Marketing Course Leverages Power of Interactive Case Studies

The Harvard case method teaching featured a world’s first interactive case within the Marketing Strategy course at AKSOB

Mar 19, 2019

harvard-case-method.JPG

By Chirine El-Mchantaf

Students at the Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB) have been able to benefit from the Harvard Business School’s case education approach, which was introduced in several graduate courses in the past academic year. Now, the program is growing, and undergraduates in the AKSOB Marketing Strategy course are learning about their subject through interactive case studies. 

In a session earlier in March, Dr. Zahy Ramadan, an assistant professor of marketing who was one of the original faculty to bring the Harvard case method to LAU, led students through a session studying the case of a Saudi-based firm consulting on a client’s digital transformation needs.  

Headquartered in Riyadh, the company, Proven Arabia, was commissioned by a client to conduct a full market study on changing consumer behavior and needs given the proliferation of digital tools and touchpoints.

The students acted as Proven Arabia consultants, deciding on different strategies for the client.

“This case is based on a non-linear form of reading whereby students are placed in the protagonist’s role and can choose different paths throughout the case when faced with a decision to make,” Dr. Ramadan said, adding, “The case discussion went extremely well, and the students raised the bar high.”

Due to the added value of the Harvard approach, Dr. Ramadan said there are plans to create a case study method specific to LAU. 

“My main aim through designing interactive case studies would be to offer a case method teaching particular to LAU that would be based on more hands-on, interactive and immersive case study learning,” he said. 

For the marketing students, the session was highly beneficial.

“It helped us to better understand how to think and organize our thoughts when it comes to reading and assessing a case,” said Yara El Hage, a final-year business marketing major. “Having more instances like these would definitely allow us to understand and interact best with such material.”

For Tracy Abdallah, also a business marketing student in her last year of study, the session revealed aspects and some complexities of running a business. “I felt that we can focus and understand the different scenarios and decisions companies are faced with,” she said. “Thinking out loud among the class on different and diverse decisions made it seem as if we were in a real work environment.”