Case Study Writing Workshop

Case writing is a vital force behind research at HBS. Nearly 80 percent of cases used at business schools worldwide are developed by HBS faculty. HBS case studies have helped refine the skills and business judgment of tens of thousands of students, practitioners, and academics across the world. The School is continually expanding and refreshing course content as HBS faculty write new cases that span the globe, industries, disciplines, and organizational forms in the public, private for profit, and non-profit spaces. As its faculty continues to develop case studies, the School is shaping business learning and educating future leaders in a positive way for years to come.

What is a case study?

The HBS case study is a teaching vehicle that presents students with a critical management issue and serves as a springboard to lively classroom debate in which participants present and defend their analysis and prescriptions. The average case is 15 to 20 pages long (about 7 to 12 pages of prose and 5 to 7 pages of tables and figures). The two main types of cases at the School are field cases based on onsite research, and library cases written solely from public sources. HBS also writes "armchair" cases based entirely on faculty’s general knowledge and experience. Moreover, in 1995, the School’s Educational Technology Services began producing multimedia cases that provide a rich learning experience by bringing together video, audio, graphics, animation, and other mediums.

Case research and writing

At HBS, academic research and case development are connected and mutually reinforcing. Cases provide the opportunity for faculty to assess and develop ideas, spark insights on nascent research questions early in a project, illustrate theory in practice, and get feedback in the classroom on those very concepts. In addition, case writing provides faculty a means to collaborate and to develop research ideas both across disciplines and across institutions.

Field case development is a dynamic and collaborative process in which faculty engage business or governmental leaders, sometimes working together with a colleague at HBS or at other academic institutions. The Case Studies for Harvard Business School brochure is a helpful resource to organizations interested in working with the School on a case. Case leads are identified based on a faculty’s teaching purpose and may arise as the result of a past relationship with an executive, a former student, or from a professor’s interest in exploring with a company’s management team a situation that would provide a meaningful learning experience. HBS works closely with host organizations to guarantee confidentiality.

Field cases typically take two months to complete - from obtaining a host organization’s approval to move forward on a case, to conducting onsite interviews, and drafting a case that paints a picture of the management issue and provides a mix of real-world uncertainty and information required for decision-making analysis.

Case support

A vast array of case-writing support is available to HBS faculty. Support is provided by case writers who work as individual research associates or are available on a project by project basis through our on-campus Case Research and Writing Group and eight regional research centers (Asia-Pacific, California, Europe, India, Japan, Latin America, Harvard Center Shanghai, and Istanbul). Baker Library’s extensive business collection and specialist librarians comprise another invaluable research and case-writing resource.

Page Content 2

Registration is now closed for the May 2018 workshop. if you would like to be placed on a wait list in case an opening occurs, please contact Carolyn Wright at

Summer Workshop

May 21 - 25, 2018

University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

Description: Our five-day summer workshop focuses on training science faculty to teach with case studies, to write their own cases, and to assess their students’ learning with cases. The first three days of the workshop focus on learning the case study method, with demonstrations and time to prepare cases of your own. During the final two days of the workshop, all participants are required to teach a case before a student audience using a case they have developed during the workshop. In addition, workshop participants are expected to produce a case study within six months of the workshop for our national, peer-reviewed case collection.

Dates:  May 21 - 25, 2018

Location:  North Campus, University at Buffalo (see campus maps and directions).

Cost: $975.00.

Registration Fee Covers:   All workshop sessions, materials, computer access, and meals as follows: lunch Monday-Friday; dinners Monday-Thursday; and light morning refreshments during the workshop. Also included are a copy of the book Start with A Story:The Case Study Method of Teaching College Science and a one-year subscription to our case study collection answer keys and teaching notes.

Registration Form: Registration has closed for the May 2018 workshop.

Travel and Accommodations: You are responsible for arranging and paying for your own travel and accommodations. We have arranged for a limited number of rooms for a special price for a limited time at the closest hotels to the university. Please see details below.

Red Roof PLUS+ University at Buffalo - Amherst, 42 Flint Road, Amherst, NY. For reservations, please call 1-800-733-7663; they are open 7 days a week, 6 AM to 3 AM. Ask for a room under the Block Code B104UBCASE. Rooms are non-smoking, kings and doubles, with rates from $59.49 to $101.99, depending on the night of the week, and will be available until Friday, April. 20, 2018.

Buffalo Marriott Niagara,1340 Millersport Hwy, Amherst, NY, 716-689-6900. Room block under name "UB Case Study." Rooms are non-smoking, standard (one king or two double), for TBD / night and will be available until TBD.

Comfort Inn University, 1 Flint Road, Amherst, NY, 716-688-0811. Room block under name "UB Case Study." Rooms are non-smoking, standard (one king or two double), for $92.00 / night and will be available until Tuesday, May 1, 2018. Or book online at

Getting to Campus: From the hotels listed above it is a short 10-minute walk to the campus shuttle. The shuttle schedule will be supplied near the time of the workshop. Total time to walk from these hotels to the workshop location in Clemens Hall is about 25 minutes.

Other hotels, see:

Cancellation Policy:   Registration cancellation requests must be in writing and must be received by us no later than Monday, April 23, 2018.  A $100 processing fee will apply to ALL registration cancellations. Please send cancellation requests to Carolyn Wright’s attention via email ( or fax (716-645-2975).  No refunds will be given after Monday, April 23, 2018.  There will be no refunds for individuals who register for the workshop but do not attend.

Intended Audience: The workshop is open to anyone interested in science education, including high school teachers and international teachers.  Past workshops have included instructors of biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, computer science, mathematics, geology, geography, psychology, anthropology, nursing, dentistry, medicine, engineering, science education, and other related disciplines.

Workshop Director:   Dr. Clyde (Kipp) Herreid is a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He has conducted numerous workshops around the country on case method teaching, team learning, and problem-based learning.   He is the author of a column on case studies regularly featured in the Journal of College Science Teaching and is the Director of the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science.

If you have questions, please contact:

Carolyn Wright
Workshop Coordinator

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *