Project note: Writing cases in innovation

A. Choosing a topic

Some of the best cases are written by researchers who:

i. Have a passion for the firm or subject matter. Find the subject fun to research!

ii. Have some work experience on the subject matter, are familiar with some of the tacit knowledge on the topic, or have good access to data

iii. Want to go and work in that industry when they graduate

iv. Already have lots of data on the subject.


B. Case contents

1. An introductory paragraph which answers the following questions: what is the focal problem? When does the case take place? Where is the organization located? who is the decision maker? The problem should be related to one of the questions on page 2 of your textbook or any of concepts of the course.

2. The body of the case should contain a description of :

The firm

The firm's existing technology, capabilities, performance, etc if relevant to the problem being explored

The innovation

Competitors (existing and potential) and relevant information on them


3. Exhibits. You can have any number of exhibits you want. They do not all have to be relevant to the question you are exploring. Remember that cases are supposed to be an attempt to simulate the socially complex context in which managers must take decisions.

4. At the core of the case should be the fact that some new knowledge has been used (or is being used) to offer new product or service that customers want.


C. Style

The cases should be HBS-type but please write the type of case that you would love to read. Forget about the professor. Please yourself! Thus you may want to follow the style of the case you liked the most in one of your earlier courses. The length should be twelve to twenty pages, double-spaced, font 12, excluding the exhibits.


D. Teaching note

Use your teaching note to reveal the solution to the "problem" of the case. It is in this note that you show how the theory and concepts of the text are related to the "problem" and solution of the case.



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