06 Mar 2019

Two HBS Faculty Members Win Awards in Global Case Centre Competition


BOSTON—Two members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty, along with their research associates, have won awards in the 2019 Case Centre Competition. First presented in 1991, these annual awards, which the Financial Times has described as the “the business school Oscars,” aim to recognize worldwide excellence in case writing and raise the profile of the case method, the centerpiece of participant-centered, discussion-based learning.

Based at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, the Case Centre is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the case method in business education and sharing world-leading knowledge and expertise in case teaching, writing, and learning -- a pedagogy first applied to management education more than ninety years ago at Harvard Business School.

The 2019 HBS winners are Senior Lecturer Jill Avery, and coauthors Chekitan Dev and Peter O'Connor, who were honored for their case “Accor: Strengthening the Brand with Digital Marketing” in the Overall winner category, and HBS Professor Elie Ofek and former HBS Research Associate Eric E. Vogt, for “Château Margaux: Launching the Third Wine” in the Marketing category.

Jill Avery

Jill Avery

Avery and her coauthors look at Accor, the world's leading hotel operator with a portfolio of fourteen hospitality brands (including Sofitel and Novotel) in 92 countries, which prides itself on living up to its motto, "To open new frontiers in hospitality." Accor was indeed contemplating how to do just that—but not by tackling a new frontier of the geographic variety. Rather, the firm was further exploring the digital frontier via a new distribution channel that would allow it to better compete in the online marketing space for travel reservations.

“This was truly a collaborative effort that combined Cheki’s deep hospitality industry knowledge with Peter’s digital disruption expertise and my branding, digital marketing, and marketing strategy focus,” said Avery. “For me, collaborating with other professors on case writing injects energy, fresh ideas, and new perspectives on business issues.”

Elie Ofek

Elie Ofek

Ofek and Vogt examine Château Margaux, one of only five prestigious estates in the Bordeaux Medoc wine region to have been classified as a "first-growth", which is facing a host of strategic decisions in early 2013. Historically, the estate sold two red wines, a first wine whose retail price often exceeded $1000 a bottle, and a second wine whose retail price often exceeded $200 a bottle. Owner Corinne Mentzelopoulos and her management team were now preparing to launch a new third wine made from the estate's production. They have to decide whether the best go-to-market strategy is to sell the third wine to the local Bordeaux merchants and relinquish commercialization to them or to devise a complete marketing plan for the new wine that includes: target market selection, positioning, quantity to release, pricing, channel structure and brand name. Mentzelopoulos was considering the optimal marketing for the third wine in light of bold moves by other first-growths, such as the purchase of vineyards in the Bordeaux region, global expansion, and deviation from the centuries-old tradition of selling wine in the futures market.

“The marketing group at Harvard Business School prides itself on keeping abreast of the most critical issues facing marketing managers today. Moreover, there is often an attempt to examine how marketing issues relate to broader business phenomenon (such as strategy, entrepreneurship, leadership or ethics), said Ofek. “The combination results in rich cases that serve as excellent pedagogical vehicles that instructors and students greatly appreciate.”


Cullen Schmitt

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.