Lecturer from UP’s GIBS wins Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method at the European Case Centre’s 30th Awards

Posted on February 26, 2020

Associate Professor Dr Caren Scheepers of the University of Pretoria's Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) has won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method at the European Case Awards. The 11 Awards and five Competitions, which are in their 30th year, are an annual celebration of excellence in case writing and teaching at schools of business, management and government worldwide. 

The 2020 results were characterised by increasing diversity, especially in numbers of women achieving success, and also by record numbers of individuals and institutions winning their first award or competition. Dr Scheepers' win represents a first-time win both for the school, and for Scheepers, who becomes the fourth female winner in the ten years of the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Competition. This is the second time an African institution has won in the history of the Awards. 

The Overall Winning Case on Microsoft's change in its mindset culture since 2014 was authored at London Business School, which wins the Overall Award for the fourth time (the first time since the Awards went global in 2011). It is a first-time award success for Herminia Ibarra, Aneeta Rattan, and Anna Johnston, and notably, the first time a case with exclusively three female authors has won any award. 

2020 reflects growing diversity in business education. For the first time, there are equal numbers of male and female award/competition winners: 17 male and 17 female. The preceding four years averaged just 29% of female winners. 

Outstanding Case Writer success went to Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Steven Sweldens, Stefano Puntoni, Niela Kleinsmith, Tao Yue) and TomTom Automotive (Matthieu Campion) and showcases advancing female diversity in case protagonists across the Awards – now at a record 31% – and notably, in the tech sector in this case. 

Commenting on the Awards, Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre said: "The 2020 Awards and Competitions mark their 30th anniversary and the 10th year of being global. We see a record number of successful female authors – now equal in number to their male counterparts – as well as more new winning institutions and authors than ever before. Though schools long associated with cases continue to win Awards, the results show that the method is no longer their sole domain. 

"Almost every region of the world is now producing award-winning schools, authors and case topics. Today's students right across the globe have the opportunity of being taught with the best case method materials and by recognised outstanding educators. 

"Because the Awards are made based on data of actual uptake in education, they provide an annual snapshot of the topics being used to teach business and management. Issues such as ethics are now central to more cases than ever before. Meanwhile, the ompetitions allow an evaluation of authors and teachers around the world who might otherwise remain undiscovered." 

Scheepers is a prolific case writer, and her cases mainly focus on business and leadership in Africa. She took third place in the 2015 CEEMAN & Emerald Case Writing Competition with her case, Preserving the Delicate Balance to Manage a Thriving Business in South Africa – the Adventure of OneLogix (Goh, Saville, & Scheepers, 2015). She takes great pride in mentoring and coaching new faculty members on case writing and teaching and has run case teaching and writing workshops for GIBS faculty and other universities. She has also contributed to workshops for GIBS students, teaching them to write cases as part of their MBA research. 

All of Scheepers' cases have been co-authored with other faculty to offer them exposure. Some colleagues have continued to write their own case studies and have involved other faculty, leading to the exponential growth of the competence and skill of writing and teaching cases. Scheepers commented: “While I have facilitated several workshops on writing cases for faculty and associates from our university and others, I have found that co-authoring is the best way to mentor first-time case writers. 

“From the design of the questions, the interviews, the write up, brainstorming assignment questions and relevant literature, all the phases are a co-creation between colleagues. It is also much more fun to collaborate around a case study project than to work on it on your own!

“I am humbled and grateful to The Case Centre for recognising my contribution to this worthwhile cause. It is an honour and privilege to receive this award on behalf of our school. It has been a team effort to build a community around excellence in case writing and teaching," she concluded.

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