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The Case Development Centre (CDC) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) began its journey in 2008 to meet the growing demand for customised teaching cases in management. Its mission: to facilitate case development and case teaching for RSM academics, thereby creating a collection of business cases that reflects RSM's approach to business education and showcases the societal relevance of its research and education. This mission is highlighted on the annual World Case Teaching Day, held this year on 7 February.

Key successes over the years

Throughout the last 15 years, the CDC has flourished, building a substantial collection of cases that has elevated RSM's reputation in case development and competitions.

CDC cases, available through publishers such as Ivey Publishing, Harvard Business Publishing, SAGE Publishing and the RSM Case Centre, are widely utilised by universities and other organisations worldwide. Some of the CDC’s cases have won international case writing awards. Additionally, they have been featured in prominent publications such as the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review.

The CDC has also been instrumental in building RSM’s track record in international student case competitions. It has played a pivotal role in supporting the initiation and growth of the RSM STAR Case Club, and has developed case studies annually for the RSM STAR case Competition, contributing to the university's success on the global stage.

With approximately 300 cases spanning various management disciplines in its catalogue, CDC has become a leading authority, actively advancing expertise and networks while contributing to the innovation of the case method. Notably, RSM ranks in the Top 10 of the Case Centre's Impact Index 2023, a testament to the quality and recognition of RSM teaching cases.

Benefits of case teaching

Case teaching entails more than just an academic exercise or business skills training. It serves as a dynamic tool to scrutinise biases, question assumptions and equip students to navigate the intricacies of the contemporary world. RSM’s CDC case topics encompass a broad spectrum, from digital innovation to energy transition, and from organisational dilemmas to sustainable grassroots ventures. These diverse scenarios exemplify the breadth and relevance of CDC's impactful work.

Case teaching from two perspectives

To highlight the multifaceted benefits of case teaching, the CDC sought insights directly from students and professors. Bas Koene, director of the RSM Case Development Centre and Academic Director of the RSM MScBa Master in Management, states:

“Case based assignments, make our students appreciate the context and many stakeholders that are often affected by business decisions. A, marketing, supply, chain, or finance decision is never just a Technical question to be answered. Actually, students really like us to put the business issues in context. It increases their relevance and often the rich complexity of a real life context makes a business decision more interesting and turns it into a topic that they do not just solve in class, but actually also discuss later on over a drink in the pub or bring it up during a family dinner over the weekend.”

- Bas Koene, director of the RSM Case Development Centre and Academic Director of the RSM MScBa Master in Management

The CDC also interviewed Laurenz Gelbmann, current Chairman of the RSM STAR Case Club. This consultancy-based association prepares members to compete globally in case competitions against some of the best business schools in the world. 

“Solving real-life business cases utilising a mixture of class-taught theoretical frameworks and previously acquired business intuition is the single best preparation for future business leaders.”

- Laurenz Gelbmann, chairman of RSM STAR Case Club

What lessons do you think students can learn from this hands-on experience that may not be as readily accessible in traditional lectures? How can solving real-world business cases add an extra layer to what is taught in the classroom setting?

“While RSM already provides its students with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life business cases, case solving – especially with a time constraint – certainly steps it up a notch. Being forced to use your previously acquired business intuition to solve some of the most complex issues companies currently face is, without a doubt, one of the best ways to prepare for life after your studies.”

This year's World Case Teaching Day theme is AI. Do you see any potential for generative artificial intelligence tools such as ChatGPT to match the problem-solving abilities demonstrated by case club members? How do you envision the role of AI in the future of solving cases and in international competitions?

“To be honest, I do not think that AI will match the problem-solving ability of our members any time soon. There are simply too many details and human factors that AI cannot yet assess as well as a trained analysts’ mind could. Nonetheless, AI already plays an important role in augmenting the skills of our members and therefore future consultants and business leaders. It is absolutely crucial for all students to stay on top of the latest technological developments and use them to their advantage.”

In recognition of #WorldCaseTeachingDay on 7 February, let's acknowledge the CDC's impactful journey and the transformative power of case teaching, bridging the gap between theory and real-world application.                                                     

More information

About RSM’s Case Development Centre 

Case studies are commonly utilized for educational purposes. A teaching case serves as a snapshot of a real-life situation, presenting a challenge that an organization faced. It prompts students to adopt the perspectives of decision-makers and formulate effective solutions. A proficient case writer possesses the ability to articulate complex subjects in a manner accessible to non-experts, captivating readers with a compelling narrative.

RSM CDC ( operates as part of the school's Impact and Engagement Unit. We are distinguished in Europe as one of the few organizations specializing in case development. Our cases, made available through esteemed publishers such as Ivey Publishing, Harvard Business Publishing, SAGE Publishing, and the Case Centre, are widely utilized by universities and other organizations worldwide. Several of our cases have won international prizes and have been featured as articles in prominent publications like the Financial Times and Harvard Business Review.

Through collaborations with various European institutions, we actively engage in case development initiatives. Moreover, we deliver case writing workshops to scholars and aspiring case writers across the globe. We constantly seek innovative approaches to enhance case-based learning and eagerly explore new mediums, including multimedia, to present our cases.

About RSM

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.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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