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ecch Case Awards 2012 produce winners from across the globe

20 February 2012

An unprecedented thirteen schools from seven countries in four geographical regions have produced winners in the 2012 ecch case awards and competitions. The annual case awards are made in Nine Categories, plus One Overall Winner, and one prestigious award recognising an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method. The two competitions are for a new case in a Hot Topic (this year Social Media and Change), and for a New Case Writer.

  • The Overall Winning Case was authored at INSEAD
  • The Richard Ivey School of Business’ James A Erskine, Michiel R Leenders and Louise A Mauffette-Leenders scooped the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method award
  • Harvard Business School won Two Category Awards and the Hot Topic Competition
  • Cambridge Judge Business School, Cranfield School of Management and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University each won a Category Award
  • IBS Research Center and ICMR Center for Management Research each won a Category Award
  • An Ivey Publishing case authored at Nagoya University of Commerce & Business won a Category Award
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business won a Category Award
  • MIT Sloan School of Management, in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, shared the award for a New Case Writer with London Business School.

Please see Notes for Editors below for full details of award winners.

Case subjects

Subjects represented in award winning cases give a snapshot of current popular choices in the business education classroom. This year’s winning cases, many field-researched, emphasised consumer focused products and companies. The overall winner Renova Toilet Paper: Avant-garde Marketing in a Commoditized Category examines a Portuguese company’s innovative marketing of multi-coloured versions of a basic commodity. The multimedia, multi-sensory, case included video interviews of consumers, company executives and opinion leaders, computer animations, and product samples were sent out.

United Cereal, Marks & Spencer, Sony Corporation, Dove, Zappos.com and Li Ning were other big consumer brand subjects, with Louis Vuitton representing the luxury consumer sector. Recent financial and business challenges were the focus of a case on the Icelandic financial collapse and another on GlobalCo, a company specialised in corporate services and outsourcing. The Hot Topic case looked at online gaming of Lord of the Rings, and the New Writers’ case dealt with the complex issues around making hospital outpatient departments more effective.

As the Olympics approach, the Hot Topic for next year’s awards is The Business of Sport.

Commenting on the 2012 Awards, Richard McCracken, Director of ecch said: “This year’s Awards demonstrate the widespread excellence in case writing and teaching taking place around the world and the relevance to the current economic climate of subjects being taught. The era of cases originating predominantly in only the historically most well known business schools is past. Relevant and effective cases are being demanded, used – and produced, worldwide.”

INSEAD’s Pierre Chandon, winning the overall award for the third time said: “We are delighted to be the first non-US school to win this award since the ecch awards went global. After many years of the overall award going to cases about multinational companies, this year's recognises a small Portuguese company. Renova's success in bringing innovation and creativity to a commoditized category can serve as inspiration for all managers battling difficult conditions and a reason to remain optimistic about the future of southern European business in the current challenging environment.”

Carol Stephenson, Dean of the Richard Ivey School said, “The award of Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method gives worthy recognition to three remarkable individuals who have dedicated so much of their lives to teaching people worldwide how to get the most out of cases. Jim, Mike and Louise have conducted more than 400 case writing and case teaching workshops for thousands of participants in more than 50 countries over the past 40 years. Their work is at the heart of the great case tradition we have developed at Ivey and the school is delighted at this recognition.”


Antoinette Mills
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Emma Simmons
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Notes for Editors:

1. ecch

2. ecch Case Awards 2012 – winners in full

3. Competition winners

4. Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method – biographies

5. Awards judging criteria


1. ecch is the largest single source of management case studies in the world, with more than 75,000 items in its catalogue, available to everyone 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, pioneered in the early 20th Century at Harvard University. The case method has become the favoured teaching method of most of the world’s leading business schools. ecch 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 Case Awards are presented annually. Formerly the European Case Awards, they have been presented since 1991. www.ecch.com/caseawards

2. ecch Case Awards 2012 – winners in full

Overall winner
Renova Toilet Paper: Avant-garde Marketing in a Commoditized Category
Yakov Bart, Pierre Chandon, Steven Sweldens and Raquel Seabra de Sousa

Economics, Politics and Business Environment
United Cereal: Lora Brill’s Eurobrand Challenge
Christopher A Bartlett and Carole Carlson
Harvard Business School

Louis Vuitton in Japan
Justin Paul and Charlotte Feroul
Nagoya University of Commerce & Business/Ivey Publishing

Ethics and Social Responsibility
Marks & Spencer: The Business Case for Plan A
Heiko Spitzeck
Cranfield School of Management

Finance, Accounting and Control
Meltdown in Iceland: Biggest Casualty of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis
Vandana Guttal and Seshagiri Rao Chaganty
IBS Research Center

Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
Sony Corporation – Future Tense?
Indu Perepu and Vivek Gupta
ICMR Center for Management Research

Knowledge, Information and Communication Systems Management
Offshoring and Innovation at Globalco: Negotiating a Win-Win Strategy for the Outsourcing Relationship
Michael Barrett
Cambridge Judge Business School

Dove: Evolution of a Brand
John Deighton
Harvard Business School

Production and Operations Management
Zappos.com: Developing a Supply Chain to Deliver WOW!
Michael Marks, Hau Lee and David Hoyt
Stanford Graduate School of Business

Strategy and General Management
A Grand Entrance? Li Ning’s Emergence as a Global, Chinese Brand
Johannes Meuer, Barbara Krug, Tao Yue and Lori DiVito
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

3. Competition winners

Hot topic: Social Media and Change
One Game to Rule Them All: Lord of the Rings Online and the MMO Market
Hanna Halaburda, Ivan Nausieda, Robert McKeon and William Collis
Harvard Business School

New case writer
Massachusetts General Hospital's Pre-Admission Testing Area (PATA)
Kelsey McCarty, Massachusetts General Hospital
Jérémie Gallien, London Business School
Retsef Levi, MIT Sloan School of Management

4. Outstanding contribution to the case method – biographies

James A Erskine, Michiel R Leenders and Louise A Mauffette-Leenders
Richard Ivey School of Business

Over the past 40 years, Jim, Mike and Louise have conducted more than 400 case writing and case teaching workshops for thousands of participants in more than 50 countries. They are the co-authors of three case method textbooks: Learning with Cases, Teaching with Cases and Writing Cases, available in English, French, Spanish and Chinese.

James A Erskine is Professor Emeritus at the Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada where he taught Operations Management. He has engineering and MBA degrees from Western University, Canada and a doctorate from Indiana University, USA. The recipient of several teaching awards, Jim is a 3-M teaching fellow recognising him as one of Canada's best university professors.

Michiel R Leenders is the former Leenders Purchasing Management Association of Canada Chair and Professor Emeritus at Ivey. He received a degree in mining engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada, an MBA from Ivey and his doctorate from the Harvard Business School, USA. His contributions to the field of Supply Management have earned awards in Canada, Europe and the USA.

Louise A Mauffette-Leenders is a former case writer and research associate at Ivey, and has written more than 70 case studies in various areas of management, including the non-profit sector. She has taught with cases for more than 15 years in professional development programmes for social service providers. She holds a BA from Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf, and a BBA and MBA from HEC Montréal, Canada.

5. Awards judging criteria:

ecch identifies winning cases through an objective process – cases are judged anonymously. All cases registered with ecch during the last five years are put forward for consideration. The winning case in each category is the one that has achieved the highest growth in popularity worldwide based on sales to individual organisations during the last calendar year. A case that has won a category award in a previous year cannot win again, but is eligible, once, for the overall award (eg the 2010 overall award winning case won the marketing category in 2009).

Outstanding contribution to the case method: Nominations are collected by ecch and the executive committee, and the committee votes for a winner from the shortlist.

Case writing competition categories: All submissions must have been tested in the classroom, completed in the specified time frame and be in English. They may be compiled from field research, published sources or generalised experience. Authors may submit a single case or a case series. The case, or case series, must be a maximum of 5,000 words, excluding exhibits and annexes. Each submission must be accompanied by a teaching note for which there is no word limit.

Hot topic: For 2012 cases were invited that feature a business situation within the area of 'Social Media and Change'. Judging panel members:

  • Eileen Fischer, Schulich School of Business, York University
  • Richard McCracken, ecch
  • Anand Narasimhan, IMD
  • Mikolaj Jan Piskorski, Harvard Business School
  • Becky Reuber, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • John Thompson, University of Huddersfield Business School.

New case writer: Submissions must be the first teaching case in any business subject area, prepared by the author(s) in a format that can be used by other case teachers. Judging panel members:

  • Stephanie Hussels, Cranfield School of Management
  • Kamran Kashani, IMD
  • Martin Kupp, ESMT European School of Management and Technology
  • Richard McCracken, ecch
  • Trevor Williamson, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.
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