Google, brand identity and the Chinese market – hot topics in LUSEM’s own case competition
Congratulations to the student team "Case of Spades" – Daniel Zidén, Johanna Tegelström, Emil Jakobsson and Ludvig Fredholm – for winning LUSEM Case Competition 2019! On 2–4 April, the second round of LUSEM Case Competition was held. This year, the competition invited students from several different subject areas.
LUSEM Case Competition uniquely covers the entire process of case-based teaching- and learning. The real-life cases are written by students under the supervision of case-faculty. The unique cases are on current topics, with a certain focus on the management of communication, brands and reputation issues. The solution of the cases call for a broad management perspective.
An opportunity to create learning
Mats Urde is a teacher and researcher in strategic brand management. He is the initiator of LUSEM Case Competition, and has extensive experience of using cases in his teaching. He is also co-founder of LUSEM Case Academy.
Mats Urde is a strong proponent of the case method:
“As head of our case training programme and as a coach to student teams at international case competitions, I see first-hand the potential of this method and its impact on research, teaching and learning. Management is a wisdom that cannot be taught is something that is often said at Harvard Business School, so I like to put the students in "action mode” (work practical) by asking them to solve real case cases and work on solutions to difficult issues. This is an opportunity to create a learning that engages and involves students, faculty and knowledgeable people from the business community and society as a whole.”
The key to a successful team
Case competitions include at least two major challenges for students, time management and understanding of the situation:
“The contestants have very little time to make decisions and then present this in a convincing way. It requires a tight-knit team, a structure and a method for making the best decisions quickly. The hardest part is probably getting an understanding of the situation. In each individual case, the competing teams are bombarded with information, and they need to work on well-grounded decision making in order to take strategic decisions. The hard thing is to be able to “zoom out” and understand what this is about: Is the challenge of changing a work culture, or is it a question about crisis communication? When the case is written about a specific event or decision, it is easy to miss "the big picture".
Does this sound hard? It is hard. Fortunately, it is a skill that anyone can learn, given the right time and practice:
“When I work with students, I always tell them: Get out of your comfort zone and test. To be the best, training is everything. Work on your presentation skills, keep up-to-date in what is happening in the business world, practice speed reading, analyze a case a second time… Hard work and dedication to case solving will equip you with skills needed in the business world,” Mats adds.
A case competition – with a twist
LUSEM Case Competition differs from other case competitions – the unique thing about this competition is clearly the holistic approach to case solving:
“The competition is not just about – as in most other case competitions – just about solving cases, but also includes writing and presenting. For us as teachers, we want our students to solve complex situations and “real” problems that we may encounter in their upcoming work life. Therefore, it is not just the competing teams that learn something, but everyone in the audience is involved and active participants in the case solving process. In my eyes, it's an incredibly valuable and unique competition,” Mats says.