While the case method forms the foundation of HBS's approach to teaching and learning, additional pedagogical methods are interwoven to engage and challenge students, and add a different kind of experience to the classroom. The projects listed below take advantage of the latest educational technologies and range from online multimedia cases featuring on-location videos, to simulations where students work in teams to make minute-by-minute decisions about a company's product strategy.
Lecturer John Macomber
The process of putting a bid together in real-time is exciting, energetic, and fraught with drama. Lecturer John Macomber wanted to bring this energy to the classroom, and knew it was something that couldn't be accomplished by reading or lecture. He describes the resultant construction bidding simulation; how it is played and debriefed, and how putting students in the vendors' shoes enhances learning.
Professor Tsedal Neeley
As Professor Tsedal Neeley explains, Tip of the Iceberg simulates the communication dynamics that occur during global collaborations in which diverse work teams interact in English—the mandated business language. Through a series of online communication game sessions, student teams (students are assigned roles as native English speakers and non-native speakers) work together to solve problems against the clock, as language and communication challenges impact their performance.
Associate Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell
Wintel is an in-class game designed to simulate strategic interactions between Microsoft and Intel in the market for Wintel PCs. Associate Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell explains the decisions and tradeoffs students must make while playing the game and how having to actually make those decisions is harder than just talking about them.
Professors Nabil El-Hage and Richard Ruback
When Professors Nabil El-Hage and Richard Ruback created a new MBA course on the private equity industry, they wanted to supplement the class discussion with an analysis of the industries surrounding the potential investments presented in the cases. They developed an Context Analysis Exercise using critical thinking skills and research resources on a wide range of industries from hospital management to food processing. Students worked in teams to research industries, posted their analysis to the web, and acted as industry experts during class.
Professor Clayton Rose
Professor Rose and Knowledge and Library Services (KLS) developed this Issue Analysis Exercise, in which teams of students completed research on a pre-identified topic related to the case, and then wrote an "issue analysis". These summaries of their findings were reviewed as an enhancement to the case discussion. To assist research, custom resource pages for each topic were made available through a wiki interface where students were able to post as well as review analysis papers. This exercise offered a way to encourage quality writing skills and deeper, more focused information gathering.
Professor Amy Edmondson
The ability to find and then analyze information is a critical part of any general manager's decision-making process. Professor Amy Edmondson talks about the Informed Decisions-making Exercise she created to help students compare the quality of information they found using different search methods and information sources. Working in teams, students used a variety of approaches to research solutions to business problems. Through analysis and reflection, the students compared their findings and developed frameworks to guide decision-making as informed leaders.
Professor Jan Rivkin
The Offshoring Exercise was created by the BGIE and Strategy teaching teams to give students first-hand experience at assessing the offshorability of many different jobs. Professor Jan Rivkin talks about the eye-opening outcome of the students' discoveries.
Professor and Senior Associate Dean Howard Stevenson
Professor and Senior Associate Dean Howard Stevenson created the Personal Financial Planner to help students model their long-term financial goals. By answering questions about their current situations and about what they plan or hope to be doing ten, twenty, and fifty years later in life, students are confronted with the financial consequences of the way they decide to live their lives.
Professor Lynda Applegate
Professor Lynda Applegate explains how the Crafting Business Models online tutorial enables her Owner/President Management (OPM) participants to return home with a complete set of tools for making changes in their companies.
Sr. Lecturer Tim Luehrman
The purpose of the web-based Finance Prematriculation Tutorial is to provide the basic principles and tools of finance at an introductory level. Senior Lecturer Tim Luehrman describes several of the tutorial's innovations, including its intended use before students come to campus. View the tutorial (not available without HBS login).
Professor Michael Tushman
Leadership, Culture, and Transition at Lululemon examines leadership, company culture, and organizational change through a multimedia study of Lululemon, a publicly traded $350 million athletic clothing retailer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Professor Michael Tushman describes how the multimedia format added value by freshening the delivery of content and capturing the essence of an entrepreneurial start-up at a key transition in its growth trajectory.
Senior Lecturer Michael Chu
Senior Lecturer Michael Chu developed this video case study to illustrate the realities of microfinance today. Filmed on location in Lima, Peru, the video clips take viewers inside Mibanco, one of the world's leading microfinance institutions, as well as to the open air markets and farms of its clients.
Assistant Professor Karim Lakhani
Assistant Professor Karim Lakhani describes the Threadless multimedia case and its focus on the company's community-driven distributed innovation model. The case has been used with both MBA and Executive Education participants, and included an online T-shirt design contest for MBAs.
Professor Kasturi Rangan and Senior Lecturer Michael Chu
Professor Kasturi Rangan and Senior Lecturer Michael Chu describe their collaboration to create an Internet-based research portal for the rapidly changing field of business at the base of the pyramid. Designed to give students faster access to complex and diverse resources, the BBOP Knowledge Center has grown with student input and changing world events. As a result, students have identified significant business opportunities and the faculty have further refined the course based on new content. Creating the Project description