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Overcoming the Problem With Solving Business Problems: Using Theory Differently to Rejuvenate the Case Method for Turbulent Times

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journal contribution
posted on 06.09.2020 by Todd Bridgman, C McLaughlin, Stephen Cummings
© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. A questioning of the neoliberal consensus in the global economic order is creating turbulence in Western democracies. Long regarded as the only viable capitalist model, neoliberalism is now subjected to increasing scrutiny. Management education that has been aligned to a neoliberal worldview must now respond to this shifting landscape in order to retain its legitimacy. One core element of management education undergoing revision as a result is the case method of teaching. The case method’s traditionally narrow focus on training students to solve business problems is increasingly problematic in an environment where the structure of the capitalist system in which firms operate is now a topic of debate. To address this, we argue for a reconceptualization of the case method’s relationship with theory. This has conventionally taken two forms: a hostility to any inclusion of theory in the analytical process and an approach that uses theory as an instrument for profit maximization. We propose an alternative third approach that encourages students to engage in a critical questioning of business-as-usual capitalism from the perspective of multiple stakeholders, including managers, employees, unions, not-for-profit organizations, government, and the natural environment.

History

Preferred citation

Bridgman, T., McLaughlin, C. & Cummings, S. (2018). Overcoming the Problem With Solving Business Problems: Using Theory Differently to Rejuvenate the Case Method for Turbulent Times. Journal of Management Education, 42(4), 441-460. https://doi.org/10.1177/1052562917754236

Journal title

Journal of Management Education

Volume

42

Issue

4

Publication date

01/08/2018

Pagination

441-460

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Publication status

Published

Online publication date

22/01/2018

ISSN

1052-5629

eISSN

1552-6658

Language

en

Exports