Case-study method – the feature of American business education
In the modern form the case-study method was originated in the 1870s years at Harvard law school and was established in terms of the business education in the 1920-ies. Teachers of the primary MBA programs were scientists, not businessmen, and they are faced with the fact that it was impossible to teach students conducting business exclusively by means of lectures and textbooks. Alternative to textbooks became interviews with leading entrepreneurs and top managers of companies and written on their basis detailed reports about how they solved a specific situation and on factors affecting their activity. Since that, the analysis of business situations has become an important element of preparation of future managers in business schools. Professors of Harvard business school actively contributed to its spread, by publishing books, textbooks, collections of case studies and conducting seminars for teachers. Now case-study, as a method of learning is used in all leading business schools, universities and corporations.
Clarification of the case consists of several steps:
— research of the projected situation (case);
— collection and analysis of the missing facts;
— discussion of possible solutions to the issued;
— advancement of the best solutions.
This method helps to improve students’ independent thinking, the capability to listen and consider alternative visions and express their arguments. With the help of this approach students have a chance to show and advance analytical and evaluative skills, learn to work as a team and to find the most rational solution to the question.
Being as an interactive teaching method, case-study is gaining a positive attitude among students, ensuring the improvement of the theoretical principles and mastering practical use of the material; it affects the professionalization of students and creates interest and positive motivation towards learning process. At the same time the case-study method acts as a way of thinking of the teacher, his particular paradigm, allowing different way to think and act, to refresh own creativity.