World Case Teaching Day: highlights from RSM’s Case Development Centre

It’s World Case Teaching Day on Friday 5 February 2021. Let’s take this opportunity to look back, reflect and celebrate the contribution that the case method brings to students and educators. Here’s an overview of the past year’s highlights of the Case Development Centre (CDC) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), including award-winning cases and a successful MOOC.



Award-winning TomTom case

CDC’s case ‘TomTom: Mapping the Course from B2C to B2B’, won various international case writing competition prizes such as The Case Centre and EFMD competitions. The case covers how the portable navigation device firm needs to re-establish itself as a navigation software provider to the automotive industry, while competing with tech giants like Google in this fast-changing B2B market. It showcases advancing female diversity in case protagonists – and notably, in the tech sector.

Learning resource about scale-ups

Every year CDC publishes more than 30 new cases. For example, in 2020 it published the HousingAnywhere case about expansions and scaling-up businesses. It focuses on the Rotterdam-based start-up – founded by an RSM student in 2009 – that became a major international business. The teaching case is for anyone studying organisation and personnel management, from bachelor students to management executives working in those sectors.

Exploring sustainable investments

Another example is a case study about sustainable investments: Commonland: Sustainable Finance for Landscape Restoration in Spain, co-authored by Prof. Dirk Schoenmaker. In this case, students can investigate how the financial sector can be a driving force for a sustainable economy. The case is available with free access on www.rsm.nl/commonlandcase.  

RSM STAR Online Case Competition

Teams from 12 highly ranked universities from all over the world competed in the week-long RSM STAR Online Case Competition in April 2020, organised by RSM’s study association STAR. CDC developed the two cases used at the competition: The World as Our Lab: How to Innovate with Customers and Markets and Rotterdam 2020: Bridge the Gap of Inequality. The event’s theme was ‘a force for positive change’, and the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals were incorporated in every step of each case’s development.

Case writing workshop

The Case Development Centre (CDC) successfully organised an online case writing course to help academics and practitioners to develop their own teaching cases, and to help build a growing community of case writers. About 20 participants from RSM and other institutions joined. Email us via cdc@rsm.nl if you’d like more information about the next case writing workshop.

Best-selling cases

Each year, in January, UK-based The Case Centre, the world's largest repository of case studies, publishes a list of its international best-selling cases from the previous calendar year. This year, CDC started 2021 with some of its cases being recognised as best-sellers in the categories entrepreneurship and ethics and social responsibility. CDC’s best-selling cases are: Greenwheels: Self-driving Cars – Should Greenwheels Enter the Market? and Whom to Save: Ethics for Self-driving Cars.

MOOC: reputation and crisis management

In a new MOOC (massive online open course), PR and marketing executives can learn more about the implications of reputation and crisis management. The free online course, which was co-developed by the CDC, explores one of the most high-profile data privacy cases of recent years, investigating the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica relationship. Participants explore the case from different angles of reputation and its key drivers, such as governance, leadership, corporate culture, whistleblowing, and citizenship. One participant said: “This powerful and useful course is about a very important case as a base for understanding how to build and ruin a reputation in the modern world.” And another review states: “I want to note the excellent structure of the course, its content, an interesting format of discussions with experts, and the opportunity to share my ideas with other students.”

RSM Case Development Centre

Business students and seasoned business experts can learn from the experiences of other real-life organisations and decision-makers. The Case Development Centre (CDC) at RSM supports case-based management education by turning exceptional business and management experiences into powerful learning tools. The Centre connects world-class research, education, and business by developing high-quality case studies.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China. www.rsm.nl

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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