? What techniques and narratives did they use to keep the two sides talking and resolve the political impasse? And, if business leadership played an important role in the events in South Africa, could they take a similar role elsewhere?

#9 - Shake Shack IPO

Faculty Supervision: Jake Thomas and Geert Rouwenhorst

From an art project in a New York City park, Shake Shack developed a devoted fan base that greeted new Shake Shack locations with cheers and long lines. When Shake Shack went public on January 30, 2015, investors displayed a similar enthusiasm. Opening day investors bid up the $21 per share offering price by 118% to reach $45.90 at closing bell. By the end of May, investors were paying $92.86 per share. Students are asked if this price represented a realistic valuation of the enterprise and if not, what was Shake Shack truly worth? The case provides extensive information on Shake Shack’s marketing, competitors, operations and financials, allowing instructors to weave a wide variety of factors into a valuation of the company.

#10 - Searching for a Search Fund Structure

Faculty Supervision: AJ Wasserstein

This case considers how young entrepreneurs structure search funds to find businesses to take over. The case describes an MBA student who meets with a number of successful search fund entrepreneurs who have taken alternative routes to raising funds. The case considers the issues of partnering, soliciting funds vs. self-funding a search, and joining an incubator. The case provides a platform from which to discuss the pros and cons of various search fund structures.

40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2017

Click on the case title to learn more about the dilemma. A selection of our most popular cases are available for purchase via our online store .

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MBA Case Studies - Solved Examples

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Case i: chemco case.

  • ChemCo is a quality leader in the U.K. car batteries market.
  • Customer battery purchases in the automobile market are highly seasonal.
  • The fork-lift business was added to utilize idle capacity during periods of inactivity.
  • This is a low-growth industry (1% annual growth over the last two years)
  • Large customers are sophisticated and buy based on price and quality. Smaller customers buy solely on price.
  • There is a Spanish competitor in the market who offers low priced batteries of inferior quality.

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  • High quality product, but low end customers care more about price than quality
  • Mismanaged product diversification in a price sensitive market
  • Alternative 1: Establish an Off-Brand for the fork-lift business
  • Alternative 2: Educate the customer market about product quality
  • Alternative 3: Exit the fork-lift battery business
  • Establishing the firm's quality image
  • Increase in market share
  • Increase in sales
  • Cost of the product
  • Protect firm's quality image in the automobile industry
  • Redesigned product to reduce the cost of manufacture
  • Low price to enable it to compete with Spanish producer
  • Make use of the quality leadership in car batteries market
  • Offer reliability testing, extended warranties etc. to promote quality image
  • Set higher prices to extract surplus from these advantages
  • A passive strategy, not proactive
  • Recommendations: Alternative 1 is recommended in this case. Since the firm operates in an industry which has low growth, hence it can expand market share and sales only by taking the customers from other players. Hence, it needs to tackle the Spanish competitor head-on by aggressively pricing its product. At the same time, launching a low-priced product under the same brand name erodes the high quality image in the car batteries market. Hence, the best option is to go for an off-brand to target the fork-lift customers who are increasingly becoming price sensitive. This will enable the company to ward off the threat in short-term and build its position strongly in the long-term.

case study in mba


  • The Nakamura Lacquer Company: The Nakamura Lacquer Company based in Kyoto, Japan was one of the many small handicraft shops making lacquerware for the daily table use of the Japanese people.
  • Mr. Nakamura- the personality: In 1948, a young Mr. Nakamura took over his family business. He saw an opportunity to cater to a new market of America, i.e. GI's of the Occupation Army who had begun to buy lacquer ware as souvenirs. However, he realized that the traditional handicraft methods were inadequate. He was an innovator and introduced simple methods of processing and inspection using machines. Four years later, when the Occupation Army left in 1952, Nakamura employed several thousand men, and produced 500,000 pieces of lacquers tableware each year for the Japanese mass consumer market. The profit from operations was $250,000.
  • The Brand: Nakamura named his brand “Chrysanthemum” after the national flower of Japan, which showed his patriotic fervor. The brand became Japan's best known and best selling brand, being synonymous with good quality, middle class and dependability.
  • The Market: The market for lacquerware in Japan seems to have matured, with the production steady at 500,000 pieces a year. Nakamura did practically no business outside of Japan. However, early in 1960, when the American interest in Japanese products began to grow, Nakamura received two offers
  • The Rose and Crown offer: The first offer was from Mr. Phil Rose, V.P Marketing at the National China Company. They were the largest manufacturer of good quality dinnerware in the U.S., with their “Rose and Crown” brand accounting for almost 30% of total sales. They were willing to give a firm order for three eyes for annual purchases of 400,000 sets of lacquer dinnerware, delivered in Japan and at 5% more than what the Japanese jobbers paid. However, Nakamura would have to forego the Chrysanthemum trademark to “Rose and Crown” and also undertaken to sell lacquer ware to anyone else the U.S. The offer promised returns of $720,000 over three years (with net returns of $83,000), but with little potential for the U.S. market on the Chrysanthemum brand beyond that period.
  • The Semmelback offer: The second offer was from Mr. Walter Sammelback of Sammelback, Sammelback and Whittacker, Chicago, the largest supplier of hotel and restaurant supplies in the U.S. They perceived a U.S. market of 600,000 sets a year, expecting it to go up to 2 million in around 5 years. Since the Japanese government did not allow overseas investment, Sammelback was willing to budget $1.5 million. Although the offer implied negative returns of $467,000 over the first five years, the offer had the potential to give a $1 million profit if sales picked up as anticipated.
  • Meeting the order: To meet the numbers requirement of the orders, Nakamura would either have to expand capacity or cut down on the domestic market. If he chose to expand capacity, the danger was of idle capacity in case the U.S. market did not respond. If he cut down on the domestic market, the danger was of losing out on a well-established market. Nakamura could also source part of the supply from other vendors. However, this option would not find favor with either of the American buyers since they had approached only Nakamura, realizing that he was the best person to meet the order.
  • Decision problem: Whether to accept any of the two offers and if yes, which one of the two and under what terms of conditions?
  • To expand into the U.S. market.
  • To maintain and build upon their reputation of the “Chrysanthemum” brand
  • To increase profit volumes by tapping the U.S. market and as a result, increasing scale of operations.
  • To increase its share in the U.S. lacquerware market.
  • Profit Maximization criterion: The most important criterion in the long run is profit maximization.
  • Risk criterion: Since the demand in the U.S. market is not as much as in Japan.
  • Brand identity criterion: Nakamura has painstakingly built up a brand name in Japan. It is desirable for him to compete in the U.S. market under the same brand name
  • Flexibility criterion: The chosen option should offer Nakamura flexibility in maneuvering the terms and conditions to his advantage. Additionally, Nakamura should have bargaining power at the time of renewal of the contract.
  • Short term returns: Nakamura should receive some returns on the investment he makes on the new offers. However, this criterion may be compromised in favor of profit maximization in the long run.?
  • Reject both: React both the offers and concentrate on the domestic market
  • Accept RC offer: Accept the Rose and Crown offer and supply the offer by cutting down on supplies to the domestic market or through capacity expansion or both
  • Accept SSW: offer; accept the SSW offer and meet it through cutting down on supply to the domestic market or through capacity expansion or both. Negotiate term of supply.
  • Reject both: This option would not meet the primary criterion of profit maximization. Further, the objective of growth would also not be met. Hence, this option is rejected.
  • Accept RC offer: The RC offer would assure net returns of $283,000 over the next three yeas. It also assures regular returns of $240,000 per year. However, Nakamura would have no presence in the U.S. with its Chrysanthemum brand name The RC offer would entail capacity expansion, as it would not be possible to siphon of 275,000 pieces from the domestic market over three years without adversely affecting operations there. At the end of three years, Nakamura would have little bargaining power with RC as it would have an excess capacity of 275,000 pieces and excess labor which it would want to utilize. In this sense the offer is risky. Further, the offer is not flexible. Long-term profit maximization is uncertain in this case a condition that can be controlled in the SSW offer. Hence, this offer is rejected.
  • Accept SSW offer: The SSW offer does not assure a firm order or any returns for the period of contract. Although, in its present form the offer is risky if the market in the U.S. does not pick up as expected, the offer is flexible. If Nakamura were to exhibit caution initially by supplying only 300,000 instead of the anticipated 600,000 pieces, it could siphon off the 175,000 required from the domestic market. If demand exists in the U.S., the capacity can be expanded. With this offer, risk is minimized. Further, it would be competing on its own brand name. Distribution would be taken care of and long-term profit maximization criterion would be satisfied as this option has the potential of $1 million in profits per year. At the time of renewal of the contract, Nakamura would have immense bargaining power.
  • Negotiate terms of offer with SSW: The terms would be that NLC would supply 300,000 pieces in the first year. If market demand exists, NLC should expand capacity to provide the expected demand.
  • Action Plan: In the first phase, NLC would supply SSW with 300,000 pieces. 125,000 of these would be obtained by utilizing excess capacity, while the remaining would be obtained from the domestic market. If the expected demand for lacquer ware exists in the U.S., NLC would expand capacity to meet the expected demand. The debt incurred would be paid off by the fifth year.
  • Contingency Plan:  In case the demand is not as expected in the first year, NLC should not service the U.S. market and instead concentrate on increasing penetration in the domestic market.

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20 Best Business Case Studies That Every MBA Student Must Know!

Shreeya Thakur

Table of content: 

Marvel entertainment - a remarkable turnaround, tesla's successful transition to sustainable business practices.

  • Toyota's JIT Revolution

Tata Nano - Making of the People's Car

Ola versus uber: the survival war, patanjali - ayurvedic brand disrupting the indian fmcg industry, pepsi's crisis management and innovative strategies.

  • Vodafone Idea Merger 

Titan’s Leap into Online Business

  • Impact of Blockchain Technology on Traditional Industries 

Unacademy: A Case Study on Digital Transformation in Education

  • Impact of Technology on Healthcare Delivery and Patient Outcomes

Case Studies For Further Reading

Summing up....

MBA Case studies are an inseparable part of business schools curriculum . It is the accumulated real-life experiences developed into a study method that help students to understand real business situations . Case studies supplemented with class discussions develop critical thinking faculties which help in building a better strategy and approaching an issue. Here are the top 20 MBA case studies that every management student should be acquainted with. Let’s get started.

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L'Oréal Sustainability Challenge 2023 Winners Of Planet Track From BITSoM Dig Out Their Winning Mantra

Marvel Entertainment, a renowned American entertainment company, faced near-collapse in the late 1990s due to financial difficulties and mismanagement. The company's missteps in diversifying into various non-core businesses, such as trading cards and toys, further exacerbated their financial woes. As a result, Marvel was on the brink of bankruptcy, with its stock price plummeting and its brand losing its appeal among consumers.

Strategic Restructuring : To address the dire situation, Marvel implemented a comprehensive restructuring plan. Firstly, they focused on their core business of publishing comic books and decided to divest non-core assets, including their toy division. This allowed them to streamline operations and reduce costs significantly. Additionally, Marvel renegotiated licensing agreements to regain control over their intellectual property rights, which had previously been licensed out to other companies.

Revitalizing the Brand : Marvel recognized the need to revitalize their brand and reconnect with their target audience. They embarked on a strategy of creating compelling storylines and introducing new characters that resonated with readers. This approach led to the launch of successful comic book series such as 'Ultimate Spider-Man' and 'The Avengers', which helped reignite interest in Marvel's characters and stories.

20 Best Business Case Studies That Every MBA Student Must Know!

Expanding into Film and Television : One of the pivotal factors in Marvel's turnaround was their foray into the film and television industry. Recognizing the potential of their vast library of characters, Marvel formed its own film production studio, Marvel Studios. Overall, Marvel's expansion into film and television played a crucial role in their remarkable turnaround . By creating a shared cinematic universe and exploring different storytelling mediums, Marvel was able to captivate audiences and establish themselves as a powerhouse in the entertainment industry.

Marvel Studios revolutionized the way superhero movies were made by creating a shared cinematic universe. Their success not only revitalized the company but also paved the way for other studios to follow suit and create their own interconnected universes.

Tesla, founded in 2003 by Elon Musk, has emerged as a prominent player in the automotive industry through its successful transition to sustainable business practices. This case study examines how Tesla has effectively implemented sustainable strategies, positioning itself as a leader in electric vehicles (EVs) and renewable energy solutions. Recognizing the urgent need for sustainable alternatives , Tesla set out to revolutionize the transportation sector by focusing on electric mobility.

Transition to Electric Vehicles : Tesla's transition to sustainable business practices began with the launch of its first electric vehicle, the Tesla Roadster, in 2008. This groundbreaking model showcased the potential of EVs, offering high performance and zero tailpipe emissions . By leveraging advanced battery technology and innovative design, Tesla successfully addressed the limitations of early EVs, such as limited range and high costs.

Tesla E-Cars

Investment in Research and Development : To further solidify its position as a leader in sustainable transportation, Tesla heavily invested in research and development (R&D). The company continuously improved its battery technology, resulting in increased energy density and longer driving ranges for its vehicles. Additionally, Tesla focused on enhancing charging infrastructure by deploying Supercharger stations globally, enabling convenient long-distance travel for EV owners.

Vertical Integration and Supply Chain Sustainability : Tesla's commitment to sustainability extended beyond its products. The company embraced vertical integration by establishing its Gigafactories, which produce batteries and electric drivetrains in-house. This approach not only ensured quality control but also reduced reliance on external suppliers, thereby minimizing environmental impacts associated with transportation and logistics.

Renewable Energy Solutions : Recognizing the interconnectedness of transportation and energy systems, Tesla expanded its focus to renewable energy solutions. In 2016, the company acquired SolarCity, a leading solar energy provider. Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity in 2016 marked a significant step towards the company's successful transition to sustainable business practices. This strategic move allowed Tesla to offer integrated solar and energy storage solutions, further solidifying its position as a leader in the sustainable energy sector.

Tesla's successful transition to sustainable business practices can be attributed to its focus on renewable energy solutions. The acquisition of SolarCity allowed Tesla to offer integrated solar and energy storage solutions, helping it become a strong player in the E-vehicle market . 

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Toyota's JIT revolution

Toyota's Just-in-Time (JIT) revolution is a remarkable case study that revolutionized the manufacturing industry. This MBA case study will delve into the key elements of Toyota's JIT system, its implementation, and the impact it had on the company's success.

Toyota faced significant challenges in the 1950s, including limited resources and fierce competition. To overcome these obstacles, the company adopted the JIT philosophy , aiming to eliminate waste, reduce inventory, and enhance efficiency.

Implementation : Toyota's JIT system focused on reducing inventory levels by establishing a pull-based production system. This involved producing only what was needed, when it was needed, and in the required quantity. The company collaborated closely with suppliers to ensure timely delivery of parts, reducing the need for excess inventory.

Impact : The implementation of JIT revolutionized Toyota's operations. It enabled the company to reduce lead times, improve quality control, and increase overall productivity . By eliminating waste and optimizing production processes, Toyota achieved cost savings and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Lessons Learned : Toyota's JIT revolution offers valuable lessons for MBA students and business professionals. It highlights the importance of lean manufacturing principles , effective supply chain management, and continuous improvement. The case study demonstrates how a strategic focus on efficiency and waste reduction can lead to a sustainable competitive advantage.

20 Best Business Case Studies That Every MBA Student Must Know!

The Tata Nano, also known as 'The People's Car', was launched by the Indian automaker Tata Motors in 2009. It was envisioned as an affordable and compact vehicle that would provide mobility to the masses in India. However, despite its initial hype and expectations, the Tata Nano faced numerous challenges and setbacks, making it an interesting case study for MBA students.

Tata Nano Launch

Tata Motors, a subsidiary of the Tata Group, aimed to create a car that would revolutionize the Indian automobile market. The Nano was designed to be the world's cheapest car , priced at around USD 2500. It was positioned as a safer and more comfortable alternative to motorcycles and three-wheelers, which were the primary means of transportation for many Indian families.

Marketing Strategy : Tata Motors adopted an innovative marketing strategy to promote the Nano. They focused on creating awareness and generating interest through various channels , including online campaigns, roadshows, and tie-ups with microfinance institutions. The company aimed to tap into the aspirations of the lower-middle-class segment and create a strong emotional connection with potential buyers.

Challenges and Setbacks : Despite its initial success in generating buzz and attracting bookings, the Tata Nano faced several challenges that hindered Nano's manufacturing process, growth, and market penetration. Some of the key challenges were safety concerns, production issues, competition , etc.

Overcoming Challenges : Tata overcame the challenges through a combination of cost-cutting measures, efficient supply chain management (vendor parks, reducing logistics costs), strategic decision-making regarding plant location, marketing efforts to change perceptions, and addressing safety concerns. The company addressed the safety concerns by making design modifications, conducting extensive safety tests, and meeting safety regulations. Tata invested in safety features and communicated these measures to the public to build confidence in the Nano's safety. Thus, despite facing obstacles, Nano demonstrated the importance of adaptability and innovation in bringing an affordable and innovative product to market.

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Ola , founded in 2010, was the first ride-hailing platform in India and quickly gained popularity due to its affordable pricing and extensive network. Uber , a global giant, entered the Indian market in 2013, bringing its technology-driven approach and strong brand recognition . The entry of Uber presented a significant challenge to Ola's dominance, leading to intense competition between the two players.

Ola Versus Uber

Strategies : Both Ola and Uber have employed various strategies to gain a competitive edge in the Indian market. Ola focused on building a strong network of drivers by offering attractive incentives and benefits. They also invested heavily in marketing and promotions to establish themselves as the preferred choice for customers.

On the other hand, Uber leveraged its global presence and technological expertise to provide a seamless user experience. They introduced innovative features like upfront pricing, cashless payments, and in-app navigation to differentiate themselves from Ola.

Pricing Models : Pricing has been a crucial aspect of the competition between Ola and Uber. Ola initially adopted a dynamic pricing model , where fares fluctuated based on demand and supply . This approach allowed Ola to maximize revenue during peak hours but also led to customer dissatisfaction due to surge pricing.

In contrast, Uber introduced upfront pricing , providing customers with transparency and certainty regarding fares. This pricing model appealed to customers and helped Uber gain a competitive advantage.

Regulatory Challenges : Operating in India's ride-hailing market posed significant regulatory challenges for both Ola and Uber. The government introduced various regulations to ensure passenger safety, driver welfare, and fair competition. Ola and Uber had to comply with these regulations, including obtaining licenses.

Lessons : OLA and Uber engaged in fierce competition in the Indian market, with OLA gaining an early lead due to localization efforts and strategic partnerships. Despite Uber's global presence, OLA's focused approach and understanding of local dynamics allowed it to maintain a strong brand presence in the competitive Indian ride-hailing sector. Having said this, Uber brought innovation and a seamless user experience to India's ride-hailing sector . Its international appeal and technological prowess challenged OLA, fostering healthy competition and pushing both companies to enhance their services for Indian consumers.

Patanjali, an Indian brand established in 2006 by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balkrishna, has rapidly emerged as a major player in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. With its focus on Ayurvedic and natural products, Patanjali has disrupted the market dominated by multinational giants.

Branding and Marketing Strategy : Patanjali's success can be attributed to its effective branding and marketing strategies. The brand positioned itself as a 'swadeshi' (indigenous) alternative to multinational brands, appealing to the patriotic sentiments of Indian consumers. Patanjali's advertisements featuring Baba Ramdev and its focus on natural ingredients resonated with health-conscious consumers.

Disruptive Pricing : Patanjali disrupted the FMCG market by offering quality products at competitive prices. By eliminating middlemen and focusing on cost-effective production methods , the brand was able to provide affordable alternatives to consumers.

Patanjali Products

With its strong marketing strategies and disruptive pricing , Patanjali rapidly expanded outreach, leveraging Baba Ramdev's vast network of yoga centers and retail outlets. The brand also adopted an aggressive distribution strategy by partnering with modern retail chains and e-commerce platforms, ensuring its products were easily accessible to consumers across India and thus becoming a trusted name in the market.

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In 1993, PepsiCo faced a major crisis when reports emerged of consumers finding syringes and needles in cans of Diet Pepsi. This incident, known as the ‘Pepsi syringe scare’ , caused widespread panic and led to a decline in consumer trust and sales. The crisis posed a significant challenge for PepsiCo, requiring swift action and innovative strategies to regain consumer confidence.

Rapid Response : Recognizing the urgency of the situation, PepsiCo swiftly responded to the crisis by launching a comprehensive investigation into the reported incidents. The company collaborated with law enforcement agencies, medical experts, and suppliers to identify the source of contamination and implement immediate corrective measures.

Transparent Communication : To rebuild trust with consumers, PepsiCo prioritized transparent communication throughout the crisis. The company provided regular updates on the investigation's progress , ensuring that accurate information was disseminated to the public. By being open and honest, PepsiCo aimed to dispel rumors and restore confidence in its products.

Collaboration with Stakeholders : PepsiCo actively engaged with various stakeholders , including government agencies, industry experts, and consumer advocacy groups. The company sought their input and collaborated on developing enhanced safety measures and quality control protocols. This collaborative approach helped PepsiCo demonstrate its commitment to consumer safety and regain credibility.

Product Innovation : As part of its crisis management strategy, PepsiCo introduced innovative packaging solutions to address consumer concerns about product tampering. The company developed tamper-evident seals and redesigned its cans to incorporate additional protective layers. These innovations reassured consumers that PepsiCo was taking proactive steps to prevent future incidents.

Marketing Campaigns : Pepsi's crisis management strategies were not limited to addressing the immediate concerns surrounding the syringe scare. The company also focused on long-term initiatives to rebuild its reputation and strengthen its position in the market.

Throughout the crisis and beyond, Pepsi remained committed to continuous improvement. The company implemented rigorous quality control measures, enhanced safety protocols, and invested in advanced technology to prevent future incidents.

Vodafone Idea Merger - Game-Changing Move Towards Significant Growth

The Vodafone Idea merger, which took place in 2018, is a remarkable example of an unexpected merger that led to significant growth for both companies involved. This case study will analyze the success factors behind this merger and shed light on the strategic decisions that contributed to its success.

Vi-Vodafone Idea Merger

Strategic Rationale : The merger between Vodafone and Idea was driven by several key factors. Firstly, it allowed both companies to c ombine their resources, infrastructure, and customer base , resulting in a stronger market position. By pooling their assets and expertise, they could leverage economies of scale and enhance operational efficiency. Furthermore, the merger enabled Vodafone and Idea to create a robust network infrastructure capable of handling the increasing demand for data services.

Synergies and Integration : The successful integration of Vodafone and Idea was a critical factor in achieving significant growth. The companies focused on capturing synergies by aligning their operations, combining their technology platforms, and streamlining their processes. This integration allowed them to optimize costs, eliminate duplications, and enhance overall efficiency.

Lessons : The merger between Vodafone and Idea showcased the importance of leveraging the complementary strengths of both companies. The merger also highlighted the potential for synergy creation. By bringing together the resources, capabilities, and market presence of both companies, Vodafone Idea Limited was able to achieve cost savings, improve operational efficiency, and enhance its overall competitiveness. In 2018, Vodafone Idea unveiled its brand new identity ‘Vi’ which marked the completion of the integration of the 2 companies.

Titan Company Limited, a renowned Indian consumer goods company, has been a market leader in the watch industry for several decades. However, with the advent of e-commerce and changing consumer preferences, the company recognized the need to transform its business model and embrace the online marketplace. This case study explores Titan's successful journey towards becoming an online enterprise and highlights the strategic initiatives that propelled its growth in the digital space.

Strategic Shift : Founded in 1984 as a joint venture between the Tata Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation, Titan initially focused on manufacturing and selling watches. Recognizing the potential of online retail, Titan embarked on a comprehensive digital transformation strategy. The company invested heavily in technology infrastructure and talent acquisition to build a robust e-commerce platform that offered a seamless shopping experience to its customers. Additionally, Titan forged strategic partnerships with leading e-commerce players, enabling it to leverage their vast customer base and reach.

Product Innovation : One of the key drivers of Titan's success in the online space was its focus on product innovation. The company introduced a wide range of trendy and affordable watches, jewelry, and eyewear specifically designed to cater to the preferences of online shoppers. By leveraging data analytics and consumer insights, Titan was able to identify emerging trends and develop products that resonated with its target audience.

Digital Marketing : To create brand awareness and drive traffic to its online platform, Titan adopted a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. The company utilized social media channels, search engine optimization techniques, and influencer marketing campaigns to engage with its target audience effectively. Titan also implemented various strategies to enhance the user experience on its online platform.

Loyalty Program : To encourage repeat purchases, Titan introduced a loyalty program for its online customers. This program offered exclusive discounts, rewards, and personalized recommendations based on each customer's preferences and purchase history. By incentivizing customer loyalty, Titan was able to build a strong base of repeat buyers and increase customer lifetime value.

20 Best Business Case Studies That Every MBA Student Must Know!

Overall, Titan's leap into the online business was a resounding success. Through strategic digital marketing, enhanced user experience, a loyalty program, efficient operations, and a diverse product range, the company was able to establish itself as a prominent player in the e-commerce industry.

I mpact of Blockchain Technology on Traditional Industries (Finance & Supply Chain Management)

Blockchain technology, initially introduced as the underlying technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has evolved into a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize traditional industries.

Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the financial industry by offering secure and transparent transactions without the need for intermediaries. The case study examines how blockchain can streamline payment processes, reduce transaction costs, and enhance financial inclusion.

Ripple is a prime example of how blockchain technology has streamlined the payment process in the financial industry. Ripple's blockchain-based payment protocol allows for fast, secure, and low-cost cross-border transactions.

Traditionally, international payments can take several days to complete and involve multiple intermediaries, resulting in high transaction fees. However, Ripple's technology enables near-instantaneous settlement and eliminates the need for intermediarie s, significantly reducing both the time and cost associated with cross-border payments. This has immense implications for businesses and individuals who rely on international transactions, as it allows for faster, more efficient, and cost-effective transfers of funds.

Supply Chain Management

The adoption of blockchain technology in supply chain management can enhance transparency, traceability, and efficiency across the entire value chain. This case study investigates how blockchain can mitigate issues such as counterfeiting, fraud, and supply chain disruptions.

One example of how blockchain technology has benefited traditional industries is in the case of Maersk. Maersk , a global shipping company, has successfully implemented blockchain technology in its supply chain management processes.

With the use of blockchain, Maersk is able to ensure the authenticity of its products throughout the supply chain. By recording every transaction and movement of goods on the blockchain, the company can verify the origin and history of each product, making it difficult for counterfeit products to enter the market. This not only protects consumers from purchasing fake goods but also safeguards the reputation of Maersk as a trusted brand.

Furthermore, blockchain technology has enabled Maersk to optimize its inventory management . By having real-time visibility of inventory levels and movements, the company can accurately track and manage its stock, reducing the risk of overstocking or understocking.

In terms of logistics, blockchain has provided Maersk with enhanced transparency and traceability . Through the use of smart contracts and digital records on the blockchain, the company can easily track the movement of goods from one location to another.

Overall, Maersk's adoption of blockchain technology has brought significant benefits to the company in terms of ensuring product authenticity, optimizing inventory management, and improving logistics.

Unacademy was founded in 2015 by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh as a YouTube channel providing free educational content. Over time, it evolved into a comprehensive online learning platform offering courses for various competitive exams in India, such as UPSC, SSC, and banking. Unacademy's mission is to make quality education accessible to all by leveraging technology and empowering educators.

Unacademy Case Study

Digital Transformation Initiatives : Unacademy's digital transformation initiatives have played a pivotal role in reshaping the education landscape in India. The company has embraced innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data analytics, to enhance the learning experience for students.

Personalized Learning : Unacademy's platform utilizes AI and ML algorithms to personalize the learning journey for each student. By analyzing user behavior and performance data, the platform recommends relevant courses and study material tailored to individual needs. This personalized approach has significantly improved student engagement and outcomes.

Live Classes and Interactive Sessions : Unacademy offers live classes conducted by experienced educators, allowing students to interact with them in real-time. These interactive sessions foster active learning, enabling students to clarify doubts, participate in discussions, and receive personalized guidance. The use of technology has made education more engaging and accessible.

Gamification and Competition : Unacademy gamifies the learning experience by incorporating quizzes, challenges, and leaderboards. This gamification strategy motivates students to actively participate, compete with peers, and earn rewards, making the learning process enjoyable and immersive. The use of technology has transformed education into a fun and competitive endeavor.

In conclusion, by providing accessible and affordable online learning resources, Unacademy has democratized education and empowered millions of learners. Their success showcases the immense potential of technology to bridge educational gaps and transform traditional learning methods.

Analyzing the Impact of Technology on Healthcare Delivery and Patient Outcomes

In recent years, the healthcare industry has witnessed a significant transformation due to the rapid advancements in technology. From electronic health records (EHRs) to telemedicine, these technological innovations have had a profound impact on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. This case study aims to analyze the various ways in which technology has revolutionized healthcare, exploring its benefits, challenges, and future implications.

Integration of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) : One of the most notable advancements in healthcare technology is the widespread adoption of electronic health records. EHRs have streamlined the documentation process, enabling healthcare providers to access patient information easily and securely. This has led to improved care coordination, reduced medical errors, and enhanced patient safety.

Telemedicine and Remote Patient Monitoring : The advent of telemedicine has revolutionized healthcare delivery, particularly in remote or underserved areas. Telemedicine allows patients to consult with healthcare providers virtually, eliminating the need for physical visits. This not only improves access to care but also reduces healthcare costs and enhances patient convenience . Moreover, remote patient monitoring technologies enable healthcare professionals to remotely monitor patients' vital signs and health conditions, leading to early detection of potential issues and proactive intervention.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning : The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms has significantly impacted healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. AI-powered systems can analyze vast amounts of medical data, assisting in accurate diagnosis, treatment planning, and predicting patient outcomes. Machine learning algorithms can identify patterns in patient data, enabling personalized treatment plans and early detection of diseases.

Internet of Things (IoT) and Wearable Devices : The key benefit of IoT and wearable devices in healthcare is the ability to collect real-time data. These devices can continuously monitor various health parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels. This data can be transmitted wirelessly to healthcare providers, allowing them to closely monitor patients' conditions remotely. By having access to real-time data, healthcare professionals can detect any abnormalities or changes in patients' health status promptly and take necessary actions, potentially preventing complications or emergencies.

In conclusion, technology has had a significant impact on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. It has improved efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility of healthcare services. From electronic health records to telemedicine, technology has revolutionized the way healthcare is delivered, leading to better patient outcomes and overall healthcare quality.

If you enjoyed reading the above MBA case studies, here are some more tales that you might love to explore:

Enron Scandal

The Enron scandal was one of the biggest corporate frauds in history. It involved the manipulation of financial statements to hide debt and inflate profits, leading to the bankruptcy of the energy company in 2001. The scandal exposed the unethical practices of Enron executives and led to increased scrutiny of corporate governance.

Starbucks crowdsourcing success story

This is an excellent case taught in IT focusing on the impact that an effective social media strategy can have on a company. Starbucks created a crowdsourcing platform called 'My Starbucks Idea' in the March of 2008 with the aim to engage with its customers. The objective was to let the customers create products and services for the company. They can go to the platform and share their idea. The idea if viable will be implemented by Starbucks. In this way, the company can get data about customer preferences and leverage it to refine itself.

3M Corporation HR Policy

3M Corporation's HR policy is a case study in employee empowerment and innovation. With a focus on autonomy and creativity, 3M encourages the 15% Rule , allowing employees to spend a significant portion of their time on personal projects, fostering a culture of innovation and continuous learning within the organization.There are many other philosophies as well like the 30 percent rule, Dual Ladder career path, Seed capital, etc, that are keeping the employees motivated and making the company earn good profits.

Adhaar Number Implementation (2009)

Launched in 2009, Aadhaar is India's innovative identification project. It assigns a unique 12-digit number to residents, streamlining access to services. Despite controversy over privacy, it significantly enhances governance, financial inclusion, and social benefits distribution. The large-scale implementation reflects the evolving landscape of identity management in the digital age.

Air India Turnaround

In 2019, Air India underwent a turnaround initiative to address financial woes and operational inefficiencies. The case study delves into strategic decisions, cost-cutting measures, and attempts to enhance operational efficiency. It portrays the challenges faced by the airline industry and the complex journey of revitalizing a national carrier in a competitive market.

Flipkart-Walmart Deal (2018)

The Flipkart-Walmart Deal refers to Walmart's acquisition of Flipkart, a leading e-commerce company in India, in 2018. This deal marked Walmart's entry into the Indian e-commerce market and showcased the growing importance of global business collaborations in the country's rapidly expanding digital economy.

Microsoft's Acquisition of LinkedIn

Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 was a significant move that brought together two major players in the tech industry. The USD 26.2 billion deal allowed Microsoft to tap into LinkedIn's vast professional network and data, while LinkedIn gained access to Microsoft's resources and technology. This acquisition aimed to enhance Microsoft's presence in the business and professional networking space.

Indian IT Indsusty’s Response to Great Resignation

From activating the Non-Compete Clause to employee benefits, study how Indian IT firms navigated through the Great Resignation phase. The case study also highlights the indispensable role of HR department in dealing with such scenarios.

Through these actual business situations, we learn a plethora of things such as brand management , business administration, acquisition strategy, etc. without bearing any actual risks and potential losses as in real life. This facilitates quick thinking and gives students good knowledge about what a challenging experience can be.

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Shreeya Thakur

I am a biotechnologist-turned-content writer and try to add an element of science in my writings wherever possible. Apart from writing, I like to cook, read and travel.

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What is the Case Study Method?

Baker library peak and cupola

Overview Dropdown up

Overview dropdown down, celebrating 100 years of the case method at hbs.

The 2021-2022 academic year marks the 100-year anniversary of the introduction of the case method at Harvard Business School. Today, the HBS case method is employed in the HBS MBA program, in Executive Education programs, and in dozens of other business schools around the world. As Dean Srikant Datar's says, the case method has withstood the test of time.

Case Discussion Preparation Details Expand All Collapse All

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case study in mba

How Cases Unfold In the Classroom

How cases unfold in the classroom dropdown up, how cases unfold in the classroom dropdown down, preparation guidelines expand all collapse all, read the professor's assignment or discussion questions read the professor's assignment or discussion questions dropdown down, read the first few paragraphs and then skim the case read the first few paragraphs and then skim the case dropdown down, reread the case, underline text, and make margin notes reread the case, underline text, and make margin notes dropdown down, note the key problems on a pad of paper and go through the case again note the key problems on a pad of paper and go through the case again dropdown down, how to prepare for case discussions dropdown up, how to prepare for case discussions dropdown down, read the professor's assignment or discussion questions, read the first few paragraphs and then skim the case, reread the case, underline text, and make margin notes, note the key problems on a pad of paper and go through the case again, case study best practices expand all collapse all, prepare prepare dropdown down, discuss discuss dropdown down, participate participate dropdown down, relate relate dropdown down, apply apply dropdown down, note note dropdown down, understand understand dropdown down, case study best practices dropdown up, case study best practices dropdown down, participate, what can i expect on the first day dropdown down.

Most programs begin with registration, followed by an opening session and a dinner. If your travel plans necessitate late arrival, please be sure to notify us so that alternate registration arrangements can be made for you. Please note the following about registration:

HBS campus programs – Registration takes place in the Chao Center.

India programs – Registration takes place outside the classroom.

Other off-campus programs – Registration takes place in the designated facility.

What happens in class if nobody talks? Dropdown down

Professors are here to push everyone to learn, but not to embarrass anyone. If the class is quiet, they'll often ask a participant with experience in the industry in which the case is set to speak first. This is done well in advance so that person can come to class prepared to share. Trust the process. The more open you are, the more willing you’ll be to engage, and the more alive the classroom will become.

Does everyone take part in "role-playing"? Dropdown down

Professors often encourage participants to take opposing sides and then debate the issues, often taking the perspective of the case protagonists or key decision makers in the case.

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case study in mba

How to Read MBA Case Studies Quickly The Case Study method, popularized by the Harvard Business School, is a common feature across all B-schools. For you as a marketer and a B-school student, it becomes important to befriend case studies right away. In this discussion, I will reveal important aspects of case studies and how to read MBA case studies quickly and efficiently.

How to read mba case studies quickly

The Case Study Method initially popularized by Harvard Business School is now a dominant feature in the curriculum of all business schools, worldwide. And the fact is they are all over your curriculum too. Probably that's why you want to know how to read MBA case studies quickly.

If you are looking to get into a management course or are currently in a management program, my advice to you is - fall in love with Case Studies already! 

They are going to be around you day and night. And the best way to fall in love or to make that love last is to first befriend it.

In this discussion, I will reveal important aspects of case studies and how to read MBA case studies quickly and efficiently. Let’s begin.

What is a Case Study?

Before answering how to read MBA case studies we need to first understand what is a case study .

A Case Study is a document of real-life business scenario or an imagined business scenario. The case study will present to you a problem, issue, conflict, report or impending decision-making that needs to be addressed, solved or analyzed for a business.

As you would know, the Harvard Case Study method is the most widely accepted pedagogy for MBA teaching and training. In fact, a good number of cases in your B-school would be Harvard published cases.

Won't you be interested to learn first-hand from the Harvard Business School about what their case study method is? During my MBA, I was lucky enough to come across this video which shares an insight on what this pedagogy entails for the students.

I urge you to go through this video. This isn't just a description of what the case study method is, but more importantly this is a sneak peak into what is the classroom experience for an MBA student. There would definitely be massive takeaways.

MBA Case Studies - Not Completely Unknown

While it might look to be a big deal, but most of you who have cracked a competitive exam like the CAT, GMAT, XAT or the others of the like have already dealt with a case study like creature before. 

An MBA case study may also be looked at as an amalgamation of Reading Comprehension (RC) and Data Interpretation (DI) type of questions.

Yes, the RC and DI sections that you practiced for CAT. A case study may at times resemble an RC set alone and at time may seem like a cross-over between RC and DI set when charts and graphs are given.

I guess now you know why you are tested on Reading Comprehension and Data Interpretation in CAT? These sections check your reading skills, ability to interpret data given to you, evaluate alternatives and make a right decision; which, are all important and required in your management studies and your management career.  

Case Analysis Blueprint

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Learn how to analyze MBA business case studies comprehensively in just five steps

Get to know how to analyze a marketing case study comprehensively in just 5 slides. Which means that the next time you need to analyze a case or participate in a case competition, you would know exactly how to ace the case

Why are MBA Case Studies Important?

A case study is designed to make you step into a manager’s shoes and think like one. What if you are the manager, how would you solve this problem.

Solving a case study would make you explore your analytical , reasoning , leadership and decision-making skills and most importantly make you trust your educated instincts.

Case study method helps you to go a long way in applying your theoretical knowledge and its practical application in a very dynamic and a VUCA world. VUCA, as you may know, is an acronym based on leadership theories that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

As a Manager (or a management student) you should be able to provide realistic solutions to the problems presented in a case study. You should be able to explain and justify your decision.

Application of such critical faculties while solving a case study makes it an important feature in the curriculum of an aspiring manager. With each case, you need to change how read and perceive the information and, ultimately, how you think

With the importance of case studies explained, next, is a very important question - How do you solve a case study?

How to Solve MBA Case Studies? 

There is no one way to solve a case study. Once you start solving an MBA case study you will have your own take on it. However, listed below are general guidelines that, more or less, remain the same and are effective in solving an MBA case study:

  • Place yourself in the role of a leader/manager or as the Harvard Business School likes to call it – Protagonist
  • Identify the problem that you face as a protagonist 
  • Examine the causes for the problems and the issues that are there. Don't worry, you might find conclusive evidences for them. But just form your hypothesis.
  • Create alternatives or possible courses of actions that are within the purview of the organization’s goals and objectives
  • Get back to your hypothesis and assumptions and choose a course of action that is the most favorable. You most likely will need data from the exhibits to decide on one strategy. 
  • Put it to vote. Discuss. Brainstorm. Identify possible trade-offs for each alternative
  • Suggest a final alternative and justify it
  • Discuss the case study with fellow students, professors, colleagues, and note all interesting/new/innovative solutions that others have to offer
  • Enjoy the learning and process

How to Analyse Marketing Case Studies Free Marketing Ebook

Want a step-by-step framework to analyse Marketing Case Studies?

This guide on How to Analyse Marketing Case Studies tells you the methods to tackle a case. What I suggest in the book is an elaborate explanation of how you can present your case study analysis most effectively, in just 5 slides.

But, How to Read MBA Case Studies Quickly?

To the above question I would also like to add “and efficiently”. How to read MBA case studies quickly and efficiently?

I would suggest two ways reading MBA case studies quickly:

  • Reading the case study thoroughly when you need to really understand and present it
  • Reading the case study super -quickly when you are super -pressed for time

Here's a little thumb rule that you should follow while picking the right method to read your case study.

How to Read Case Studies Quickly

Just to not spoil you with a slightly lesser honest way of reading cases, I would first be talking about what the correct approach of reading an MBA case study should be.

Reading an MBA Case Study Thoroughly [Honest Method]

     Here is my standard method of reading MBA case studies efficiently and quickly:

  • Before the case is given to you, you would know where it fits into the curriculum . Marketing, Finance, Operations etc.
  • You would also know the topics that you have covered or are about to start in the next discussion. This will definitely give you an idea of what you need to do.
  • For me, reading a case study for is a 2-3 round affair . And that what makes it quicker, because you are not committed to reading it with full attention in one shot. That's just too much pressure.
  • In the first read, which should be a super-speed round , read the sub-headings, read each and every line but extremely brazenly – in speed. No regressing at all. Identify the core scenario of the case and what it is that you are required to do.
  • You will experience that there are mostly two kinds of case studies that you will encounter:
  • Where you have to take decision as a protagonist or a team leader
  • Where no decision making is required, you have to only discuss and analyse the case at hand
  • Identify the key players or stakeholders and identify key issues/problems
  • Keep your pencil or pen handy . You will be taking notes while solving a case study. Underlining, highlighting would help to reduce the time spent in writing.
  • Slow down on statements which have some ‘quotes’ from any of the characters or a line which has numbers . These are things to be read properly and even noted down if required.
  • Skim through the discussion questions. Write relevant pointers for each question that you would have picked up from the case’s preliminary reading. Run the scenario in your brain and raise questions as to what happened and why it happened and most importantly what needs to be done.
  • Form two or three hypotheses based on your reading. Create a situation analysis, what-ifs, and try to fit the data and the facts in each of them. This could require the 2 nd  and 3 rd  rounds of reading to cull-out that data
  • Go back to the case - this could be your 2 nd read and look for any data that you may have missed. Fill the gaps in your hypothesis . This is where you need to find data from the exhibits.
  • Go for a 3 rd read if some data is still missing or if you have realized that your initial hypotheses aren't shaping up well an you need to form new ones. Some would prefer to do the 2 nd  or 3 rd  read question-wise while others may prefer analyzing the case as a whole
  • Now start working on the solving these problems with the data collected

Other way to solve a case is to first read the discussion questions carefully. Then, read the case keeping the questions in mind as a guide to what’s important in the case and what can be ignored.

Now that you know how to read an MBA case study in the most proper way, I am sharing with you a way to read MBA case studies quickly when you are super-pressed for time.

Let me tell you that, this strategy may give you a broad understanding of the case study to do some sort of class participation. But it will not give you enough knowledge which allows you to present the case with its full details.

Reading an MBA Case Study Quickly [ Partially Honest Method]

I would not be calling a dishonest method. Instead, I am calling it the 'partially honest method' for the reason that I am giving you a benefit of doubt - that while you truly wanted to analyse it and do a meaningful class participation, you happen to be pressed for time.

  • The first step would be to quickly flip the pages and get a feel of the case. The headings , sub-headings and words which are in bold will be of help.
  • Go to the last page and read the last paragraph . This  could be titled as 'Conclusion' in the case study. It could also be titled something else as per the context of the case or their simply may be no heading on this last paragraph.
  • Get back to the first page and completely read the introduction paragraph. This would help you understand who is the 'protagonist' of the case.
  • From the next heading onward, start reading the first two sentences and the last two sentences of each sub-section/sub-heading.
  • By now, you would know three things about the case; the protagonist, the context and what needs to be done by you on behalf of the protagonist
  • The next step is where the dishonesty comes in. This is where we go and look for a case summary over the internet.
  • Most of the cases that you will encounter will be Harvard Business School (HBS) Cases. The copies of cases handout to you are also available on the HBS website for sale, along with their synopsis.
  • Read up the summary and quickly fill up the gaps that you may have in your understanding. In quite a few cases, you may find the summary on other websites.

A big DON'T in any case is this - most of the cases are already solved by students of other B-schools and their presentations are already available on Slideshare or other places. 

Do not read these. These would go ahead and 'analyse' the case for you. This would end up making you rigid in your thought process and the class discussion will also not be as fruitful.

Some Examples of MBA Case Studies

MBA case study could be on number of topics.

  • A Marketing case study example could be about competitive strategy, pricing, entering a new market, ad campaign, target audience, positioning, etc.
  • A Finance case study could be about adopting new accounting policies, evaluating cash flows, debt equity mix balance of the company, etc.
  • A Human Resource Management case study could focus on adopting new appraisal format, conflict between employees and management, union conflict, employee benefits etc.
  • An Operations case study may include warehousing issues, effective inventory management, improving supply chain management, evaluating raw material suppliers etc.
  • A Strategic case study is where you would be presented with problems/issues spanning more than one topic or domain.

Is the solution always going to be foolproof?

No, remember it is a VUCA world. Today’s approach may be cause doom tomorrow. You need to be in tandem with the market trends and give your pinch of innovative thinking.

Will there always be a solution and a conclusion?

No. Just like this article, most of the case studies will not have a conclusion or a single solution. Such cases are more about understanding what happened and why it happened.

Author of this post


Amandeep is devout student and learner of Marketing Trends and Business Strategies. Aman is an MBA in Marketing from the 2015-17 batch. She has spent the better part of her education and subsequent work experience, in gauging, learning and honing the skills that are important for the businesses to remain relevant among competition. To that end, this blog encapsulates the best business and marketing practices for professionals.

Amandeep Kaur Jakhar

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Hacking The Case Interview

Hacking the Case Interview

MBA consulting casebooks

Where can I find MBA Consulting Casebooks?

Below, you will find links to download MBA consulting casebooks from 23 different business schools. These casebooks will provide you with over 700 practice cases that you can use to hone your case interview skills. These cases are a great supplement to the practice cases that consulting firms provide .

The year indicates when the consulting casebook was published. Some consulting clubs publish a new casebook each year while others may use the same casebook for multiple years. Therefore, even the older casebooks can still contain valuable practice cases.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step shortcut to learn case interviews quickly,  enroll in our case interview course . These insider strategies from a former Bain interviewer helped 30,000+ land consulting offers while saving hundreds of hours of prep time.

  • Australian Graduate School of Management (2002)
  • Booth (2005)
  • Columbia (2007)
  • Darden (2019)
  • ESADE (2011)
  • Fuqua (2018)
  • Goizueta (2006)
  • Haas (2019)
  • Harvard Business School (2012)
  • Illinois (2015)
  • INSEAD (2011)
  • Johnson (2003)
  • Kellogg (2012)
  • London Business School (2013)
  • McCombs (2018)
  • Notre Dame (2017)
  • Queens (2019)
  • Ross (2010)
  • Sloan (2015)
  • Stern (2018)
  • Tuck (2009)
  • Wharton (2017)
  • Yale (2013)

What are Consulting Casebooks?

Consulting casebooks are documents that MBA consulting clubs put together to help their members prepare for consulting case interviews. Consulting casebooks provide some case interview strategies and tips, but they mostly contain case interview practice cases.

While consulting casebooks contain tons of practice cases, there is quite a bit of variety in the sources and formats of these cases.

Some practice cases are taken from actual consulting interviews given by consulting firms. These are the best types of cases to practice with because they closely simulate the length and difficulty of an actual case interview. Other practice cases may be written by the consulting club’s officers. These cases are less realistic, but can still offer great practice.

The formats of the practice cases in consulting casebooks also vary significantly.

Some practice cases are written in a question and answer format. This type of format makes it easy to practice the case by yourself, without a case partner. Other practices cases are written in a dialogue format. These cases are better for practicing with a case interview partner.

How do I use Casebooks to Practice Case Interviews?

How you should use consulting casebooks depends on whether you are practicing cases by yourself or practicing cases with a case partner.

Practicing Cases by Yourself

If you are trying to practice cases by yourself, you will need to find cases that are written in a question and answer format. Only in this format can you read the question, answer it, and then move onto the next question without getting any case spoilers.

To practice cases by yourself, read the case background. Then, summarize the case information out loud, verify the objective to yourself, and then ask clarifying questions out loud.

You likely won’t be able to answer any questions that you have by yourself, but talking to yourself out loud is good practice because it simulates what you would do in a real case interview.

Afterwards, take a few minutes to write out your case interview framework. Treat this like a real case interview, so don’t give yourself unlimited time to think about how you would structure your approach. When you have your framework written out, talk through it like you are explaining it to an interviewer.

Next, move onto the first case question. For each case question, talk through your thinking out loud as if you were in a real interview. If there is math involved, make sure you talk through your calculations out loud.

Once you have finished answering each case question, provide your final recommendation out loud. Make sure to suggest potential next steps.

Now that you have finished the case, you can review your answers and compare them to the sample answers. Try to identify areas of improvement or things that you could have done better.

For a comprehensive guide on how to practice case interviews by yourself, without a case partner, read this article .

Practicing Cases with a Case Partner

If you are practicing with a case partner, decide who is going to be giving the case and who is going to be receiving the case.

If you are giving the case, read the entire case information carefully. It may be helpful to read through everything twice so that you are familiar with all of the information and can answer any question that your partner asks you to clarify.

As the person giving the case, you need to be the case expert.

You should become familiar with the overall direction of the case. In other words, you should know what the major questions of the case are and what the major areas of investigation are. This will help you run the mock case interview more smoothly.  

Depending on whether you want the case interview to be interviewer-led or candidate-led, you will need to decide how much you want to steer the direction of the case.

If your partner gets stuck and is taking a long time, you may need to step in and provide suggestions or hints. If your partner is proceeding down a wrong direction, you will need to direct them towards the right direction.

Caveats to Using MBA Consulting Casebooks

In general, MBA consulting casebooks are great resources because they are free and provide tons of practice cases to hone your case interview skills. However, there are several caveats that you should be aware of.

1. Similarity to Real Case Interviews

Some cases in MBA consulting casebooks are not representative of actual case interviews because they are written by consulting club officers instead of interviewers from consulting firms.

For example, some cases may be too short or too long in length. Some cases could also be too technical or may require you to have specialized knowledge. If you come across a case that is way too complicated or way too simple, keep in mind that the case may not be representative of an actual case interview.

2. Quality of Sample Answers

While consulting casebooks provide sample solutions, these answers are often not the best or highest quality answers. If you use the answers in casebooks as your benchmark for what a great answer looks like, you may not be learning the best way to answer case interview questions.

3. Ease of Use

Consulting casebooks are all written in different formats and by different people. Therefore, it can be challenging to find cases that you can consistently use to practice cases by yourself or with a partner.

Case information may be written in an unorganized way. The main questions of the case may be hidden in the case background information or in the answers. You’ll have to learn the best way to read and digest each case in each casebook.

Recommended Case Interview Prep Resources

Here are the resources we recommend to learn the most robust, effective case interview strategies in the least time-consuming way:

  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.
  • Hacking the Case Interview Book   (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.
  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.
  • Case Interview Coaching : Personalized, one-on-one coaching with former consulting interviewers
  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course : Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer
  • Resume Review & Editing : Transform your resume into one that will get you multiple interviews

Land Multiple Consulting Offers

Complete, step-by-step case interview course. 30,000+ happy customers.

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Teaching Resources Library

Case studies.

The teaching business case studies available here are narratives that facilitate class discussion about a particular business or management issue. Teaching cases are meant to spur debate among students rather than promote a particular point of view or steer students in a specific direction.  Some of the case studies in this collection highlight the decision-making process in a business or management setting. Other cases are descriptive or demonstrative in nature, showcasing something that has happened or is happening in a particular business or management environment. Whether decision-based or demonstrative, case studies give students the chance to be in the shoes of a protagonist. With the help of context and detailed data, students can analyze what they would and would not do in a particular situation, why, and how.

Case Studies By Category

case study in mba

ICMR India

4 th International Case Study Conference (December 14-15, 2023)

Theme: the future of case method.

⇨Deliberations on The Future of Case Method ⇨Cash prizes for Top 3 case studies ⇨Editorial and mentoring support to selected case authors ⇨Opportunity to publish case studies in reputed indexed journals and case repositories ⇨Networking opportunity with experts in case teaching and case writing Contact Us Email: [email protected] Register here: Tel: +91 96409 01313


ICMR (IBS Center for Management Research)

Asia Pacific's largest case study repository for management students, faculties, trainers and corporate executives

ICMR case studies

ICMR is Asia's most popular repository of management case studies. ICMR Case Collection provides Teachers, Corporate Trainers, and Management Professionals with a variety of teaching and reference material. The collection consists of case studies on a wide range of companies and industries - both Indian and international. ICMR is involved in business research, management consulting, and the development of case studies and courseware in management. ICMR also provides knowledge process outsourcing services to international clients. Over 10 million copies of ICMR case studies have been printed in international and Indian textbooks, workbooks and case study volumes. More than 200,000 individual copies of our case studies have been purchased by many of the leading business schools and universities around the world. Our case studies have won prizes in several global case writing competitions, and also appear in many international management textbooks. More than 5500 case studies, short case studies, and business reports are available for immediate download from this site. The material is available for download as pdf files, with a 'Do Not Copy' watermark.

Case Study Categories

Varieties and numbers of case studies are available in our repository in different management subject categories. Below are the most popular categories in management areas:

case study categories

Business Strategy

Human resource management, it and systems, leadership and entrepreneurship, business ethics, awards and achievements.

ICMR cases have won awards in some of the most prestigious global case writing competitions such as EFMD, oikos, John Molson, CEIBS, The Case Centre, E-PARCC and many more...

awards and achievements

New Arrivals

Please check our recent case studies

case study categories

Corporate Governance Crisis at Startups: The Zilingo Story

The case discusses how Zilingo Pte Ltd (Zilingo), a Singapore-based B2B fashion tech platform, ended up in liquidation after a protracted crisis due to issues that led to corporate governance failure. Founded in 2016 by Ankiti Bose (Bose) and Dhruv Kapoor, Zilingo was an online fashion and beauty startup company that empowered apparel supply chain players to produce, source, and trade efficiently through its technology platform. It was one of Southeast Asia’s vaunted startups...

Amazon's Private Label Brands: An Ethical Perspective

The case “Amazon’s Private Label Brands: An Ethical Perspective” discusses the ethical implications surrounding the promotion of US-based multinational technology company, Inc. (Amazon) of Amazon Private Label (APL) products on its online marketplace. The case starts out with a brief look at– the world's largest e-commerce platform's launch of various APL products from the late 2000s. It then delves into the various controversies surrounding APL products through the years...

Twitter under Elon Musk: Present Tense, Future Perfect?

The case discusses the problems faced by social media platform Twitter and its future under the ownership of Elon Musk. After he acquired Twitter for US$44 billion in October 2022, Musk primarily known for his innovative efforts, introduced a list of controversial policy and feature changes to the platform. These included rebranding Twitter to ‘X’, making policy changes and sweeping layoffs, resorting to cost cutting, reinstating accounts, and introducing paid verification...

Google's Post-Pandemic Multi-Purpose Workplace Design

The case touches upon the early office design initiatives at Google including at its headquarters Googolplex. Next, it describes in detail how Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services team (REWS) focused on redesigning the existing office spaces in 2022 and creating and testing new multi-purpose offices and private workspaces to enable employees to collaborate effectively across work environments. Google designed Team Pods with chairs, desks, white boards, and storage units on casters that could be shifted based...

Reliance's Foreign Currency Bond

The case study is about Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)'s foreign currency bond issuance and listing on international stock exchanges. The case starts with a brief history of the company, from the founding of RIL by Dhirubhai Ambani in 1966 to being led by Mukesh Ambani in 2022.The case then moves on to the details of RIL's financials, showcasing how the company has grown over the years, and how efficiently it has raised funds from the global capital market and utilized these funds for expansion. Finally, it delves into the details of foreign currency bonds issued by RIL...

Enbridge: A Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Leader in the Energy Industry

The case describes the various initiatives taken by Enbridge, a Canadian energy company, to create a diverse and inclusive culture where employees would feel good coming to work, collaborate across teams, and be successful and grow their careers. The case first touches upon the main goals of the D&I strategy put in place at Enbridge. It then describes how Enbridge decided to encourage its employee community through various initiatives that included activities, education, and networking...

ICMR Books Collections

ICMR books are ideal resources designed to help deepen knowledge on the management theories and concepts helping to enhance decision-making skills

ICMR Case Books and Work Books

Strategic management consists of a set of decisions and actions resulting in the formulation and implementation of strategies designed to achieve the objectives of an organization. It involves taking decisions about the products, location, and the organization's structure-decisions that determine the survival of the organization in the short and long term.....

Business Communication

Communication is an essential aspect of business life. Everyday, business persons have to communicate with people at different levels of the organization or with people external to the organization. And in this globalized environment they also have to communicate with people from different countries, with different cultural backgrounds....

Economics For Managers

Economics is the study of how economic agents or societies choose to use scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. It examines how resources can be optimally distributed to satisfy the needs of individuals and society as a whole. Knowledge of economics helps businesses become more profitable through proper allocation of resources....


Case studies are an important tool to highlight managerial dilemmas. The ICMR case studies are of highest quality and tackle important managerial issues, including social and environmental sustainability. The case studies have repeatedly won international case study contests and have been tested around the globe with much success.

-Dr. Michael Pirson, Assistant Professor of Management, Fordham University; Research Fellow in Psychology; Harvard University; Co-founder and Academic Director, Humanet

I am impressed about the quality of ICMR cases, combining relevant issues, innovative organizationa and excellent case writing handcraft. In recent years, ICMR cases have performed extraordinarily well within the double-blind reviewed annual oikos Global Case Writing Competition.

-Dr. Jost Hamschmidt, Managing Director, oikos Foundation, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Head, oikos Global Case Writing Competition Program

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case study in mba

While ICMR regularly comes out with casebooks, case packs, and e-books comprising our cases, we have witnessed a high demand for our cases for…

case study in mba

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47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

Case interview examples - McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.

One of the best ways to prepare for   case interviews  at firms like McKinsey, BCG, or Bain, is by studying case interview examples. 

There are a lot of free sample cases out there, but it's really hard to know where to start. So in this article, we have listed all the best free case examples available, in one place.

The below list of resources includes interactive case interview samples provided by consulting firms, video case interview demonstrations, case books, and materials developed by the team here at IGotAnOffer. Let's continue to the list.

  • McKinsey examples
  • BCG examples
  • Bain examples
  • Deloitte examples
  • Other firms' examples
  • Case books from consulting clubs
  • Case interview preparation

Click here to practise 1-on-1 with MBB ex-interviewers

1. mckinsey case interview examples.

  • Beautify case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Diconsa case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Electro-light case interview (McKinsey website)
  • GlobaPharm case interview (McKinsey website)
  • National Education case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Talbot Trucks case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Shops Corporation case interview (McKinsey website)
  • Conservation Forever case interview (McKinsey website)
  • McKinsey case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • McKinsey live case interview extract (by IGotAnOffer) - See below

2. BCG case interview examples

  • Foods Inc and GenCo case samples  (BCG website)
  • Chateau Boomerang written case interview  (BCG website)
  • BCG case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • Written cases guide (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG live case interview with notes (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG mock case interview with ex-BCG associate director - Public sector case (by IGotAnOffer)
  • BCG mock case interview: Revenue problem case (by IGotAnOffer) - See below

3. Bain case interview examples

  • CoffeeCo practice case (Bain website)
  • FashionCo practice case (Bain website)
  • Associate Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
  • Consultant mock interview video (Bain website)
  • Written case interview tips (Bain website)
  • Bain case interview guide   (by IGotAnOffer)
  • Digital transformation case with ex-Bain consultant
  • Bain case mock interview with ex-Bain manager (below)

4. Deloitte case interview examples

  • Engagement Strategy practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Recreation Unlimited practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Strategic Vision practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Retail Strategy practice case  (Deloitte website)
  • Finance Strategy practice case  (Deloitte website)
  • Talent Management practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Enterprise Resource Management practice case (Deloitte website)
  • Footloose written case  (by Deloitte)
  • Deloitte case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

5. Accenture case interview examples

  • Case interview workbook (by Accenture)
  • Accenture case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

6. OC&C case interview examples

  • Leisure Club case example (by OC&C)
  • Imported Spirits case example (by OC&C)

7. Oliver Wyman case interview examples

  • Wumbleworld case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
  • Aqualine case sample (Oliver Wyman website)
  • Oliver Wyman case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

8. A.T. Kearney case interview examples

  • Promotion planning case question (A.T. Kearney website)
  • Consulting case book and examples (by A.T. Kearney)
  • AT Kearney case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

9. Strategy& / PWC case interview examples

  • Presentation overview with sample questions (by Strategy& / PWC)
  • Strategy& / PWC case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

10. L.E.K. Consulting case interview examples

  • Case interview example video walkthrough   (L.E.K. website)
  • Market sizing case example video walkthrough  (L.E.K. website)

11. Roland Berger case interview examples

  • Transit oriented development case webinar part 1  (Roland Berger website)
  • Transit oriented development case webinar part 2   (Roland Berger website)
  • 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 1   (Roland Berger website)
  • 3D printed hip implants case webinar part 2   (Roland Berger website)
  • Roland Berger case interview guide   (by IGotAnOffer)

12. Capital One case interview examples

  • Case interview example video walkthrough  (Capital One website)
  • Capital One case interview guide (by IGotAnOffer)

13. Consulting clubs case interview examples

  • Berkeley case book (2006)
  • Columbia case book (2006)
  • Darden case book (2012)
  • Darden case book (2018)
  • Duke case book (2010)
  • Duke case book (2014)
  • ESADE case book (2011)
  • Goizueta case book (2006)
  • Illinois case book (2015)
  • LBS case book (2006)
  • MIT case book (2001)
  • Notre Dame case book (2017)
  • Ross case book (2010)
  • Wharton case book (2010)

Practice with experts

Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn’t enough.

At some point you’ll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience running interviews at McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc.

If you know anyone who fits that description, fantastic! But for most of us, it's tough to find the right connections to make this happen. And it might also be difficult to practice multiple hours with that person unless you know them really well.

Here's the good news. We've already made the connections for you. We’ve created a coaching service where you can do mock case interviews 1-on-1 with ex-interviewers from MBB firms . Start scheduling sessions today!

The IGotAnOffer team

Interview coach and candidate conduct a video call


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    case study in mba


    case study in mba


  1. Case Study || How attempt Case Study || MBA Students||

  2. Business Consulting Case Interview

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  4. Case study MBA ,CFA Blaine kitchenware capital structure

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  6. What is case study explained in Hindi


  1. Find MBA Case Studies From Top Business Schools

    Where to Find MBA Case Studies. The following business schools publish either abstracts or full MBA case studies online. Some of these case studies are free. Others can be downloaded and purchased for a small fee. Harvard Business School Cases - Harvard offers thousands of case studies on every business topic imaginable.

  2. The HBS Case Method

    Pioneered by HBS faculty, the case method presents the greatest challenges confronting organizations and places the student in the role of the decision maker. ... MBA Admissions Harvard Business School Spangler Welcome Center (Spangler 107) Boston, MA 02163 Phone: 1.617.495.6128

  3. Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2021

    Fifty four percent of raw case users came from outside the U.S.. The Yale School of Management (SOM) case study directory pages received over 160K page views from 177 countries with approximately a third originating in India followed by the U.S. and the Philippines. Twenty-six of the cases in the list are raw cases.

  4. 20 famous Case Studies that every MBA student ought to know

    Case studies are an inseparable part of the B-school curriculum. It is the accumulated real-life experiences formed into case studies which help students to understand the way actual business is ...

  5. 8 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Case Method

    Here are eight tips that I hope will be as helpful to you as they have been to me. 1. Develop Your Viewpoint. Effective and efficient case prep is, at least for me, the most challenging part of the whole experience. You can easily spend 2-3 hours on a case if you focus on every detail and supplementary piece of reading.

  6. Here are the top 13 case studies every MBA student should know

    MBA students should expect to read case studies, or real-world examples of why businesses succeed or fail. The case-reading practice in business school was originally pioneered at Harvard, where ...

  7. A century of MBA case studies: exacting examples from business life

    The above is an adapted abstract of Harvard Business School's teaching case study EbonyLife Media, written by Andy Wu, Feng Zhu, Wale Lawal and Pippa Tubman Armerding. The original 1921 Harvard ...

  8. Interesting MBA case studies you should know

    Case studies are real-life business situations or hypothetical business scenarios used in MBA course to facilitate some elements of experiential learning. A business case study will present you with a business issue, a conflict to be resolved, or an impending decision that needs to be made. In most cases, a case study focuses on a specific ...

  9. Here are the top 10 case studies every MBA student should know

    The case method teaching practice was originally pioneered at Harvard Business School (HBS), where the MBA curriculum requires that students read up to 500 cases during their two-year program.

  10. What the Case Study Method Really Teaches

    What the Case Study Method Really Teaches. Summary. It's been 100 years since Harvard Business School began using the case study method. Beyond teaching specific subject matter, the case study ...

  11. HBS Case Selections

    HBS Case Selections. Get the perspectives and context you need to solve your toughest work problems with these immersive sets of real-world scenarios from Harvard Business School.

  12. Case Studies

    This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB. Publicly available cases in this collection are distributed by Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre.. Stanford case studies with diverse protagonists, along with case studies that build "equity fluency" by focusing on DEI-related issues and opportunities ...

  13. Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2017

    Case Study Research & Development (CRDT) | December 19, 2017. We generated a list of the 40 most popular Yale School of Management case studies in 2017 by combining data from our publishers, Google analytics, and other measures of interest and adoption. In compiling the list, we gave additional weight to usage outside Yale. We generated a list ...

  14. Cases

    Akshay Rao. After 35 years as an academic, I have come to the conclusion that there is a magic in the way Harvard cases are written. Cases go from specific to general, to show students that business situations are amenable to hard headed analysis that then generalize to larger theoretical insights.

  15. Case study for MBA with Solved Examples

    Prepare for B-school admission rounds, with these MBA case study examples. It is common for B-schools to incorporate a case-based discussion in the group exercise round or give a case study in a personal interview. So, here we have presented two popular MBA case study examples, with analysis and solution.

  16. Top 20 MBA Case Studies For Students Shouldn't Skip // Unstop

    MBA Case studies are an inseparable part of business schools curriculum.It is the accumulated real-life experiences developed into a study method that help students to understand real business situations.Case studies supplemented with class discussions develop critical thinking faculties which help in building a better strategy and approaching an issue.

  17. What is the Case Study Method?

    Celebrating 100 Years of the Case Method at HBS . The 2021-2022 academic year marks the 100-year anniversary of the introduction of the case method at Harvard Business School. Today, the HBS case method is employed in the HBS MBA program, in Executive Education programs, and in dozens of other business schools around the world.

  18. How to Read MBA Case Studies Quickly

    How to Read MBA Case Studies Quickly The Case Study method, popularized by the Harvard Business School, is a common feature across all B-schools. For you as a marketer and a B-school student, it becomes important to befriend case studies right away. In this discussion, I will reveal important aspects of case studies and how to read MBA case studies quickly and efficiently.

  19. 23 MBA Consulting Casebooks with 700+ Free Practice Cases

    Below, you will find links to download MBA consulting casebooks from 23 different business schools. These casebooks will provide you with over 700 practice cases that you can use to hone your case interview skills. These cases are a great supplement to the practice cases that consulting firms provide. The year indicates when the consulting ...

  20. Case Studies

    Case Studies. The teaching business case studies available here are narratives that facilitate class discussion about a particular business or management issue. Teaching cases are meant to spur debate among students rather than promote a particular point of view or steer students in a specific direction. Some of the case studies in this ...

  21. Management Case Studies with Solutions

    The collection consists of case studies on a wide range of companies and industries - both Indian and international. ICMR is involved in business research, management consulting, and the development of case studies and courseware in management. ICMR also provides knowledge process outsourcing services to international clients.

  22. 25 best Case Study for MBA management students

    25 best Case Study: Here are the articles of the finest 25 Case studies for MBA management, marketing, and business students. These case studies help and motivate you why they are successful & failures in business and jobs. Every entrepreneur starts a new business before, they find and search out details about it, the previous or past successful or failing business, case study for those who ...

  23. 47 case interview examples (from McKinsey, BCG, Bain, etc.)

    Using case interview examples is a key part of your interview preparation, but it isn't enough. At some point you'll want to practise with friends or family who can give some useful feedback. However, if you really want the best possible preparation for your case interview, you'll also want to work with ex-consultants who have experience ...