I actually take this back. Be prepared to very frustrated with discussions of strategy cases. I think accounting or operations cases are fine, they actually help you understand the application of the theories you are learning.
The strategy cases I found to be very unrealistic. It's an effort to distill a complex business problem down to one or two "lessons". You really have to suspend disbelief in order to get through them.
I can remember sitting in class and having a fellow student bring up a really interesting point about a cases, but then the prof quickly dismissing it because it didn't fit with the "solution" to the case. I think they are useful for demonstrating how a framework can be applied, but beyond that I found them to be a very inefficient use of class time.
Sorry to hear about your experience RF. In the few weeks that I've been doing case method, our professors absolutely have no preconceived "answer" that they are steering us to and we've all had ample opportunity to push back on all the discussions. While the preparation is pretty intense, it's worth it as the discussions have been really robust and we've been learning a great deal. Watching a skilled professor lead a case discussion is a beautiful thing.
Well you just described the other problem with cases. Since there is no right answer, you end up leaving class wondering exactly what the point was.
We would have case discussions about a specific business problem and the professor would elicit comments from the class. The conversation often got so sideways that, although the comments made were interesting, it had ZERO resemblance to reality.
For example (not a real example, but it's not far off):
Prof: "This company is lacking cash flow, what can they do to solve that?"
Student: "Well they could tear the building down then drill for oil and then use the revenue to purchase widgets from China."
In the real world, you don't sit around and pontificate about every single possibility because you have MOST of the information it takes to make a decision.
There is an outstanding strategy class at Tuck called "Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy". The reason the course was so great was because spent the ENTIRE semester learning about ONE framework and applying it to cases where all the info you needed was available. The first time I made a comment in class and prof said "You really
think that's true?" my heart skipped a beat. He had spent YEARS researching this particular topic, so there were no "maybe this will work". It was a great learning opportunity.
Sorry for the rant, but I find a lot of cases to be marginal at best, at least in terms of teaching strategy. There is no way you can examine a business problem in 1.5 hour and actually learn something other than the obvious.
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