American Univesity of Beirut

About the OSB MENA Case initiative

​​​​​The OSB MENA Case Initiative at the American University of Beirut has been established in March 2012 and re-launched by the Interim Dean Professor Yusuf Sidani to bring together academic and practical knowledge in case method in order to enable an action-oriented learning in all areas of management education offered by the ​Olayan School of Business (OSB) and to promote the case method approach in the MENA region. ​

    Cases: What & Why

    What is a 'case?'

    A case is a written description of a real situation in an organization presented from the point of view of a decision-maker, and accompanied by background information about the situation, the company, the industry and the country. The length of case ranges from a few to several dozen pages, the most common being around 20 pages, including appendices. Cases started being used in law education, but then expanded into management. Nowadays, cases are a standard tool of participative learning used widely in many disciplines – from management to engineering and medicine.

    Why use cases?

    Cases have been used in business education for more than a century. They are a standard tool to help students learn by practicing taking management decisions in a safe environment of a classroom. Cases allow better solidification of the connection between theories in textbooks and practical decision-making skills. Thus, inexperienced students can gain practical experience, while experienced managers can gain useful theoretical insights into their business.

    Want to know more? Check the following article:

    Apaydin, Marina; 2008. “Making a Case for the Case Method in Turkey," Journal of Management Development, Special issue “Transition in the Age of Anxiety: The Turkish Case," 27 (7): 678-692.

    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the benefits and drawbacks of the case method, one of the participative learning techniques, and its appropriateness for the Turkish cultural context. Although examples of case method research abound, this contextual anchoring is rare. The Turkish cultural context provides more favorable conditions for implementation of the case method than that of the Western countries where it originates. For instance, Turkey has one of the highest scores of in-group collectivism. However, a lack of focused leadership and appropriate motivation prevented the pioneers of the method from overcoming the inertia of the incumbent institutional structures. This paper offers an executable strategy for promoting this method in Turkey and focuses on implementation issues of an effective teaching tool within one country, thus making its analysis and recommendations both specific and executable.

    Mission and Vision

    ​Our mission is to serve as an ultimate case resource and a reference point in and for the MENA region:

    • To provide rich and easy to access resources related to case method for all stakeholders (students, instructors, educators, writers, community)
    • To support student learning with cases by providing regular workshops, training and competitions
    • To facilitate faculty use of cases by assisting them in choosing, preparing and conducting case-based sessions in their classes
    • To assist case writing by conducting workshops, facilitating company leads and case publishing
    • To assist organizations interested in engaging with case writing in finding appropriate authors and managing the relationship
    • To promote case culture and case-based experiential learning method in the region by developing and leading major initiatives related to cases (competitions, conferences, workshops)

    Our vision is to be the 1st truly case-based business school in the MENA region:

    • To develop a case-based culture at OSB
    • To establish an OSB MENA Case Center
    • To be recognized as the first truly case-based business school and a premier resource for case studies and experience in the MENA region​

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