BOSTON—Six members of the Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty, including Bharat Anand and Sunil Gupta, have won awards in the 2016 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 of 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 90 years ago at Harvard Business School.
This year’s HBS winners are:
PROF. ANITA ELBERSE, who was named the outstanding case teacher by a panel of expert case method practitioners. This marks the first year that students were invited to provide nominations for the competition.
PROF. ERIK STAFFORD, who was honored for his case “Valuation of Airthread Connections” (coauthored with Joel L. Heilprin) in the Finance, Accounting, and Control category.
PROFS. BHARAT ANAND, SUNIL GUPTA, and FELIX OBERHOLZER-GEE, who were recognized for “The New York Times Paywall” (coauthored with former HBS faculty member Vineet Kumar) in the Marketing category.
PROF. ERIC VAN DEN STEEN, who won for “Tesla Motors” in the Strategy and General Management category.
Elberse teaches the MBA course “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries,” which is among the most sought-after courses in the HBS Elective Curriculum, as well as the popular Executive Education program “The Business of Media, Entertainment, and Sports.” She has received multiple teaching awards from students at Harvard Business School.
Stafford describes how a senior associate must prepare a preliminary valuation for acquiring AirThread Connections, a regional cellular provider that if acquired, would give American Cable access to wireless technology and the wireless spectrum and enable the company to offer competitive service bundles, including wireless, which was at the time a gap the company’s service offerings.
Anand, Gupta, and Oberholzer-Gee examined many aspects of the New York Times digital strategy, which involved designing the paywall, deciding on the digital content, and determining pricing, as well figuring out how to interface with readers of secondary news websites such as blogs that posted links to news articles.
Van den Steen’s case looks at Tesla Motors’ series of successes in mid-2013 – the launch of it first mass-produced car, the Model S, to rave reviews; the establishment of more robust first-year production targets; and the receipt of orders for its next car, the Model X. Everything seemed to be going in the right direction – or were there some curves in the road ahead?
According to the Case Centre, the winning case in each category is the one that has achieved the highest growth in popularity worldwide based on sales to individual organizations during the last calendar year. Cases for each category are judged anonymously by expert panels to ensure impartiality.