According to Businessweek‘s Geoff Gloeckler writing in “The Case Against Case Studies,” executives find MBA’s lacking in decision-making ability when faced with incomplete information — in other words, almost all the time.
Case studies, the exclusive teaching method used by Harvard and Darden,are frequently used by top business schools worldwide. Critics feel the cases spoon-feed MBA’s too much information and make “the solution” obvious. They fail to teach students how to frame problems and find the data needed to analyze a situation in the real world of ambiguity.
In response to this criticism, Dean Glenn Hubbard of Columbia, devised a new twist on the hundred-year-old case study format: decision briefs. A decision brief offers less information about a situation than traditional cases and aims to more closely simulate real business life. According to the article, Columbia is not abandoning cases, but will supplement them with the innovative decision briefs.