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Building Your Case Writing Skills

The Case Method

The case method is an integral pedagogical element of business education and therefore faculty teaching in business programs must possess the basic skills associated with case instruction. In order to meet the demands of case instructors for up-to-date cases which can serve as course supplements and are relevant to students' life experiences, some faculty may wish to develop case writing and research skills.

Unfortunately, few graduate and doctoral programs offer courses in instructional pedagogy, specifically case instruction and case writing. Even Harvard's DBA programs do not require courses in either case research and writing or course instruction; in fact these courses are not even mentioned as possible electives on the University's web page.

How are faculty, particularly junior faculty, then to develop the expertise in case instruction and case research? Besides emulating their master teachers or working with case writers, most faculty are left to their own devices in terms of developing these competencies. The purpose of the mentoring program is to provide faculty the opportunity to work with senior case instructors and case writers and to learn this craft from experts in the field.

The CASE Association Mentoring Program

Mentors from the CASE association consist of volunteer senior faculty who have developed an expertise in case instruction, case research (field and/or secondary), case writing, and the development of a teaching note. A complete list of mentors is available from the Mentoring Coordinator. These faculty will be assigned to novice case writers who have similar interests and/or backgrounds. The mentor and novice case writer will work out the further details of their relationship together.

Faculty interested in either receiving case instruction and/or case writing and research must be members of The CASE Association and complete a form (click here for the Case Mentoring form) that includes their area of teaching and research, along with contact information. Novice case writers with a first time case acceptance to CASE will automatically be assigned a mentor prior to the annual meeting, and first time embryo case presenters will be assigned a mentor at the annual meeting. Any other CASE member who is interested in finding a CASE mentor should contact the Mentoring Coordinator.

Faculty Development Program for The CASE Journal

In order to promote case writing, research, and instruction, we have put together a faculty development program aimed at nurturing and educating novice case instructors and writers.

The seminar can be tailored to any particular college's or group's needs and can be as short as three hours or as long as three days.

The objective of the teaching portion of the seminar is to demonstrate differing methods of case instruction, sources for cases, and to provide faculty a forum for sharing their own case teaching experiences.

The goal of the case writing and research portion of the seminar is to provide faculty enough information so that they can take an embryo case and turn it into a publishable case with teaching note.

We have already conducted these seminars for the International Assembly of Collegiate Business Educators (IACBE), The United States Association of Small Business Educators (USASBE), Suffolk University (Boston, MA), St. Albertus Magnus (New Haven, CT), and Shaw University (Raleigh, NC). Interested parties should contact David Desplaces.

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