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The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2020

24 February 2020


Announcing The Case Centre’s 30th Awards* and Competitions** Winners

The 11 Awards and five Competitions are an annual celebration of excellence in case writing and teaching at schools of business, management and government worldwide. This is the 30th year of the Awards, which have been global since 2011 (European Case Awards until 2010).

The 2020 results are characterised by increasing diversity, especially in numbers of women achieving success, and also by record numbers of individuals and institutions winning their first Award or Competition.

The Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method was won by Caren Scheepers of the Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria (GIBS Business School). This result represents a first time win both for the School, and for Caren Scheepers, who becomes the fourth female winner in the ten years of the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Competition. This is the second time an African institution has won in the history of the Awards.

The Overall Winning Case on Microsoft’s change in its mindset culture since 2014, was authored at London Business School, which wins the Overall Award for the fourth time (the first time since the Awards went global in 2011). It is a first time Award success for Herminia Ibarra, Aneeta Rattan and Anna Johnston, and notably the first time a case with exclusively three female authors has won any Award.

2020 reflects growing diversity in business education. For the first time there are equal numbers of male and female Award/Competition winners: 17 male and 17 female. The preceding four years averaged just 29% of female winners***.

Outstanding Case Writer success went to Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Steven Sweldens, Stefano Puntoni, Niela Kleinsmith, Tao Yue) and TomTom Automotive (Matthieu Campion) and showcases advancing female diversity in case protagonists across the Awards – now at a record 31%*** – and notably, in the tech sector in this case.

Commenting on the Awards, Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre said:

The 2020 Awards and Competitions mark their 30th anniversary and the 10th year of being global. We see a record number of successful female authors – now equal in number to their male counterparts – as well as more new winning institutions and authors than ever before. Though schools long associated with cases continue to win Awards, the results show that the method is no longer their sole domain.

“Almost every region of the world is now producing Award winning schools, authors and case topics. Today’s students right across the globe have the opportunity of being taught with the best case method materials and by recognised outstanding educators.

“Because the Awards are made based on data of actual uptake in education, they provide an annual snapshot of the topics being used to teach business and management. Issues such as Ethics are now central to more cases than ever before. Meanwhile the Competitions allow an evaluation of authors and teachers around the world who might otherwise remain undiscovered.”

Further highlights

Outstanding Case Writer: Hot Topic was won by INSEAD. This year’s topic was ‘Diversity and Discrimination’. Authors Zoe Kinias and Felicia A Henderson won with a case about the Australian property group Mirvac.

Outstanding New Case Writer is the first Awards’ success for Russia, with new individual and institutional winners in Alexander Korchagin, Moscow State University and Vera Cherepanova, Studio Etica, with their case on an ethical dilemma in a restaurant setting.

Outstanding Case Teacher was won by Urs Mueller, and gives SDA Bocconi School of Management its first Case Centre Awards and Competitions’ success.

The 2020 Awards and Competitions consolidate a year-on-year trend of diversity in successful schools and individuals represented. There were a record nine first-time, winning institutions (in 2019: five): Aalto University School of Business, GIBS Business School, IE Business School, London College of Fashion, Moscow State University, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Studio Etica, TomTom Automotive, University of Vaasa, and a record 22 first-time, individual faculty/research winners (in 2019: 18).

Multiple Award/Competition winning schools in 2020 were: Harvard Business School (two), ICFAI Business School (two) and INSEAD (three), each of which has enjoyed success in previous years. Four single category winning schools have also enjoyed previous success: University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, and University of St. Gallen.

Winning case subjects included for the second consecutive year President Trump, in a case from University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the Economics, Politics and Business Environment category. In the tech field both Apple and Microsoft are represented, as are Snap Inc, TomTom and Tesla. Ethical/Social Enterprise issues feature as the central theme in three winners, as does Big Data in two.

Results in full

For biographical details of winners, and judging criteria, please see the Notes for Editors.


Overall Award Winner   Free Case
Satya Nadella at Microsoft: Instilling a Growth Mindset
Herminia Ibarra, Aneeta Rattan and Anna Johnston
London Business School
  Tesla Motors Business Model Configuration; Case Study Update; from Tesla Motors to Tesla
Erwin Hettich and Günter Müller-Stewens, University of St. Gallen
Economics, Politics and Business Environment   Entrepreneurship   Ethics and Social Responsibility
Trump Says the WTO is a Disaster
Peter Debaere
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  Boost M6700 (A) & (B): Buyer-Seller Negotiation
Horacio Falcão and Heather Grover, INSEAD
Kriti Jain, IE Business School
  TOMS Shoes: The Buy-one-give-one Social Enterprise Business Model
Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas and Ana Roncha
London College of Fashion
Finance, Accounting and Control   Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour   Knowledge, Information and Communication Systems Management
Snap Inc's IPO (A)
Marco Di Maggio
Harvard Business School
  Pushing the Right Buttons: Global Talent Management at KONE Corporation
Adam Smale, University of Vaasa
Ingmar Björkman and Johanna Saarinen, Aalto University School of Business
  Big Data Strategy of Procter & Gamble: Turning Big Data into Big Value
Debapratim Purkayastha and Vinod Babu Koti
ICFAI Business School (IBS)
Marketing   Production and Operations Management   Strategy and General Management
Predicting Consumer Tastes with Big Data at Gap
Ayelet Israeli and Jill Avery
Harvard Business School
  Apple and Conflict Minerals: Ethical Sourcing for Sustainability
Debapratim Purkayastha and Adapa Srinivasa Rao
ICFAI Business School (IBS)
  The Marvel Way: Restoring a Blue Ocean
W Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne and Michael Olenick, INSEAD

**Competition winners

Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method   Outstanding Case Teacher
Caren Scheepers
Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria
  Urs Mueller
SDA Bocconi School of Management
Outstanding Case Writer   Outstanding New Case Writer   Outstanding Case Writer: Hot Topic 'Diversity and Discrimination'
TomTom: Mapping the Course from B2C to B2B
Steven Sweldens, Stefano Puntoni, Niela Kleinsmith and Tao Yue, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
Matthieu Campion, TomTom Automotive
  Meat Puppets. Ethical Dilemma in a Restaurant Setting
Alexander Korchagin, Moscow State University
Vera Cherepanova, Studio Etica
  Mirvac: Building Balance (A) & (B)
Zoe Kinias and Felicia A Henderson, INSEAD


Antoinette Mills, +44 (0)1234 756416, antoinette@thecasecentre.org

Or: Emma Simmons, +44 (0)1727 832994, emma@thecasecentre.org

Notes for Editors:

  1. Meet the winners:
    1. Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method
    2. Outstanding Case Teacher
  2. ***Gender analysis of Awards and Competitions’ winners and protagonists
  3. Judging criteria & judges
  4. About The Case Centre

1. Meet the winners

1.1 Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method

Caren Scheepers

Caren Scheepers

Caren Scheepers is Professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), lecturing in organisational development and contextual leadership.

Caren is an accredited professional coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She has authored two books on leadership coaching and co-edited the book Women Leadership in Emerging Markets. Caren has published in local and international academic journals on contextual leadership, ambidexterity, women leadership and change management.

A prolific case author, Caren is passionate about telling the stories of businesses and leadership in Africa through her cases. Students enjoy the lively interactive debates on the dilemmas in her cases and develop critical thinking around responsible contextual leadership and the impact of business on society.

In all her case activities Caren looks for opportunities to mentor colleagues and disseminate the use and development of cases. Over the last five years, she has collaborated on more than 30 case studies and has found the co-authoring of cases the best way to mentor new case writers. She is on the editorial board of Emerald Emerging Markets’ cases.

Caren has run case teaching and writing workshops for faculty at GIBS and other universities, and taught GIBS students to write cases as part of their MBA research. Caren has also conducted Professional Development Workshops on case writing and teaching at the Academy of Management annual conference.

Find out more

1.2 Outstanding Case Teacher

Urs Mueller

Urs Mueller

Urs Mueller is Associate Professor of Practice in the Knowledge group ‘Strategy & Entrepreneurship’ at SDA Bocconi School of Management and affiliate program director at ESMT Berlin.

Urs has designed, directed and taught in numerous executive education programs for a wide range of customers and served as program director for ESMT Berlin’s flagship open enrolment program ‘Executive Transition Program’ for more than 10 years.
Urs’ research activities focus on business ethics and corporate (social) responsibility. In particular, he is interested in how managers in real life do and/or should take decisions with moral dimensions.

A passionate case teacher, Urs consistently receives exceptional feedback from his students.

As a tutor on The Case Centre’s workshop programme, since 2013 Urs has trained hundreds of faculty around the world how to teach and write cases. He has also written several award-winning and bestselling cases. Urs is currently writing a book and two workbooks on case teaching and writing.

Find out more >

2. ***Gender analysis of Awards and Competitions’ winners and protagonists

Year Female winners Male winners Female protagonists Male protagonists
2020 17 (50%) 17 (50%) 5 (31%) 11 (69%)
2019 8 (26%) 23 (74%) 1 (8%) 12 (92%)
2018 14 (41%) 20 (59%) 2 (10%) 19 (90%)
2017 9 (30%) 21 (70%) 2 (13%) 13 (87%)
2016 5 (19%) 22 (81%) 1 (8%) 12 (92%)

3. Award descriptions, judging criteria & judges

The Case Centre Awards and Competitions recognise outstanding case writers and teachers from across the globe. These prestigious accolades celebrate worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching and are now considered the case method community's annual 'Oscars'.

Awards for cases are presented for ten management categories plus an Overall Winner Award and a ‘free’ case. Each year, an award is also made to recognise an individual who has made an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method.

The Outstanding Case Teacher competition recognises an excellent practitioner in the case classroom.

Three case writing competitions are held each year to find an outstanding case writer, an outstanding first-time case writer and to identify the best new case written on a topical ‘Hot topic’, this year, Diversity and Discrimination.

The Awards are in their 30th year. They have been awarded on a global basis since 2011 (previously European Awards).

Management categories, including the ‘free case’ and Overall Winner Award, are presented to those cases that have been used in the largest number of organisations across the globe in the past year. Cases that have been added to The Case Centre’s collection in the past five years are eligible. The Overall Award goes to the most popular case across all categories.

Case Awards are assessed anonymously, based on data.

Each Case Competition is decided by a panel of judges:

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

Case Writing Competitions: Expert panels judge the case writing competition entries anonymously to ensure complete impartiality.

2020 Outstanding Case Writer judges: James Clawson, Darden School of Business; William Maddux, University of North Carolina; Richard McCracken, The Case Centre; Keith Pond, Loughborough University School of Business and Economics; and Harm-Jan Steenhuis, Hawaii Pacific University.

2020 New Case Writer judges: Ian Birchmore, Aberystwyth University Business School; June Gwee, Civil Service College, Singapore; Christopher Kaushal-Bolland, University of Bradford; Richard McCracken, The Case Centre; and Dana Minbaeva, Copenhagen Business School.

2020 Outstanding Case Writer ‘Hot Topic’ judges: Willis Emmons, Harvard Business School; Richard McCracken, The Case Centre; Mustafa Ozturk, Queen Mary School of Business and Management; Kiran Trehan, University of Birmingham Business School; Kim Turnbull James, Cranfield School of Management.

2020 Outstanding Case Teacher judges: Angela Lee, Columbia Business School; Paul Matthyssens, Antwerp Management School; Vijaya Narapareddy, University of Denver Daniels College of Business; Nader Tavassoli, London Business School; and Richard McCracken, The Case Centre.

4. The Case Centre

The Case Centre is the independent home of the case method. We are dedicated to advancing the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. We are a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity. www.thecasecentre.org

The Case Centre:

We are a membership organisation and our growing case method community of over 500 member organisations worldwide is at the heart of everything we do.


We are governed by our Memorandum and Articles of Association. Our executive committee, comprising up to 14 annually elected academic representatives from member organisations, meets four 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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