Case Writing: A Tool for Teaching and Research

  • William Naumes
  • Margaret J Naumes


On the pedagogical battlefield, there are many weapons from which an instructor may choose. In practice, however, this choice is more limited. Many disciplines demonstrate a preference for particular techniques because the instructors were taught via the same method when they were students. The availability of alternative teaching materials may also hinder this variation. The contention of the authors is that, in the engineering and decision sciences, case studies are an underutilized resource. This article will outline some of the areas in which case studies are most likely to be effective. It then describes the process by which an instructor can develop effective cases for use in the classroom and for publication. We will begin with a brief discussion of the different types of case studies and the various teaching objectives and learning styles associated with each type. The article will then describe the process of finding suitable companies or issues for cases, and gaining access to this information. We discuss some of the conventions of case style and organization as well as the process of testing and refining the case draft. Finally, the teaching note or instructor?s manual, an integral part of the case writing process is covered in detail.