Case-Based Courses

Case-based learning offers learners the opportunity to develop “the skill of figuring out a course of inquiry to choose a course of action—that skill is as relevant today as it was in 1921.”

Prof. Jan Rivkin, HBS

“Cases teach students how to apply theory in practice and how to induce theory from practice. The case method cultivates the capacity for critical analysis, judgment, decision-making, and action.”
Additionally, cases help learners acquire the following meta-skills:
Being prepared
Sorting “signal” from “noise” and staying focused on what is important
Surfacing and correcting cognitive and personal biases
Curiosity about opportunities beyond one’s current domain
Confidence to face new challenges

Dean Nitin NOHRIA, HBS

Since 2011, I have been adapting case-based courses from top-tier international business schools for use in Higher Education and Executive Education/Learning & Development. These active learning courses are rigorous, and they are designed and delivered with compassion for the learner and the increasingly competitive, global context in which they are trying to create and capture value. The learning designs enable motivated participants to develop their intellectual capital (Knowing,) psychological capital (Being,) and social capital (Doing). The timeline below describes the courses I have adapted and taught in Japan and Canada.

September 1, 2011

Innovation Strategy

(adapted from Managing Innovation @ HBS) is about how to turn great ideas into great products and services that are desirable, viable, and feasible by leveraging the right (i.e. fit for purpose) innovation system and avoiding expensive failures. Course topics include the pivotal roles played by experimentation, learning and prototyping, product/service development process design and improvement, the understanding and integration of customers and their needs, development strategy, and project management. Delivered to MBA students: 2011-2016.

September 1, 2011
April 1, 2012

Strategy & Online Business

(adapted from The Online Economy: Strategy & Entrepreneurship @ HBS) is about how to think strategically about successfully establishing and/or managing online businesses. The course consists of four modules: 1. Launch: Mobilization of Online Businesses: How do we reach a critical mass of users? 2. Scaling Up: How do we get big? 3. Implementation: What if we have a great idea but no technical capability? 4. Monetization & Market Design: How do we design a safe, trustworthy platform so that all stakeholders can create and capture value? Delivered to MBA students: 2012-2016.

April 1, 2012
September 1, 2012

Entrepreneurial Management

(adapted from The Entrepreneurial Manager – TEM @ HBS) addresses the issues faced by managers when they want to convert opportunities into value-creating organizations. Course topics are aligned with the business lifecycle and include defining who and what an entrepreneurial manager is, identifying, evaluating, and exploiting opportunities, business model analysis, and managing growth, uncertainty, and transitions. Learning how to make decisions and take action under conditions of entrepreneurial uncertainty is a key objective of this course. Delivered to MBA students: 2012-2016.
Delivered to undergraduate students: 2017.

September 1, 2012
April 1, 2018

Innovation Management

(adapted from Building and Sustaining a Successful Enterprise @ HBS) is how organizations and their employees manage their innovation activities. This course is about the fundamentals of innovation management from the perspectives of theory and practice. Key topics encountered within this course include definitions of innovation and innovation management; the theory of disruptive innovation (focus on low-end disruption); organizing for innovation: resources, processes, and priorities (RPP) framework; organizing for innovation: organizational culture; building and managing innovation systems at the Business Design stage and at the Business Model Execution stage of the business lifecycle; the theory of disruptive innovation (focus on new market disruption), design-driven innovation vs. competency-destroying technology transitions; jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework; and business models. Delivered to graduate business students: 2018-2023.

April 1, 2018
May 1, 2023


The core learning objective of this capstone course (adapted from RC Strategy @ HBS) is to acquire an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to become an effective strategist, that is, a professional who can set a winning long-term direction for their organization. Course topics include What is Strategy?; market attractiveness and competitive positioning; competitive advantage; strategic choice – business level strategy; strategic interactions; strategic choice – corporate level strategy; systematic strategy execution; disruptive strategy; global strategy; and crafting strategy. Delivered to undergraduate business students: 2023-2024.

May 1, 2023