The Case Centre’s bestselling authors

Dominique Turpin

Dominique Turpin

"I am still amazed to meet participants who remember cases we discussed in class 15 or 20 years ago. The long-term impact of some of these cases is often more lasting than a lecture or reading a book."

Case writing is more an art than a science; and like every art it really takes forever to master! I am still learning from great colleagues like Kamran Kashani and Peter Killing who have been my mentors for more than 25 years.

I learnt that a great case does not necessarily need to be long to provoke a great learning discussion. Adding various functional dimensions to the case (especially a strong human or leadership dimension) enables the participants to imagine themselves in the situation and this improves the impact. Adding a ‘B’ case, especially when there is an unexpected outcome, also enhances the debate and enriches the learning experience.

The three essentials

Firstly, there should not be one obvious solution to the case, but balanced arguments and dilemmas to ensure a rich discussion that will lead to new business insights for the participants.

Secondly, a great case is usually like an onion: as you peel it and look into particular issues, new ones emerge in sequence. For example, a finance case may reveal a marketing problem and later a sales issue followed by a leadership challenge.

Finally, since a case is foremost a pedagogical tool, it must illustrate a number of meaningful lessons that may impact the participants, hopefully for the long term. I am still amazed to meet participants who remember cases we discussed in class 15 or 20 years ago. What strikes me is that the long-term impact of some of these cases is often more lasting than a lecture or reading a book.

Favourite case

My favourite cases are the ones I wrote jointly with several colleagues, looking at the launch of a motorized bicycle in Asia: Bangladesh’s Khala Project; China’s XFM Project; and Pakistan’s Khala Project.

They start as general management cases but quickly reveal the marketing, financial, manufacturing and other strategic and implementation challenges. They are integrative cases that MBAs and executives remember for years as it demonstrates how intertwined different situations and decisions are in real life.

Most admired

I have several favourite cases by other authors, but I particularly love the Sony Europa series of cases by Kamran Kashani and JB Kassarjian, and the Nestlé’s GLOBE Program series of cases by Peter Killing, because of their depth and the many practical learning points that they illustrate.

The case method is a key pedagogical art that enables us educators to put students and executives into real-life situations for which there are often no straight answers. It’s also a wonderful tool to engage in a two-way communication with the audience with sometimes very impactful and long-term results.

View cases written by Dominique

About the author

Dominique Turpin is IMD President and Nestlé Professor at IMD. Dominique has extensive teaching, consulting and research experience in the areas of marketing and international strategy, both in Europe and in Asia, particularly in the areas of brand management, customer orientation and communications strategy.

He has worked as a consultant and management educator with a large number of international companies, including Coca Cola, CPW, Danone, DSM, Jardine Matheson, Nestlé, Novo Nordisk, Philips and Uponor. He also served as a board member for ITOCHU Europe, a leading Japanese trading company, and the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

Dominique is the IMD representative on the Academic Council of the China-Europe International Business School in Shanghai (People's Republic of China). He has regularly contributed to the Nihon Sangyo Shimbun (The Japan Industrial Journal), one of the leading business dailies in Japan. He is also the Continental European editor for the Long Range Planning Journal, the International Journal of Strategic Management and an editorial advisor for the Singapore Management Review.

His current research focuses on brand management, and he has been widely published in more than 100 books, articles and case studies including the Financial Times, European Business Forum and MIT Sloan Management Review.

Dominique’s bestselling case, Philip Morris KK, won a case writing award from The Case Centre in 2008. 

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