Winner: Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method

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Pierre Chandon won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2016.
Pierre Chandon

Pierre Chandon Pierre Chandon is the deserving recipient of our Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award 2016. Congratulations!

Pierre is the L’Oréal Chaired Professor of Marketing, Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD, France, and Director of the INSEAD Sorbonne Behavioural Lab. He is a highly respected case writer, researcher and teacher and was the inspiration behind INSEAD’s innovative case websites, designed to offer a wide range of additional materials and inspiration to case teachers worldwide.

insead screenshotPierre has elevated case teaching to another level at INSEAD and his many achievements include being the first to use online case surveys systematically in his teaching at INSEAD. The responses from his MBA students allow him to reduce a pervasive false consensus bias and dramatise the decision that they are about to discuss. These surveys also enable shy and less confident students to share their ideas and earn participation credits.


He is a pioneering member of the INSEAD case studies taskforce, set up in September 2012, and has also held a series of workshops at both INSEAD and CEIBS in Shanghai as well as participating in The Case Centre's summer 2015 programme as a guest speaker. insead

Pierre is regularly nominated for the INSEAD Best Teacher award and has received the Dean’s Commendation for Excellence in teaching every year since its inception. He has received the O’Dell award of the Journal of Marketing Research and the best paper award from the Journal of Consumer Research twice.

Pierre is also The Case Centre’s overall award winner 2016.

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The Dean of INSEAD on Pierre
Ilian Mihov

‘Pierre Chandon has been a champion of case writing since he joined INSEAD in 1999,’ says the Dean of INSEAD, Ilian Mihov. ‘He is one of The Case Centre’s bestselling authors and puts a lot of thinking and resources into helping colleagues teach his cases by providing a wealth of pedagogical material including PowerPoint presentations, video interviews, detailed teaching notes, and videos of himself teaching his cases.

‘He is our number one case writer based on both the number we use internally and the number of copies sold worldwide – and that’s saying something given the high calibre of INSEAD case writers.

‘He has also contributed to case writing and the case method beyond INSEAD via a series of articles and blog posts; the creation of detailed templates for case writing; and participation in case method workshops.'

Pierre on the importance of cases
Pierre Chandon

Winning this award means a lot to me. I started writing cases in the very first year I joined INSEAD and I have not stopped. Writing cases, teaching with cases, organising workshops at INSEAD and outside on case writing and teaching are some of the best parts of my job.

Important teaching tool

What counts in business is the ability to apply concepts and frameworks to solve complicated issues and the ability to articulate the chosen strategy to others. Although the execution of cases will certainly evolve, becoming more digital for sure, their raison d’être as learning tools, which is to be engaging and to facilitate action learning, will remain the same.

Real people, real companies

There are great descriptive cases and they can be very valuable. However, they go out of date quickly and, given the variety of interests in a typical business degree or open-enrolment executive programme, they are likely to be of interest to only a few people at a time.

Pierre Chandon discusses the case method

To me, great cases are like reality TV: they are about real people and real companies, they have a story and a problem to be solved, and we desperately want to know what happens next – but they are not reality and nor should they be. They are a simplified, stylised, version of reality, which allows us to understand the fundamental business issue at hand, while being embedded in an exciting context full of suspense.

insead Active engagement

The classic case – a 30-page written document – is not suitable for all learning. I am a great champion of cases, but nevertheless use a mix of two thirds classic cases with one third lectures. However, cases come in all shapes and forms and in my lectures I use a lot of two-minute cases which I describe orally, often with one just one image as support.

Some of the best teachers at INSEAD use course-long business simulations very effectively. Regardless of the format, I believe that the key idea underlying the case method – that people learn better when they are actively engaged, when they have to apply methods rather than learn about them abstractly – can be useful for a wide variety of topics and courses. For example, people who are skeptical of cases may use hands-on exercises (for example, asking students to run statistical analyses based on real or realistic data), which are just special kinds of cases.

Teaching support

I am proud that I put as much effort into the pedagogical material for colleagues as into the case itself. For all my recent cases, for example, I have developed micro-websites where registered instructors can access not only a detailed teaching note, but also presentations, additional video interviews, and even videos of me teaching the case at INSEAD.

Most recent INSEAD cases have now adopted this model and instructors can register to access specific content. I take a lot of satisfaction from knowing that colleagues around the world find my cases, and INSEAD cases in general, to be helpful.