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INSEAD and London Business School lead winners in ecch European Case Awards 2009, followed by three first-time business school winners

2 March 2009

INSEAD has won four of the nine categories in the ecch European Case Awards 2009, and the overall award, for the third year in a row, followed closely by London Business School who took three awards. The University of Edinburgh Business School, Athens University of Economics and Business, and WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, each won a case award for the first time in the nineteen-year history of the Awards.

The overall winning case, The Evolution of the Circus Industry (A), by W Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne, Ben M Bensaou and Matt Williamson of INSEAD, is a field researched teaching case study that highlights how Cirque du Soleil was able to reinvent the circus industry and create a new market space by challenging conventional assumptions about how to compete. Cirque du Soleil value innovated by shifting its buyer group from children to adults, drawing upon the distinctive strengths of theatre, shows and opera. The case was authored in 2002 and won the Strategy and General Management category award in 2006.

According to Richard McCracken, Director of ecch, "This year's Awards demonstrate how topical business experiences are being investigated, developed as teaching cases, and taught at ever more business schools worldwide. We are particularly pleased that three new schools have joined the roll-call of Award winners for their work producing high quality, teaching materials, when, often, no academic credit is given for writing cases." He continued, "The predominant theme of last year's award winning cases was issues of developing countries and corporate social responsibility. While still a theme in two of the winners, this year's cases revolve strongly around the retail sector, banking and the entertainment industry; areas that are feeling the immediate impact of the current global economic downturn and that will require expertise in the business leaders of today and tomorrow. Our winning cases will help provide this."

European Case Awards winners 2009

Overall winner

The Evolution of the Circus Industry (A)
W Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne, Ben M Bensaou and Matt Williamson
Ref 302-057-1

Special award

The Sumantra Ghoshal Award for Excellence in Case Writing

Economics, Politics and Business Environment

MAS Holdings: Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility in the Apparel Industry
Jonathan Story and Noshua Watson
Ref no 206-026-1


Marston Venture Management
John Mullins and Julian Lloyd
London Business School
Ref 806-015-1

Ethics and Social Responsibility

Procter and Gamble PuR Purifier of Water (TM) (A): Developing the Product and Taking it to Market
Margaret Hanson and Karen Powell
Ref no 706-057-1

Finance, Accounting and Control

Infinity Bank (A): Retail Branches and Customer Profitability
Igor Vaysman, INSEAD
Stephen Smyth, Esfren Consulting 
Ref no 106-016-1

Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour

Expatriation: An American Working in Japan: From the Perspective of the Expatriate, Headquarters and the Foreign Subsidiary
Markus Pudelko
University of Edinburgh Business School 
Ref no 405-027-1

Knowledge, Information and Communication Systems Management

Internet Enabled Collaborative Store Ordering: Veropoulos Spar Retailer (A)
Theodoros Evgeniou, INSEAD
George Doukidis and Katerina Pramatari, Athens University of Economics and Business
Ref no 905-033-1


Red Bull: The Anti-Brand Brand 
Nirmalya Kumar, Nader Tavassoli and Sophie Linguri Coughlan
London Business School 
Ref no 505-098-1

Production and Operations Management

Lufthansa Cargo AG: Capacity Reservation and Dynamic Pricing
Arnd Huchzermeier and Rolf Hellermann
WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management 
Ref no 602-029-1

Strategy and General Management

Zara: Responsive, High Speed, Affordable Fashion
Nirmalya Kumar and Sophie Linguri Coughlan
London Business School 
Ref no 305-308-1

The ecch European Case Awards 2009 will be presented at a ceremony in London, in September.

Press queries, requests for interviews etc

Antoinette Mills, ecch 
t +44 (0)1234 756416
e a.mills@ecch.com

Emma Simmons, ecch Consultant Communications
t +44 (0)1727 832994
e e.simmons@ecch.com

Notes for editors

ecch is the largest single source of management case studies in the world, with more than 58,500 items in its catalogue, available to all through www.ecch.com. An independent, membership-based, non-profit organisation, ecch has offices at Cranfield University, UK and Babson College, USA. ecch is dedicated to supporting authors and users of case studies and promoting the case method of learning. It provides the interface between the authors of cases and the educational institutions and businesses that use them for teaching and learning. ecch has an international programme of case writing and teaching workshops and events.

ecch European Case Awards have been presented by ecch annually since 1991 to provide formal recognition and exposure for successful case authors and their institutions and to raise the profile of the case method of teaching. Awards are made in up to nine management categories, plus one overall winning case for each year. In 2004 the annual Sumantra Ghoshal Award for Excellence in Case Writing was inaugurated in memory of one of the greatest case writers of all time and is presented to the school at which the overall winning case was authored. www.ecch.com/caseawards

How are award-winning cases judged? 

All ecch-registered cases authored or co-authored in Europe are put forward for the Awards. ecch identifies winning cases through an objective process - cases are judged anonymously. The winning case in each category is the one that has achieved the highest growth in popularity worldwide. 'Popularity' is measured by the number of new and existing universities and business schools, that have ordered the case studies from ecch to teach with during the preceding three years. A case that has won a category award in a previous year cannot win again, but is eligible for the overall award. (The 2009 overall award winning case won the Strategy and General Management category in 2006).

Sponsor ecch thanks the Chartered Institute of Marketing, sponsor of the Marketing category of the Awards since 1991. 

The case method of learning was pioneered in the early 20th Century at Harvard University, it has become the favoured teaching method of most of the world's leading business schools.

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On 1 July 2013 ecch changed its name to The Case Centre. Press releases prior to this date refer to ecch.