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New to SFU: Harvard case studies + readings

Published by Mark Bodnar
  Update: After a one-year "pilot" subscription, we cancelled this resource. The case studies included didn't include many of the ones that instructors most often assigned in classes, so it was unlikely that usage would ever rise to the level needed to warrant the cost.

As an alternative, consider the Sage Business Cases resource: thousands of business case studies from around the world, with a strong emphasis on diverse perspectives and topics. See our blog posts for more on Sage Business Cases.

I'm very pleased to announce that SFU students and instructors now have access to the Harvard Business Publishing Student Success database. 

HBP Student Success includes two very useful learning resources: a collection of selected Harvard case studies plus a collection of "core curriculum" readings on foundational concepts. I'll describe both components below, but first here's a very important request for your opinions:

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Feedback: Our current subscription to Harvard Business Publishing Student Success expires on Dec. 31, 2021. Please share your opinions to help us make an informed decision when we consider renewing it. We're particularly interested in hearing from instructors who have used these cases or readings in their classes.

Send any and all feedback or questions to Mark Bodnar: mbodnar@sfu.ca

HBS Select Case Study Collection

The va

logo of Harvard Business Publishing: Education
lue of using case studies in business education is clear, and few case study publishers are as well regarded as Harvard Business School. This collection includes more than 2200 Harvard case studies selected to address broad themes that are essential knowledge in today’s business context — all fully accessible to all SFU students and instructors with no need to purchase separate copies for each course and student.

As with all Harvard case studies, the ones included in this collection provide immersive real-world scenarios and commentary to help students examine issues related to the dynamics of business and society. 

Here are a few samples to give you a taste of what this collection contains: 

Core Curriculum

The 76 "Core Curriculum" readings seem fairly straightforward at first glance — a series of readings created by Harvard faculty to cover foundational concepts, theories, and frameworks of business studies — but when you start to explore them you'll discover that they are highly readable, yet substantive, overviews of core concepts that every business student should understand.

Whether the focus is on decision making, leading innovation, or the M&A process, each Core Curriculum reading offers a broader treatment of the topic than a typical article, yet is shorter than a book — plus they make it fun with online interactive illustrations, practice questions and/or short videos.

Here are a few more examples from the collection: 

To ensure you get the best use possible out of this new resource, I urge you to read on for some extra details for both students and instructors. 


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The selection of case studies in this database is meant to address key themes and issues across all aspects of Business, but they are still only a small subset of all the cases published by Harvard.

If you are unable to find a specific case assigned in your course, check your syllabus. It's possible that your instructor has chosen cases that better match your course's goals but aren't in this collection and has provided details in the syllabus or in SFU Canvas on how to access/purchase those cases.

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Register as an Educator at the Harvard Business School Publishing site for access to Teaching Notes and other supporting material.

Ensure your students have smooth access to your selected cases by providing them with stable, SFU-authenticated links ("permalinks") to your selected cases. (Click here for details on how to find permalinks in the database.)

As this database only offers a portion of the full range of Harvard's cases, it's quite likely that you'll still be sourcing some of your cases directly from Harvard. Try to build in a step of first checking this database to avoid inadvertently duplicating content already available to all SFU students.

More about case studies

See our Case Studies resource guide for additional case study resources available here at SFU and beyond.

And for students who are new to studying with case studies, check out these short videos on how to approach a case study by the author of the Case Study Handbook: A Student's Guide.

Finally... some tips from major textbook publishers:

A Guide to Case Analysis - McGraw Hill 
Focus is on how to analyse company cases when learning strategic management techniques. (Depending on your browser settings, you may need to right click this link and open it in a new tab or download it.)

Case Studies: Overview - Cengage
Covers both analysing and writing a case study from the perspective of a business student.

Hands-on Guide: How to Analyze a Case Study - Pearson
Brief outline of a 5-step approach.

As always, just send me an email if you have any questions at all!

Mark Bodnar
Business & Economics Librarian

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