The EFMD business magazine

The EFMD business magazine

Stephanie Hussels describes how Cranfield uses case study writing as a means of integrating research, teaching, and practice in the MBA course.

The Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management was founded in 2006 and named after Tim Bettany, Cranfield MBA alumnus and serial entrepreneur, who endowed a Chair of Entrepreneurship at the School of Management. The Centre has now developed a diverse portfolio of entrepreneurial activities across five broad areas: internationally recognised research, graduate programmes, networking events, technology transfer, and executive education.

This article describes how executive education and graduate programmes have been linked at Cranfield, to the benefit of both entrepreneurs and students. the executive education portfolio, exhibit 1, covers the entire entrepreneurial life cycle from start-up, growth, to harvest and exit. the flagship programme of the executive portfolio is the Business Growth Programme (BGP), the longest-running programme for the development of owner-managers in the UK. It has been running with great success for nearly 25 years and has helped more than 1,250 owner-managers achieve their business and personal ambitions.

Around a quarter of Cranfield MBA students are personally involved in venturing within 10 years of graduation. Keeping this in mind, the MBA entrepreneurship elective covers the entire entrepreneurial life cycle. During the course, MBA students are challenged to learn both sides of the entrepreneurial process by evaluating a venture from an investor’s point of view, as well as getting first-hand experience by developing their own business plan, which they then have to pitch to real investors at the end of the elective. to enhance the practical aspects of the elective, case studies are employed throughout the course. the cases are based on businesses well known to us. as a consequence, Cranfield entrepreneurship faculty have written numerous case studies over the years (see for examples exhibit 2).

In addition, case study writing has been incorporated on the MBA entrepreneurship elective, allowing students to write a case study and accompanying teaching notes as an alternative to writing their own business plan.

For the full article, you can view the PDF.

Case by case

See more articles from Vol.06 Issue 01 – ’12.

Dr Stephanie Hussels is a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management, UK.

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