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The Case Centre’s annual business education ‘Oscars’ celebrate leading case writers and teachers

3 March 2014

The Case Centre's annual awards and competitions, now in their 24th year, celebrate worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching in business education. The awards and competitions are assessed anonymously to ensure impartiality.

Summary: Please see Notes for Editors below for further details of all the winners.

  • Overall Award Winner: Kamran Kashani and Aimée DuBrule, IMD, Value Selling at SKF Service (A): Tough Buyer Confronts Strategy.
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method: Nirmalya Kumar, London Business School.
  • Innovation in Case Teaching: Nicole Haggerty, Ivey Business School for a project involving cases taught by Ivey students to their peers at African business schools.
  • Case Writing Competition New Case Writer: Hernan Bruno and Hilke Plassmann, INSEAD, Michel et Augustin Cookies: Culinary Adventures Competing Against Food Industry Giants.
  • Case Writing Competition Hot Topic – Crisis as Opportunity: Urs Müller and Shirish Pandit, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Vodafone in Egypt: National Crises and Their Implications for Multinational Corporations.
  • First-time award winning schools: Darden School of Business, and WU Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (Vienna) – each one category.
  • Further category winning schools: ESSEC Business School, ESMT, Harvard Business School (two category awards), IBS Center for Management Research (IBS Hyderabad), INSEAD,and an Ivey Publishing case authored at CEIBS, South China University of Technology, Hang Seng Management College and The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
  • Repeat winners to note: Kamran Kashani has won a category award on four previous occasions and the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award in 2011. Nirmalya Kumar has won case awards on six previous occasions including the overall winning case twice. Urs Müller has won the Hot Topic Competition, and the Human Resource Management/Organisational Behaviour category (with co-author Ulf Schäfer) for the second consecutive year.

Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre said: “This year’s case awards and competitions honour case writing and teaching expertise on a global scale. The Innovation in Case Teaching Award demonstrates how teaching expertise is being shared in Africa. We see how cases are able to respond fast to world events and get topical issues into the classroom. The recession, the banking crisis and political developments in the Middle East are all among the winning case subjects this year. Nirmalya Kumar, winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award, embodies the impact case writers and teachers can achieve with their work: his easyJet: The Web’s Favourite Airline (co-authored at IMD with Brian Rogers) is The Case Centre’s bestselling case of all time, having now been used by 133 schools in 32 countries since it was first published in 2000.”

Case subjects

The case subjects highlighted through the winning cases give an insight into what is being taught in business school classrooms on a year-to-year basis. This year, topical world and economic issues are strongly represented: challenges in recession (SKF- component manufacturer, and Coach – luxury goods), banking under pressure (Deutsche Bank), and the impact of political events (Vodafone/Egypt). The importance of emerging markets is also examined in banking (Alpen), healthcare devices (GE Healthcare/India) and white goods (Galanz/China). Social media is represented (HubSpot), medical devices and the challenges faced by a woman in leadership (Aesch), and food in a French entrepreneurial context (Michel et Augustin).

In previous years, global multinationals have been heavily represented in the case subjects. In 2014, they are less dominant and where they are, there is a visible trend towards external positioning: social responsibility (McDonald’s and Vodafone), and succeeding with digital marketing (Nike).

The Case Centre Awards are made annually in nine categories, plus one Overall winner, and an award recognising an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method. The three competitions are: new case in a Hot Topic (this year, Crisis as Opportunity), New Case Writer and Innovation in Case Teaching.


Antoinette Mills
+44 (0)1234 756416


Emma Simmons
+44 (0)1727 832994

Notes for Editors:

1. 2014 award winners in full

2. Competition winners

3. Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method – winner’s biography

4. Judging criteria

5. The Case Centre

1. The Case Centre Award winners in full

Overall winner
Value Selling at SKF Service (A): Tough Buyer Confronts Strategy

Kamran Kashani and Aimée DuBrule

Economics, Politics and Business Environment
Alpen Bank: Launching the Credit Card in Romania
V. Kasturi Rangan and Sunru Yong
Harvard Business School

Coach: To Be or Not To Be Luxury?
Ashok Som and Stéphanie Masson
ESSEC Business School

Ethics and Social Responsibility
McDonald’s: Corporate Social Responsibility Challenge
Magdalena Öberseder, Elisabeth Götze, Anna-Maria Saupper and Christian Wilhelmer
WU Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien

Finance, Accounting and Control
Deutsche Bank and the Road to Basel III
George (Yiorgos) Allayannis, Gerry Yemen, Andrew C. Wicks and Matthew Dougherty
Darden School of Business

Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour
Anna Frisch at Aesch AG: Initiating Lateral Change
Urs Müller and Ulf Schäfer
ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Knowledge, Information and Communication Systems Management
Digital Marketing at Nike: From Communication to Dialogue
Debapratim Purkayastha and Adapa Srinivasa Rao
IBS Center for Management Research (IBS Hyderabad, IFHE University)

HubSpot: Inbound Marketing and Web 2.0
Thomas Steenburgh, Jill Avery and Naseem Dahod
Harvard Business School

Production and Operations Management
Operations Strategy at Galanz
An Ivey Publishing case by
Xiande Zhao, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)
Xuejun Xu and Lei Yang, South China University of Technology
Stephen Ng, Hang Seng Management College
Barbara Li, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Strategy and General Management
GE Healthcare (A): Innovating for Emerging Markets
Jasjit Singh

2. Competition winners

Case Writing Competition Hot Topic: Crisis as Opportunity
Vodafone in Egypt: National Crises and Their Implications for Multinational Corporations
Urs Müller and Shirish Pandit
ESMT European School of Management and Technology

Case Writing Competition: New Case Writer
Michel et Augustin Cookies: Culinary Adventures Competing Against Food Industry Giants
Hernan Bruno and Hilke Plassmann

Innovation in Case Teaching Competition
Cases in the Service of Business School Collaborations: Insights from Service Learning in Africa
Nicole Haggerty
Ivey Business School

The innovation involves using business cases as a bridge for collaboration and transformational learning between undergraduates at the Ivey Business School and at several African Business Schools. Ivey students teach an Introduction to Business Decision Making course to their African peers and the bridge building results are valuable and unique.

3. Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method

Nirmalya Kumar, London Business School

Nirmalya Kumar is Professor of Marketing at London Business School and a Member of the Group Executive Council for Tata Sons, where he is responsible for strategy at group level. He commented: “I am delighted to have received this recognition after many years of writing and teaching cases. In writing a case, I take both the instructor and student perspectives and ask how this case will lead to a transformation of beliefs on the part of the students.”

Nirmalya is a prolific and multi-award winning case author. easyJet: The Web’s Favourite Airline, (written with Brian Rogers,) is The Case Centre’s all-time bestseller. Medi-Cult: Pricing a Radical Innovation, (written with Brian Rogers,) and Red Bull: the Anti-Brand Brand (written with Nader Tavassoli, and Sophie Linguri Coughlan) are among the all-time top 40 bestselling cases.

Also renowned as a teacher, Nirmalya's unique style, using provocation and confrontation, has led to many teaching awards, including London Business School’s Excellence in Teaching Award. He is one of the world’s leading thinkers on strategy and marketing and has taught at Harvard Business School, IMD, and Kellogg School of Management. His research interests include strategy, emerging markets, and marketing. Nirmalya has also worked as a consultant, coach and seminar leader to over 50 Fortune 500 companies in more than 60 countries and has served on several boards of directors.

Nirmalya has written articles for Harvard Business Review and seven books, five of which are published by Harvard Business Press: Marketing as Strategy (2004), Private Label Strategy (2007), Value Merchants (2007), India’s Global Powerhouses (2009), and India Inside (2012). His publications have attracted over 11,500 Google citations.

4. Judging criteria

Subject categories and overall winner: 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.

Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method: The Case Centre’s executive committee selects the winner of this award.

Case writing competition categories: Cases are judged anonymously by expert panels to ensure impartiality.

2014 hot topic judges: Ruth Bender, Cranfield School of Management; Roger King, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; George Kohlrieser, IMD; Richard McCracken, The Case Centre; Peter McNamara, Quinn School of Business, UCD.

2014 new case writer judges: Nagendra Chowdary, Times Centre For Learning; Loizos Heracleous, Warwick Business School; Richard McCracken, The Case Centre; Josep Valor, IESE Business School; Gina Vega, Bertolon School of Business, Salem State University.

Innovation in case teaching competition category: A panel of case method and teaching experts select the winning entry.

2014 judges: Sabine Emad, Geneva School of Business Administration; Benoît F. Leleux, IMD; Richard McCracken, The Case Centre; Jonathan Warner, The Brand Inside.

5. The Case Centre

The Case Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting the case method in business education and sharing our world-leading knowledge and expertise in case teaching, writing and learning.


A membership organisation
We are a registered charity and currently have over 900 academic and corporate members from all over the world. Our members are a vital part of The Case Centre community and at the heart of everything we do.

We are governed by our Memorandum and Articles of Association. Our executive committee, comprising up to fourteen annually elected academic representatives from member organisations, meets three times a year to establish our policy and oversee our progress. Our US operation is overseen by a board of directors from academia and business.

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