We hosted our second brown bag seminar last Thursday, June 15th, where Vidhi Chaudri was our guest speaker. She shared insights on how to create memorable cases using controversy. Thanks to Vidhi and the attendees for your input and questions!

Some key takeaways from the seminar:

  • The value of controversy

The value of controversy is in the disagreement of a certain problem, usually because the problem is important to a lot of people. Besides, this disagreement takes place in the public domain and is visible for everyone, meaning that reputations are at stake. We talked about some interesting examples, such as the Burberry stock-burning scandal and the Maggi case.

  • The Maggi case

The Maggi case illustrated the complexities of working with a case in which the information is ambiguous, and how to deal with the interplay of the personal (love for Maggi) versus the brand. In such cases, it is important to incorporate various perspectives of different stakeholders, and the information that should be included depends on the teaching objectives.

  • The importance of the teaching note

Sometimes, the teaching note is more important than the case itself. Often, there are no clear correct answers, but the teaching note can provide some directions and indicative responses, and possibly some frameworks that can be used by students. Don’t forget that the teaching note can also be used to induce controversy and critical perspectives for the instructor.

  • Multi-part cases

Sometimes, a case can be written in multiple parts, for example when new information becomes available. It is important, however, that the authors of a case keep in mind that the likeliness for the case to be adopted may decrease as this makes teaching the case more complex.

Some important considerations to be made when writing cases using controversy:

  • What type of sources are used (primary vs. secondary)?

  • How many stakeholders should be included? Too few may lead to a biased view and missing depth during discussion, but too many may overcomplicate the debate.

  • What should be included in the teaching note?

  • Do you have help from the CDC? Case writers and video editors, for example.

More information

RSM Case Community is for faculty and staff to share experiences and explore ideas for case teaching and case development. We will organize our next event in the fall. If you have any topics you wish to learn more about, or wish to receive more information about our next event, please send an email to cdc@rsm.nl. We look forward to the next brown bag seminar.

Case Development Centre