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Hertz CEO Kathryn Marinello with CFO Jamere Jackson and other members of the executive team in 2017

Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies of 2021

Two cases about Hertz claimed top spots in 2021's Top 40 Most Popular Case Studies

Two cases on the uses of debt and equity at Hertz claimed top spots in the CRDT’s (Case Research and Development Team) 2021 top 40 review of cases.

Hertz (A) took the top spot. The case details the financial structure of the rental car company through the end of 2019. Hertz (B), which ranked third in CRDT’s list, describes the company’s struggles during the early part of the COVID pandemic and its eventual need to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 

The success of the Hertz cases was unprecedented for the top 40 list. Usually, cases take a number of years to gain popularity, but the Hertz cases claimed top spots in their first year of release. Hertz (A) also became the first ‘cooked’ case to top the annual review, as all of the other winners had been web-based ‘raw’ cases.

Besides introducing students to the complicated financing required to maintain an enormous fleet of cars, the Hertz cases also expanded the diversity of case protagonists. Kathyrn Marinello was the CEO of Hertz during this period and the CFO, Jamere Jackson is black.

Sandwiched between the two Hertz cases, Coffee 2016, a perennial best seller, finished second. “Glory, Glory, Man United!” a case about an English football team’s IPO made a surprise move to number four.  Cases on search fund boards, the future of malls,  Norway’s Sovereign Wealth fund, Prodigy Finance, the Mayo Clinic, and Cadbury rounded out the top ten.

Other year-end data for 2021 showed:

  • Online “raw” case usage remained steady as compared to 2020 with over 35K users from 170 countries and all 50 U.S. states interacting with 196 cases.
  • Fifty four percent of raw case users came from outside the U.S..
  • The Yale School of Management (SOM) case study directory pages received over 160K page views from 177 countries with approximately a third originating in India followed by the U.S. and the Philippines.
  • Twenty-six of the cases in the list are raw cases.
  • A third of the cases feature a woman protagonist.
  • Orders for Yale SOM case studies increased by almost 50% compared to 2020.
  • The top 40 cases were supervised by 19 different Yale SOM faculty members, several supervising multiple cases.

CRDT compiled the Top 40 list by combining data from its case store, Google Analytics, and other measures of interest and adoption.

All of this year’s Top 40 cases are available for purchase from the Yale Management Media store .

And the Top 40 cases studies of 2021 are:

1.   Hertz Global Holdings (A): Uses of Debt and Equity

2.   Coffee 2016

3.   Hertz Global Holdings (B): Uses of Debt and Equity 2020

4.   Glory, Glory Man United!

5.   Search Fund Company Boards: How CEOs Can Build Boards to Help Them Thrive

6.   The Future of Malls: Was Decline Inevitable?

7.   Strategy for Norway's Pension Fund Global

8.   Prodigy Finance

9.   Design at Mayo

10. Cadbury

11. City Hospital Emergency Room

13. Volkswagen

14. Marina Bay Sands

15. Shake Shack IPO

16. Mastercard

17. Netflix

18. Ant Financial

19. AXA: Creating the New CR Metrics

20. IBM Corporate Service Corps

21. Business Leadership in South Africa's 1994 Reforms

22. Alternative Meat Industry

23. Children's Premier

24. Khalil Tawil and Umi (A)

25. Palm Oil 2016

26. Teach For All: Designing a Global Network

27. What's Next? Search Fund Entrepreneurs Reflect on Life After Exit

28. Searching for a Search Fund Structure: A Student Takes a Tour of Various Options

30. Project Sammaan

31. Commonfund ESG

32. Polaroid

33. Connecticut Green Bank 2018: After the Raid

34. FieldFresh Foods

35. The Alibaba Group

36. 360 State Street: Real Options

37. Herman Miller

38. AgBiome

39. Nathan Cummings Foundation

40. Toyota 2010

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business law case studies for mba

A number of universities and organizations provide access to free business case studies.  Below are some of the best known sources.

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  • Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024 10:02 AM
  • URL: https://library.bu.edu/business-case-studies

Here are the top 13 case studies every MBA student should know

  • MBA students should expect to read case studies, or real-world examples of why businesses succeed or fail. 
  • The case-reading practice in business school was originally pioneered at Harvard, where the MBA curriculum requires students to read up to 500 cases during their two-year program.
  • Other business schools eventually adopted the Harvard case method, preparing students for future leadership challenges. 
  • Business Insider has compiled a list of the most influential cases recommended by business school professors. 
  • One of the cases include how Apple's name change in 2007 allowed the company to redirect its focus from solely Macintosh computers to the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, and streaming services. Today, computer sales only account for a tenth of the company's $1 trillion market capitalization . 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .

Insider Today

If you attend business school , you can expect to read a lot of case studies. Professors love them because they offer real-world examples of why businesses succeed and fail. 

The case method teaching practice was originally pioneered at Harvard Business School (HBS), where the MBA curriculum requires that students read up to 500 cases during their two-year program. The Harvard case method soon spread across business schools as professors sought to prepare their students with leadership and decision-making challenges in the workplace.

There are some classic cases that every business student should know — like why Apple changed its name.

Business Insider has compiled the most influential cases here, with recommendations from business school professors across the nation and abroad.

Max Nisen contributed to an earlier version of this post. 

Why Apple changed its name

business law case studies for mba

Case: Apple Inc., 2008

Key takeaway: Sometimes you can't take a rival head on.

What happened? Three decades after its founding, Apple Computers changed its name and became Apple Inc. in 2007. That reflected the company's shifted focus from its iconic Mac computers toward other digital products like the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, and media streaming services. Apple's widened niche led to skyrocketing sales and spiked share prices, putting the Cupertino company on a trajectory to become the first US publicly traded company with a $1 trillion market capitalization in 2018, Business Insider reported . Now, the Macintosh computer only accounts for a tenth of the company's business. Rather than beating rival Windows for more shares in the computer market, Apple reinvented itself and redefined the realm of digital devices. 

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Chatterji , Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, for his suggestions.  

How Lululemon kept its cult

business law case studies for mba

Case: Leadership, Culture, and Transition at lululemon

Key takeaway: Figure out how to bring the founders into a strategy rather than alienating them. 

What happened?  On December 11, Lululemon announced its third-quarter fiscal results . Between August to November, the retail company generated $33 million, increasing its net revenue to $916 million in 2019. Much of the 21-year-old brand's transformation is credited to former CEO Christine Day , who leveraged her experience in expanding the Starbucks brand worldwide to align with Lululemon's model. 

Day replaced founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson in 2008, and she stepped into her role facing many problems: Outperforming stores, hefty investments in low-demand locations, and poor workflow between teams. 

She convinced the founders to attend management programs at Harvard and Stanford so they could better understand how the company must change. Day nearly tripled her team from having 2,683 employees in 2008 to 6,383 in 2013, all while she redesigned the company's structure, according to Pitchbook data . In five years time, she turned Lululemon into an athleisure powerhouse. 

Day stepped down as CEO in 2013 after a series of quality control issues with the clothing, Business Insider reported . She is now the chief executive at Luvo , a frozen food company. 

Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman , the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management  at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, for her suggestions.

How Cisco bounced back

business law case studies for mba

Case: Cisco Systems: Developing A Human Capital Strategy

Key takeaway: Invest in developing leaders in your team

What happened? Cisco is one of the most acquisitive companies in tech. It buys about 10 companies a year, including a $2.6 billion acquisition of Acacia and $380 million purchase of chip company Leaba in 2019, Business Insider reported . 

During the Dot Com Bubble in the 1990s, Cisco's first priority was to scale, bringing in up to 1,000 new employees each month by buying smaller firms. Between 1991 and 2011, Cisco bought more than 140 companies, Business Insider reported . 

But scaling a startup is much more than just increasing headcount. When the Dot Com Bubble burst, then-CEO John T. Chambers realized he had to redirect his focus by developing leaders within the team and build on his company rather than buying more teams through acquisitions.

The company introduced "Cisco University," a training program to promote a versatile workforce. Within three years, the company was listed as one of the top companies where employees are most likely to become leaders. Today, Cisco has a learning network that offers various kinds of classes, certifications, and webinar programs around the world. 

Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman , the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, for her suggestions.

How USA Today reinvented itself

business law case studies for mba

Case: USA Today: Pursuing The Network Strategy

Key takeaway: Sometimes the old guard can't handle a new reality.

What happened? Like many print publications in the early 2000s, USA Today was facing falling circulation of its business amid the rise of digital news. Tom Curley, the company's CEO at the time, saw the need to better integrate his company with internet and broadcasting platforms. His management team and staff were resistant, claiming insurmountable divides in culture and work style. Curley made the case that it was essential for the future of the business, and eventually replaced five of seven senior managers as part of the change. Nevertheless, this case emphasizes that what the company needed at the time wasn't a complete staff change: It needed a new business strategy and more integration as the company was transitioning into its electronic version. 

As of 2018, USA Today sites have nearly 97.4 million unique visitors and 1.2 billion page views, according to the company's website . It has become an award-winning digital news platform. 

Thanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman , the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, for her suggestions. 

How Dreyer's survived a disaster

business law case studies for mba

Case: Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream

Key takeaway: Don't try to spin bad news or mislead workers.

What happened? Before rising to become one of the most popular ice cream brands in the US, Dreyer's had to overcome a company restructure.

In the late 1990s, Ben & Jerry's signed a distribution agreement with Häagen-Dazs and ended its partnership with Dreyer's, The Wall Street Journal reported . Despite still having contracts with Healthy Choice and Nestlé, Dreyer's was dealing with a variety of problems including high input prices and collapsing sales of a low-fat product line.

The company's executives flew all over the country and met with every employee to discuss the restructuring plan. They wanted to preserve the company's culture of openness and accountability. Dreyer's continued to invest in leadership programs, and the company was able to bounce back within a couple of years through consistency and effective communication with its workers. 

Dreyer's continued to experience fluctuating sales in the 2000s, which led the company to merge with Nestlé through a $2.4 billion deal in 2002, The New York Times reported .  

How ethical decisions are different abroad

business law case studies for mba

Case: Merck Sharp & Dohme Argentina, Inc.

Key takeaway: Staying committed to the ethical precepts

What happened? 2019 was a good year for US drug giant Merck & Co. Since it debuted the cancer drug Keytruda, the company's stocks has jumped almost 40% in the past year, giving it a market value of nearly $220 billion, Business Insider reported. 

One way to ensure Merck's increasing sales is if it was on the government's healthcare roster, and when managing director Antonio Mosquera joined the company's Argentine subsidiary, he was faced with an ethical dilemma.

Mosquera was tasked with transforming Merck into a more modern and professional business organization. During the selection process of a highly competitive internship, he had to choose between two candidates, one of whom was the son of a high ranking official in the Argentine healthcare system. 

It was implied that hiring the student would ensure that Merck's drugs would be included on the government's list, which would increase sales. It was a conflict between Mosquera's desire to reform, and the realities of doing business in a changing country.

Mosquera ended up picking the student who wasn't of high government prestige. 

Thanks to Dr. Timothy Vogus , Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management, for his suggestions. 

Why Cirque du Soleil moved outside its comfort zone

business law case studies for mba

Case: Cirque du Soleil - The High-Wire Act Of Building Sustainable Partnerships  

Key takeaway: Sometimes you have to move past an old partnership in order to grow.

What happened? Cirque du Soleil had a mutually beneficial and very profitable partnership with the MGM Mirage casinos. The casino made capital investments in theaters for the company's unique shows, and the shows brought in high-spending clients. Faced with opportunities in Asia and the Middle East, CEO Daniel Lamarre had to figure out how to create different partnerships.  

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Chatterji , Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for his suggestions. 

Why Airborne Express lost the delivery race

business law case studies for mba

Case: Airborne Express

Key takeaway: Specialization can compete with economies of scale, but only up to a certain point. 

What happened? Airborne Express, a smaller mailing competitor to giants like FedEx and UPS, managed to significantly grow revenues despite its size. Part of that came on the heels of a strike at UPS, and the company took advantage of that. Airborne found a way to specialize in order to stay in the market along with big corporations like FedEx and UPS. 

They targeted high volume business customers, shipped primarily to large metropolitan areas, aggressively cut costs, and adopted new technology after FedEx and UPS. Ultimately, that strategy wasn't sustainable, and the company was acquired by DHL in 2003. 

Thanks to Dr. Gautam Ahuja , Professor of Management and Organizations at Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, for his suggestions.

Why Nucor Steel took a company-sized gamble

business law case studies for mba

Case: Nucor at a Crossroads  

Key takeaway: Operations expertise has limits; new investment determines its scale. 

What happened? In 1986, Nucor's CEO Kenneth Iverson had to make a critical decision on whether or not to adopt a new steel casting technology that would allow the company to gain significant first-mover advantage and reduce costs in the long run. However, the company would have to make a huge investment, and technology back then was unproven.

In 1989, Nucor followed through with its ambition to build the world's first steel-making mill in Indiana. The company remains an industry giant, announcing a $250 million micromill set to be the first steel plant to run on wind energy in the US, CNBC reported . 

Thanks to Dr. Aaron Chatterji , Professor at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for his suggestions.

How bad communication nearly ruined a manager

business law case studies for mba

Case: Erik Peterson (A)

Key takeaway: The importance of being proactive in defining one's role and engaging in managing up to get the support you need

What happened? The case follows a recent MBA graduate who became the general manager at a subsidiary of a large cell phone company in the late '80s. Erik Peterson's group was in the process of building up to offer cell phone service in parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. The project was behind schedule, and Peterson had offered a plan to meet a revised target reviewed by headquarters.

Peterson had trouble with his immediate superior. He did not know who he had to report to, which created problems on both ends while he was attempting to complete a significant reorganization and had problems with his chief engineer. Because of the lack of support, Peterson had to go it alone in many ways.

Eventually, the company was restructured and Peterson's role became more clear.

Thanks to Dr. Timothy Vogus , Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Professor of Management at Vanderbilt's Owen School of Management for his suggestions. 

When a West Point coach learned how to build a team

business law case studies for mba

Case: Army Crew Team

Key takeaway: There are many different factors to consider when putting together a team. 

What happened?: Colonel Stas Preczewski, the coach of the Army Crew Team for the US Military Academy at West Point, was managing two teams of junior and varsity rowers. He previously picked teams solely based on physical endurance and individual performance. Though the strongest players were all in varsity, the junior team was consistently beating varsity in races throughout an entire season. 

Preczewski eventually realized that the varsity team wasn't winning races because the players didn't know how to work well together. Despite being the strongest rowers, the team neglected a key element of the sport — rowing takes teamwork and a great amount of collaboration.  

Thanks to Dr. Emily Michelle David , assistant professor of management at China Europe International Business School for her suggestions for Harvard Business Publishing Education. 

When a Warren Buffet made his biggest deal

business law case studies for mba

Case: Warren E Buffett, 2015

Key takeaway: The art of investing 

What happened?: In 2015, Berkshire Hathaway's chairman and CEO Warren Buffett made a $37 billion acquisition of Precision Castparts Corporation (PCP), an aerospace-parts supplier company. This case is often viewed as an introductory course for business students to understand finance and capital markets. It also examines Buffett's approach to successful investing, as well as his strategy behind building sustainable growth for the company. 

Thanks to Dr. Robert F. Bruner , professor of business administration at Darden School of Business at University of Virginia, for his suggestions for Harvard Business Publishing Education. 

When a major manufacturing company kept costs low – and took care of its employees

business law case studies for mba

Case: Lincoln Electric Co., 1975

Key takeaway:  Businesses can offer value to customers while treating workers and shareholders generously.  

What happened?:  This case study covers the unique business strategy of Lincoln Electric, one of the biggest manufacturing and welding companies in the world. The company built its products at a lower cost than its competitors, but also rewarded employees well with high bonuses and job security. 

Though the case study is from several decades ago, it offers a glimpse into how a company's organizational strategy can lead to strategic success. 

Thanks to Karen Schnarr, assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, for her suggestion for Harvard Business Publishing Education.

business law case studies for mba

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This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

Publicly available cases in this collection are distributed by Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre .

Stanford case studies with diverse protagonists, along with case studies that build “equity fluency” by focusing on DEI-related issues and opportunities are listed in the Case Compendium developed by the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership at the Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Uber in 2024: From Industry Disruption to Creating Value For All Stakeholders

Dara Khosrowshahi became the CEO of Uber in August 2017, following internal turbulence and serious headwinds related to the company’s governance and reputation. Five short years later, Uber was clearly back on course, building on the success of its…

CEO Crisis in Napa: Laila Tarraf

Intersections in paradise: economics and sustainability in palau, 2024, udemy: the founding story, adobe in 2023: transforming marketing through digital experience.

Adobe, founded in 1982, set out to develop software that would enable high-fidelity digital printing and publishing. A decade later, Adobe PDF quickly became the industry standard for preserving and sharing digital document formatting, fonts, images, and…

GoodLeap, spearheaded by Hayes Barnard, emerges as a pioneering financing platform offering comprehensive solutions for sustainable living, including solar loans, home purchasing, refinancing, and improvement loans. Barnard, with a robust background at…

Seconds to Save Lives with Viz.ai

Ajaib: building a high-growth southeast asian fintech venture, eyes on the prize: eyewa’s mena journey, hijra: building an islamic challenger bank.

Dima Djani founded Hijra in late 2018 to provide digitally-enabled financial services to businesses and consumers who followed Islamic finance principles. Islamic finance prohibited the use of usury (interest), mandated that all transactions been linked…

Polpharma Group: Transformation Through Innovation

When Markus Sieger was appointed CEO of Polpharma Group in 2016, he found himself at the helm of a company that would be deemed successful by virtually any metric. Polpharma Group included Poland’s leading pharmaceutical company and leading drug…

Stanford Health Care

  • Dean Jonathan Levin

This Managing Growing Enterprises (MGE) case presents a multifaceted examination of leadership challenges in the academic sector, encompassing issues of faculty negotiation, student-faculty relations, crisis management, and institutional response to…

ClearMetal, a supply chain software-as-a-service startup, exemplifies the challenges of innovating in the global container shipping industry. Under CEO Adam Compain, the company developed a solution to reduce the costly repositioning of empty shipping…

Board Dynamics at Defy, Inc.: When is the Right Time to Raise the Next Round?

Defy, Inc. developed individual safety software solutions for highly automated aircraft operation through its FlySafe modular platform. Defy’s cofounders saw great potential in flying drones to solve the last-mile problem in deliveries. In addition to…

Founders Fund: Every Moment Happens Once

Nuveen and ecozen solutions: valuing a private equity impact investment.

In December 2021, Rekha Unnithan, CFA, received a cold outreach from Devendra Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Ecozen Solutions (“Ecozen”), an agriculture-focused cleantech business based in Pune, a major technology and manufacturing hub in India. Founded in…

APA Technologies

APA Technologies, a startup in the trucking industry, faced a significant challenge with its innovative product, the Tyro - an automatic tire inflation device. Founders Brad Miller and Jeffrey Howell, Stanford mechanical engineering students, developed…

APA Technologies (A): Just When We Were Hitting Our Stride

Apa technologies (b): no good deed goes unpunished, apa technologies (c): a potential partnership, apa technologies (d): reveal, senaca east africa (a): a family security business grapples with expansion.

Senaca East Africa, aka Sentry & Patrols, is a Kenya-based security guard firm founded in 2002 by John Kipkorir, a longtime member of the Kenyan police. At the time, there were only a few well-known Kenyan-owned security companies, and crime was rising…

Jason Scott: Creating a Dream Job to Find and Fund Entrepreneurs Across the Globe

Jason Scott’s superpower had always been his ability to connect people and ideas across industries, sectors, and geographies. After graduating from Stanford GSB, he pursued his professional North Star of finding the best entrepreneurs in the world and…

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Academic Affairs and Advising | Law and Business Specialization

Law and business specialization.

The law and business specialization offers business students a more complete understanding of the legal implications of business transactions and the opportunity to serve their business clients more fully. An understanding of the ways in which the law affects business relationships and should affect decisions made by manager and directors is critical to success in today’s complex regulatory environment. Courses are offered at both Stern and the Law School and often enroll students from both programs. Joint degree programs in law and business are more than most students need, but a core of courses that permit law and business students to learn essential aspects of each other’s fields enrich professional education for both business and law students. Academic Advisors: Professor Karen Brenner , 212-998-0048  

Course List

Take 9 credits from the following list:   

Students may take one of the below courses at the Law School:

For more information on classes cross-listed with the NYU School of Law, please check the  Center for Law & Business website . For course descriptions, please see the Office of Records & Registration website .


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HBS Case Selections

business law case studies for mba

OpenAI: Idealism Meets Capitalism

  • Shikhar Ghosh
  • Shweta Bagai

Generative AI and the Future of Work

  • Christopher Stanton
  • Matt Higgins

Copilot(s): Generative AI at Microsoft and GitHub

  • Frank Nagle
  • Shane Greenstein
  • Maria P. Roche
  • Nataliya Langburd Wright
  • Sarah Mehta

Innovation at Moog Inc.

  • Brian J. Hall
  • Ashley V. Whillans
  • Davis Heniford
  • Dominika Randle
  • Caroline Witten

Innovation at Google Ads: The Sales Acceleration and Innovation Labs (SAIL) (A)

  • Linda A. Hill
  • Emily Tedards

Juan Valdez: Innovation in Caffeination

  • Michael I. Norton
  • Jeremy Dann

UGG Steps into the Metaverse

  • Shunyuan Zhang
  • Sharon Joseph
  • Sunil Gupta
  • Julia Kelley

Metaverse Wars

  • David B. Yoffie

Roblox: Virtual Commerce in the Metaverse

  • Ayelet Israeli
  • Nicole Tempest Keller

Timnit Gebru: "SILENCED No More" on AI Bias and The Harms of Large Language Models

  • Tsedal Neeley
  • Stefani Ruper

Hugging Face: Serving AI on a Platform

  • Kerry Herman
  • Sarah Gulick

SmartOne: Building an AI Data Business

  • Karim R. Lakhani
  • Pippa Tubman Armerding
  • Gamze Yucaoglu
  • Fares Khrais

Honeywell and the Great Recession (A)

  • Sandra J. Sucher
  • Susan Winterberg

Target: Responding to the Recession

  • Ranjay Gulati
  • Catherine Ross
  • Richard S. Ruback
  • Royce Yudkoff

Hometown Foods: Changing Price Amid Inflation

  • Julian De Freitas
  • Jeremy Yang
  • Das Narayandas

Elon Musk's Big Bets

  • Eric Baldwin

Elon Musk: Balancing Purpose and Risk

Tesla's ceo compensation plan.

  • Krishna G. Palepu
  • John R. Wells
  • Gabriel Ellsworth

China Rapid Finance: The Collapse of China's P2P Lending Industry

  • William C. Kirby
  • Bonnie Yining Cao
  • John P. McHugh

Forbidden City: Launching a Craft Beer in China

  • Christopher A. Bartlett
  • Carole Carlson


  • Stefan Thomke
  • Daniela Beyersdorfer

Innovation at Uber: The Launch of Express POOL

  • Chiara Farronato
  • Alan MacCormack

Racial Discrimination on Airbnb (A)

  • Michael Luca
  • Scott Stern
  • Hyunjin Kim

Unilever's Response to the Future of Work

  • William R. Kerr
  • Emilie Billaud
  • Mette Fuglsang Hjortshoej

AT&T, Retraining, and the Workforce of Tomorrow

  • Joseph B. Fuller
  • Carl Kreitzberg

Leading Change in Talent at L'Oreal

  • Lakshmi Ramarajan
  • Vincent Dessain
  • Emer Moloney
  • William W. George
  • Andrew N. McLean

Eve Hall: The African American Investment Fund in Milwaukee

  • Steven S. Rogers
  • Alterrell Mills

United Housing - Otis Gates

  • Mercer Cook

The Home Depot: Leadership in Crisis Management

  • Herman B. Leonard
  • Marc J. Epstein
  • Melissa Tritter

The Great East Japan Earthquake (B): Fast Retailing Group's Response

  • Hirotaka Takeuchi
  • Kenichi Nonomura
  • Dena Neuenschwander
  • Meghan Ricci
  • Kate Schoch
  • Sergey Vartanov

Insurer of Last Resort?: The Federal Financial Response to September 11

  • David A. Moss
  • Sarah Brennan

Under Armour

  • Rory McDonald
  • Clayton M. Christensen
  • Daniel West
  • Jonathan E. Palmer
  • Tonia Junker

Hunley, Inc.: Casting for Growth

  • John A. Quelch
  • James T. Kindley

Bitfury: Blockchain for Government

  • Mitchell B. Weiss
  • Elena Corsi

Deutsche Bank: Pursuing Blockchain Opportunities (A)

  • Lynda M. Applegate
  • Christoph Muller-Bloch

Maersk: Betting on Blockchain

  • Scott Johnson

Yum! Brands

  • Jordan Siegel
  • Christopher Poliquin

Bharti Airtel in Africa

  • Tanya Bijlani

Li & Fung 2012

  • F. Warren McFarlan
  • Michael Shih-ta Chen
  • Keith Chi-ho Wong

Sony and the JK Wedding Dance

  • John Deighton
  • Leora Kornfeld

United Breaks Guitars

David dao on united airlines.

  • Benjamin Edelman
  • Jenny Sanford

Marketing Reading: Digital Marketing

  • Joseph Davin

Social Strategy at Nike

  • Mikolaj Jan Piskorski
  • Ryan Johnson

The Tate's Digital Transformation

Social strategy at american express, mellon financial and the bank of new york.

  • Carliss Y. Baldwin
  • Ryan D. Taliaferro

The Walt Disney Company and Pixar, Inc.: To Acquire or Not to Acquire?

  • Juan Alcacer
  • David J. Collis

Dow's Bid for Rohm and Haas

  • Benjamin C. Esty

Finance Reading: The Mergers and Acquisitions Process

  • John Coates

Apple: Privacy vs. Safety? (A)

  • Henry W. McGee
  • Nien-he Hsieh
  • Sarah McAra

Sidewalk Labs: Privacy in a City Built from the Internet Up

  • Leslie K. John

Data Breach at Equifax

  • Suraj Srinivasan
  • Quinn Pitcher
  • Jonah S. Goldberg

Apple's Core

  • Noam Wasserman

Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple

  • Barbara Feinberg

Apple Inc. in 2012

  • Penelope Rossano

Iz-Lynn Chan at Far East Organization (Abridged)

  • Anthony J. Mayo
  • Dana M. Teppert

Barbara Norris: Leading Change in the General Surgery Unit

  • Boris Groysberg
  • Nitin Nohria
  • Deborah Bell

Adobe Systems: Working Towards a "Suite" Release (A)

  • David A. Thomas
  • Lauren Barley

Home Nursing of North Carolina

Castronics, llc, gemini investors, angie's list: ratings pioneer turns 20.

  • Robert J. Dolan

Basecamp: Pricing

  • Frank V. Cespedes
  • Robb Fitzsimmons

J.C. Penney's "Fair and Square" Pricing Strategy

J.c. penney's 'fair and square' strategy (c): back to the future.

  • Jose B. Alvarez

Osaro: Picking the best path

  • James Palano
  • Bastiane Huang

HubSpot and Motion AI: Chatbot-Enabled CRM

  • Thomas Steenburgh

GROW: Using Artificial Intelligence to Screen Human Intelligence

  • Ethan S. Bernstein
  • Paul D. McKinnon
  • Paul Yarabe

business law case studies for mba

Arup: Building the Water Cube

  • Robert G. Eccles
  • Amy C. Edmondson
  • Dilyana Karadzhova

(Re)Building a Global Team: Tariq Khan at Tek

Managing a global team: greg james at sun microsystems, inc. (a).

  • Thomas J. DeLong

Organizational Behavior Reading: Leading Global Teams

Ron ventura at mitchell memorial hospital.

  • Heide Abelli

Anthony Starks at InSiL Therapeutics (A)

  • Gary P. Pisano
  • Vicki L. Sato

Wolfgang Keller at Konigsbrau-TAK (A)

  • John J. Gabarro

business law case studies for mba

Midland Energy Resources, Inc.: Cost of Capital

  • Timothy A. Luehrman
  • Joel L. Heilprin

Globalizing the Cost of Capital and Capital Budgeting at AES

  • Mihir A. Desai
  • Doug Schillinger

Cost of Capital at Ameritrade

  • Mark Mitchell
  • Erik Stafford

Finance Reading: Cost of Capital

business law case studies for mba

David Neeleman: Flight Path of a Servant Leader (A)

  • Matthew D. Breitfelder

Coach Hurley at St. Anthony High School

  • Scott A. Snook
  • Bradley C. Lawrence

Shapiro Global

  • Michael Brookshire
  • Monica Haugen
  • Michelle Kravetz
  • Sarah Sommer

Kathryn McNeil (A)

  • Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.
  • Jerry Useem

Carol Fishman Cohen: Professional Career Reentry (A)

  • Myra M. Hart
  • Robin J. Ely
  • Susan Wojewoda

Alex Montana at ESH Manufacturing Co.

  • Michael Kernish

Michelle Levene (A)

  • Tiziana Casciaro
  • Victoria W. Winston

John and Andrea Rice: Entrepreneurship and Life

  • Howard H. Stevenson
  • Janet Kraus
  • Shirley M. Spence

Partner Center

RMIT University

Teaching and Research guides

Case studies.

  • Introduction
  • Key tips for searching

Harvard Business School case studies

Other sources for business case studies, case studies journals, legal case studies.

  • Design and social context
  • Science, engineering, and health
  • Open case studies
  • Further help

The Harvard Business School has produced many business case studies. Many, but not all case studies are published in the Harvard Business Review . Case studies published in the HBR are findable by title in LibrarySearch or via the EBSCOhost Business Source Complete database using the link below:

  • Harvard business review

Select "Search within this publication" at the top left.  Then add your keywords and select Document type to be Case study.

Harvard Business School case studies may appear on the HBR website, hbr.org , but not be published in the Review itself. These cases are  not findable in LibrarySearch. In this situation, a case may be located by searching within the Harvard Business Review Digital Articles database, at the link below:

  • Harvard Business Review Digital Articles Collection of articles hosted in EBSCOhost from the Harvard Business Review website, HBR.org

When linking to a case study that is an HBR digital article, link to the copy found in Harvard Business Review Digital Articles on EBSCOHost. Do not link to a case on hbr.org , since access limits will cause users to encounter a paywall. If case studies or other material from the Harvard Business School are not available via either of the databases mentioned above, please contact our Teaching Support Services .

  • Business Source Complete (EBSCO) Aside from case studies within the Harvard Business Review, the Business Source Complete database within EBSCO contains case studies from other sources. They can be found using advanced search and selecting "case study" as the document type.
  • SAGE Knowledge Within SAGE Knowledge is SAGE Business Cases, a set of business case collections divided by business discipline and geographic region.
  • Emerald Insight An extensive business research database. Click on advanced search and then select the case studies checkbox.
  • MarketLine Select "Analysis" from the menu bar, and select Case studies. Both Industry and Company cases can be found.
  • WARC: World Advertising Research Center From the menu bar, select Advanced Search. Then beside "Select sources" check the Case studies box.
  • Factiva Use "case study" or "case studies" as terms when building your search. There is no option to limit to case studies as a resource type.
  • Passport Passport provides geographically discrete reports and analysis on companies and industries. These reports are not case studies, but provide context and data background which may enrich understanding of cases found elsewhere.
  • Henry Stewart Talks Business & Management Collection HSTalks provides access to world class lectures and case studies by leading experts from commerce, industry, the professions and academia, in one online resource - accessible wherever, whenever and as often as is wanted.
  • Business Collection (Informit) Search by topic and then narrow to Case Studies using Identifier selection in right side menu.

Note : some databases provide Teaching Notes to accompany case studies. These materials are usually restricted to teaching staff. If you have a teaching role at RMIT, and would like access to the Teaching Notes, first create a personal profile or account in the relevant database, then contact the Library at [email protected]  and staff will then organise upgraded access.

  • Asian journal of management cases
  • Business case journal
  • Journal of case studies
  • South Asian journal of business and management cases

To find information on legal *cases* argued in the courts, see our Law and Justice library guide.

  • Law and Justice This guide provides access to major Australian legal resources. It also provides tips on searching for different types of legal resources.
  • << Previous: Key tips for searching
  • Next: Design and social context >>

Creative Commons license: CC-BY-NC.

  • Last Updated: May 13, 2024 7:49 AM
  • URL: https://rmit.libguides.com/casestudies

MBA Case Studies From Top Business Schools

Where to Find Them

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Many business schools use the case method to teach MBA students how to analyze business problems and develop solutions from a leadership perspective. The case method involves presenting students with case studies , also known as cases, that document a real-life business situation or imagined business scenario.

Cases typically present a problem, issue, or challenge that must be addressed or solved for a business to prosper. For example, a case might present a problem like:

  • ABC Company needs to increase sales substantially over the next several years to attract potential buyers.
  • U-Rent-Stuff wants to expand but is not sure whether they want to own the locations or franchise them.
  • Ralphie's BBQ, a two-person company that makes spices for BBQ products, needs to figure out how to increase production from 1,000 bottles a month to 10,000 bottles a month.

As a business student. you are asked to read the case, analyze the problems that are presented, evaluate underlying issues, and present solutions that address the problem that was presented. Your analysis should include a realistic solution as well as an explanation as to why this solution is the best fit for the problem and the organization's goal. Your reasoning should be supported with evidence that has been gathered through outside research. Finally, your analysis should include specific strategies for accomplishing the solution you have proposed. 

Where to Find MBA Case Studies

The following business schools publish either abstracts or full MBA case studies online. Some of these case studies are free. Others can be downloaded and purchased for a small fee. 

  • Harvard Business School Cases - Harvard offers thousands of case studies on every business topic imaginable.
  • Darden Business Case Studies - Thousands of MBA case studies from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
  • Stanford Case Studies - A searchable database of MBA case studies from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
  • Babson College Case Studies - A large collection of business case studies from the Babson faculty.
  • IMD Case Studies - 50 years of case studies from the IMD faculty and research staff.

Using Case Studies

Familiarizing yourself with case studies is a good way to prepare for business school. This will help you familiarize yourself with various components of a case study and allow you to practice putting yourself in the role of a business owner or manager. As you are reading through cases, you should learn how to identify relevant facts and key problems. Be sure to take notes so that you have a list of items and potential solutions that can be researched when you are done reading the case. As you are developing your solutions, make a list of pros and cons for each solution, and above all, make sure the solutions are realistic.

  • Business Case Competitions: Purpose, Types and Rules
  • How to Write a Case Study Analysis
  • How to Write and Format a Business Case Study
  • How to Get Good Grades in Business School
  • Choosing an Ivy League Business School
  • How to Get Into Business School
  • The Reasons Why You Need to Study Global Business
  • Top Ranked California Business Schools
  • The 10 Best U.S. Business Schools
  • An Overview of the M7 Business Schools
  • The 10 Best Business Schools in Texas
  • What to Expect From MBA Classes
  • Tips for New MBA Students
  • MBA Waitlist Strategies for Business School Applicants
  • Applying to Business School
  • Meeting MBA Work Experience Requirements

7 Favorite Business Case Studies to Teach—and Why

Explore more.

  • Case Teaching
  • Course Materials


The Army Crew Team . Emily Michelle David of CEIBS

ATH Technologies . Devin Shanthikumar of Paul Merage School of Business

Fabritek 1992 . Rob Austin of Ivey Business School

Lincoln Electric Co . Karin Schnarr of Wilfrid Laurier University

Pal’s Sudden Service—Scaling an Organizational Model to Drive Growth . Gary Pisano of Harvard Business School

The United States Air Force: ‘Chaos’ in the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron . Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School

Warren E. Buffett, 2015 . Robert F. Bruner of Darden School of Business

To dig into what makes a compelling case study, we asked seven experienced educators who teach with—and many who write—business case studies: “What is your favorite case to teach and why?”

The resulting list of case study favorites ranges in topics from operations management and organizational structure to rebel leaders and whodunnit dramas.

1. The Army Crew Team

Emily Michelle David, Assistant Professor of Management, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

business law case studies for mba

“I love teaching  The Army Crew Team  case because it beautifully demonstrates how a team can be so much less than the sum of its parts.

I deliver the case to executives in a nearby state-of-the-art rowing facility that features rowing machines, professional coaches, and shiny red eight-person shells.

After going through the case, they hear testimonies from former members of Chinese national crew teams before carrying their own boat to the river for a test race.

The rich learning environment helps to vividly underscore one of the case’s core messages: competition can be a double-edged sword if not properly managed.

business law case studies for mba

Executives in Emily Michelle David’s organizational behavior class participate in rowing activities at a nearby facility as part of her case delivery.

Despite working for an elite headhunting firm, the executives in my most recent class were surprised to realize how much they’ve allowed their own team-building responsibilities to lapse. In the MBA pre-course, this case often leads to a rich discussion about common traps that newcomers fall into (for example, trying to do too much, too soon), which helps to poise them to both stand out in the MBA as well as prepare them for the lateral team building they will soon engage in.

Finally, I love that the post-script always gets a good laugh and serves as an early lesson that organizational behavior courses will seldom give you foolproof solutions for specific problems but will, instead, arm you with the ability to think through issues more critically.”

2. ATH Technologies

Devin Shanthikumar, Associate Professor of Accounting, Paul Merage School of Business

business law case studies for mba

“As a professor at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business, and before that at Harvard Business School, I have probably taught over 100 cases. I would like to say that my favorite case is my own,   Compass Box Whisky Company . But as fun as that case is, one case beats it:  ATH Technologies  by Robert Simons and Jennifer Packard.

ATH presents a young entrepreneurial company that is bought by a much larger company. As part of the merger, ATH gets an ‘earn-out’ deal—common among high-tech industries. The company, and the class, must decide what to do to achieve the stretch earn-out goals.

ATH captures a scenario we all want to be in at some point in our careers—being part of a young, exciting, growing organization. And a scenario we all will likely face—having stretch goals that seem almost unreachable.

It forces us, as a class, to really struggle with what to do at each stage.

After we read and discuss the A case, we find out what happens next, and discuss the B case, then the C, then D, and even E. At every stage, we can:

see how our decisions play out,

figure out how to build on our successes, and

address our failures.

The case is exciting, the class discussion is dynamic and energetic, and in the end, we all go home with a memorable ‘ah-ha!’ moment.

I have taught many great cases over my career, but none are quite as fun, memorable, and effective as ATH .”

3. Fabritek 1992

Rob Austin, Professor of Information Systems, Ivey Business School

business law case studies for mba

“This might seem like an odd choice, but my favorite case to teach is an old operations case called  Fabritek 1992 .

The latest version of Fabritek 1992 is dated 2009, but it is my understanding that this is a rewrite of a case that is older (probably much older). There is a Fabritek 1969 in the HBP catalog—same basic case, older dates, and numbers. That 1969 version lists no authors, so I suspect the case goes even further back; the 1969 version is, I’m guessing, a rewrite of an even older version.

There are many things I appreciate about the case. Here are a few:

It operates as a learning opportunity at many levels. At first it looks like a not-very-glamorous production job scheduling case. By the end of the case discussion, though, we’re into (operations) strategy and more. It starts out technical, then explodes into much broader relevance. As I tell participants when I’m teaching HBP's Teaching with Cases seminars —where I often use Fabritek as an example—when people first encounter this case, they almost always underestimate it.

It has great characters—especially Arthur Moreno, who looks like a troublemaker, but who, discussion reveals, might just be the smartest guy in the factory. Alums of the Harvard MBA program have told me that they remember Arthur Moreno many years later.

Almost every word in the case is important. It’s only four and a half pages of text and three pages of exhibits. This economy of words and sparsity of style have always seemed like poetry to me. I should note that this super concise, every-word-matters approach is not the ideal we usually aspire to when we write cases. Often, we include extra or superfluous information because part of our teaching objective is to provide practice in separating what matters from what doesn’t in a case. Fabritek takes a different approach, though, which fits it well.

It has a dramatic structure. It unfolds like a detective story, a sort of whodunnit. Something is wrong. There is a quality problem, and we’re not sure who or what is responsible. One person, Arthur Moreno, looks very guilty (probably too obviously guilty), but as we dig into the situation, there are many more possibilities. We spend in-class time analyzing the data (there’s a bit of math, so it covers that base, too) to determine which hypotheses are best supported by the data. And, realistically, the data doesn’t support any of the hypotheses perfectly, just some of them more than others. Also, there’s a plot twist at the end (I won’t reveal it, but here’s a hint: Arthur Moreno isn’t nearly the biggest problem in the final analysis). I have had students tell me the surprising realization at the end of the discussion gives them ‘goosebumps.’

Finally, through the unexpected plot twist, it imparts what I call a ‘wisdom lesson’ to young managers: not to be too sure of themselves and to regard the experiences of others, especially experts out on the factory floor, with great seriousness.”

4. Lincoln Electric Co.

Karin Schnarr, Assistant Professor of Policy, Wilfrid Laurier University

business law case studies for mba

“As a strategy professor, my favorite case to teach is the classic 1975 Harvard case  Lincoln Electric Co.  by Norman Berg.

I use it to demonstrate to students the theory linkage between strategy and organizational structure, management processes, and leadership behavior.

This case may be an odd choice for a favorite. It occurs decades before my students were born. It is pages longer than we are told students are now willing to read. It is about manufacturing arc welding equipment in Cleveland, Ohio—a hard sell for a Canadian business classroom.

Yet, I have never come across a case that so perfectly illustrates what I want students to learn about how a company can be designed from an organizational perspective to successfully implement its strategy.

And in a time where so much focus continues to be on how to maximize shareholder value, it is refreshing to be able to discuss a publicly-traded company that is successfully pursuing a strategy that provides a fair value to shareholders while distributing value to employees through a large bonus pool, as well as value to customers by continually lowering prices.

However, to make the case resonate with today’s students, I work to make it relevant to the contemporary business environment. I link the case to multimedia clips about Lincoln Electric’s current manufacturing practices, processes, and leadership practices. My students can then see that a model that has been in place for generations is still viable and highly successful, even in our very different competitive situation.”

5. Pal’s Sudden Service—Scaling an Organizational Model to Drive Growth

Gary Pisano, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

business law case studies for mba

“My favorite case to teach these days is  Pal’s Sudden Service—Scaling an Organizational Model to Drive Growth .

I love teaching this case for three reasons:

1. It demonstrates how a company in a super-tough, highly competitive business can do very well by focusing on creating unique operating capabilities. In theory, Pal’s should have no chance against behemoths like McDonalds or Wendy’s—but it thrives because it has built a unique operating system. It’s a great example of a strategic approach to operations in action.

2. The case shows how a strategic approach to human resource and talent development at all levels really matters. This company competes in an industry not known for engaging its front-line workers. The case shows how engaging these workers can really pay off.

3. Finally, Pal’s is really unusual in its approach to growth. Most companies set growth goals (usually arbitrary ones) and then try to figure out how to ‘backfill’ the human resource and talent management gaps. They trust you can always find someone to do the job. Pal’s tackles the growth problem completely the other way around. They rigorously select and train their future managers. Only when they have a manager ready to take on their own store do they open a new one. They pace their growth off their capacity to develop talent. I find this really fascinating and so do the students I teach this case to.”

6. The United States Air Force: ‘Chaos’ in the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron

Francesca Gino, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

business law case studies for mba

“My favorite case to teach is  The United States Air Force: ‘Chaos’ in the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron .

The case surprises students because it is about a leader, known in the unit by the nickname Chaos , who inspired his squadron to be innovative and to change in a culture that is all about not rocking the boat, and where there is a deep sense that rules should simply be followed.

For years, I studied ‘rebels,’ people who do not accept the status quo; rather, they approach work with curiosity and produce positive change in their organizations. Chaos is a rebel leader who got the level of cultural change right. Many of the leaders I’ve met over the years complain about the ‘corporate culture,’ or at least point to clear weaknesses of it; but then they throw their hands up in the air and forget about changing what they can.

Chaos is different—he didn’t go after the ‘Air Force’ culture. That would be like boiling the ocean.

Instead, he focused on his unit of control and command: The 99th squadron. He focused on enabling that group to do what it needed to do within the confines of the bigger Air Force culture. In the process, he inspired everyone on his team to be the best they can be at work.

The case leaves the classroom buzzing and inspired to take action.”

7. Warren E. Buffett, 2015

Robert F. Bruner, Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business

business law case studies for mba

“I love teaching   Warren E. Buffett, 2015  because it energizes, exercises, and surprises students.

Buffett looms large in the business firmament and therefore attracts anyone who is eager to learn his secrets for successful investing. This generates the kind of energy that helps to break the ice among students and instructors early in a course and to lay the groundwork for good case discussion practices.

Studying Buffett’s approach to investing helps to introduce and exercise important themes that will resonate throughout a course. The case challenges students to define for themselves what it means to create value. The case discussion can easily be tailored for novices or for more advanced students.

Either way, this is not hero worship: The case affords a critical examination of the financial performance of Buffett’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, and reveals both triumphs and stumbles. Most importantly, students can critique the purported benefits of Buffett’s conglomeration strategy and the sustainability of his investment record as the size of the firm grows very large.

By the end of the class session, students seem surprised with what they have discovered. They buzz over the paradoxes in Buffett’s philosophy and performance record. And they come away with sober respect for Buffett’s acumen and for the challenges of creating value for investors.

Surely, such sobriety is a meta-message for any mastery of finance.”

More Educator Favorites

business law case studies for mba

Emily Michelle David is an assistant professor of management at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). Her current research focuses on discovering how to make workplaces more welcoming for people of all backgrounds and personality profiles to maximize performance and avoid employee burnout. David’s work has been published in a number of scholarly journals, and she has worked as an in-house researcher at both NASA and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

business law case studies for mba

Devin Shanthikumar  is an associate professor and the accounting area coordinator at UCI Paul Merage School of Business. She teaches undergraduate, MBA, and executive-level courses in managerial accounting. Shanthikumar previously served on the faculty at Harvard Business School, where she taught both financial accounting and managerial accounting for MBAs, and wrote cases that are used in accounting courses across the country.

business law case studies for mba

Robert D. Austin is a professor of information systems at Ivey Business School and an affiliated faculty member at Harvard Medical School. He has published widely, authoring nine books, more than 50 cases and notes, three Harvard online products, and two popular massive open online courses (MOOCs) running on the Coursera platform.

business law case studies for mba

Karin Schnarr is an assistant professor of policy and the director of the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program at the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where she teaches strategic management at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels. Schnarr has published several award-winning and best-selling cases and regularly presents at international conferences on case writing and scholarship.

business law case studies for mba

Gary P. Pisano is the Harry E. Figgie, Jr. Professor of Business Administration and senior associate dean of faculty development at Harvard Business School, where he has been on the faculty since 1988. Pisano is an expert in the fields of technology and operations strategy, the management of innovation, and competitive strategy. His research and consulting experience span a range of industries including aerospace, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, health care, nutrition, computers, software, telecommunications, and semiconductors.

business law case studies for mba

Francesca Gino studies how people can have more productive, creative, and fulfilling lives. She is a professor at Harvard Business School and the author, most recently, of  Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life . Gino regularly gives keynote speeches, delivers corporate training programs, and serves in advisory roles for firms and not-for-profit organizations across the globe.

business law case studies for mba

Robert F. Bruner is a university professor at the University of Virginia, distinguished professor of business administration, and dean emeritus of the Darden School of Business. He has also held visiting appointments at Harvard and Columbia universities in the United States, at INSEAD in France, and at IESE in Spain. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 20 books on finance, management, and teaching. Currently, he teaches and writes in finance and management.

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Creating a Business Case for the MBA

When you enroll in an mba, you’ll spend rather a lot of time with cases—reading cases, discussing cases, packing (suit) cases..

However, there is an important case you may wish to prepare before you start a programme—a business case for your employer, forming a persuasive argument for company support of your MBA.

  • By Rachel Waites
  • January 22, 2014
  • Executive MBA - Admissions
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Before you get started, it’s useful to ask yourself some questions.

What are your reasons for choosing the Chicago Booth Executive MBA? Why is this school and programme a better choice (for you) than others on the market?

Will this programme help meet a specific need at the company (can a business challenge or issue be addressed by the content of the course)?

Does this programme fit in with my career development plan at the company? Does it address a need that has been identified in a performance review?

Is there a precedent for MBA support at the company? What level of support has been given in the past? Is there an in-house company training programme I need to compare the MBA against?

What am I prepared to commit to the company (ie, lock in periods, bonus or salary sacrifice, tuition refund in the event I leave)?

What do I want the company to commit? (be specific about funding and time off).

Who will make a decision on my request? This question will help you develop the right level of content for your case.

The important thing to remember is that your case, at least in the first two sections, should not focus on your needs . The case is an opportunity to highlight business needs that can be met by the Executive MBA, to outline the ROI and to create a persuasive recommendation that your company should provide support accordingly.

Like any other business case, your case should include sections on:

1. Identify Business Need (specific, current business challenges or needs faced by the company)

2. Analysis (ie, how the programme will help the company meet these specific needs. Think about the ROI from your company’s point of view, of the additional benefits the company gets from accessing the school network, intellectual capital, etc)

3. Recommendation (of yourself, as a suitable candidate. This section should focus on your commitment to the company, your dedication to meeting business needs and challenges, and your desire to take on further roles and responsibilities).

4. The Request (with specific details of the financial support and/or time support you require. You should also demonstrate the investment that you are prepared to make, via your own financial contribution, by sacrificing holiday time, by working overtime or by being available outside office hours).

5. Appendices (your audience may know very little about the school and programme, so include as much supplementary information as possible. It may also be useful to include specific info, for example, research articles or school press clippings relevant to your industry or company).

Good luck! We’re here to help, so please let us know if you need a hand.

Rachel Waites

Director of Recruitment and Admissions, London

Follow Rachel’s posts for information on admissions, particularly in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions. Rachel also chronicles women’s initiatives and Chicago Booth’s global network.

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Business of law: case studies

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Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.

These five sets of case studies highlight how law firms in Asia-Pacific are innovating as businesses.

They feature examples of law firms changing how they manage their own people, and how they are reinventing services and delivery models.

All the case studies were researched, compiled and ranked by RSGI. “Winner” indicates that the organisation won an FT Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific award for 2024

Read the other FT Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific ‘Best practice case studies’, which showcase the standout innovations made for and by people working in the legal sector:

Practice of law In-house

People and skills

WINNER: Gilbert + Tobin Originality: 8; Leadership: 9; Impact: 8; Total: 25 Last year, the firm ran an “AI Bounty” competition, offering staff a total of A$20,000 in prizes for their best ideas on deploying artificial intelligence at work. The contest attracted 106 submissions, with the money split among five main award winners and 50 smaller prizes. The firm will develop the best ideas identified, including tools to review a privacy policy and enhance due diligence.

Inkling Legal Design O: 9; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 24 The firm developed an online course that encourages writing in plain, straightforward English and provides a benchmark against which other lawyers can compare how well they write about ambiguous areas of law. The application, which launched last year, is designed to improve efficiency and accuracy when writing and has been used by eight clients so far.

Highly commended

Lander & Rogers O: 8; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 23 In its continuing partnership with Melbourne’s Monash University, the Australian firm invited five law students — dubbed “AI investigative agents” — to interview practice group heads and work with the firm’s innovation team to examine scenarios in which the technology might be applied. The training initiative identified more than 40 examples for possible use and the students’ insights on the topic have been published by the firm.

MinterEllison O: 7; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 22 The firm created its own internal cryptocurrency to reward staff for taking part in its online training sessions. The so-called Mintcoins can be exchanged internally for charity donations or gift cards and have helped encourage the completion of more than 1,900 training modules by 850 people.

Rajah & Tann Singapore O: 7; L: 7; I: 8; Total: 22 The firm identified several common skills and qualities required by its lawyers working across the various business sectors, jurisdictions and languages in the region. These include project management and communication skills aside from specific legal knowledge. Lawyers can receive 50-plus hours of training and at least half of the programme comprises practical activities.

Ashurst O: 6; L: 7; I: 8; Total: 21 Lawyers at the firm can now use an online tool to highlight their availability and expertise, to help with allocation of work. In the first eight months of use, it received more than 720 notifications of availability from lawyers across the firm’s Asia-Pacific offices.

Khaitan & Co O: 7; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 21 The firm worked with a consultancy to set up a process that assesses lawyers in areas such as productivity and business development skills, to decide if they are ready for partnership promotion.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu O: 8; L: 6; I: 6; Total: 20 The firm created a programme where associates work with partners to develop new client relationships in emerging practice areas. These areas include the latest tech developments, sports, and agriculture and fishing industries.

King & Wood Mallesons O: 6; L: 6; I: 7; Total: 19 The firm added new modules in AI, process improvement and change management to its “legal transformation belts” programme, which grades and certifies digital skills and is also available to clients.

Knowledge and data

WINNER: MinterEllison Originality: 7; Leadership: 9; Impact: 8; Total: 24 In December 2023, the firm’s environment and planning team led a pilot of a generative AI tool that can draft legal documents that are roughly 80 per cent assembled in under a minute. Replicating a junior lawyer’s work, the model draws information from a repository of the firm’s historic advice, and other sources, to provide a draft that senior lawyers can check and amend. The pilot involved 50 lawyers and the firm now plans to roll out the tool across the practices. Commended individual: Simon Ball

King & Wood Mallesons O: 7; L: 8; I: 8; Total: 23 The firm’s commercial real estate practice developed a system based on records of past property transactions to identify market trends across Asia. Using data visualisation software, the tool helps identify patterns across the firm’s global property work, such as popular drafting clauses and market standards. According to the firm, the tool has reduced typical time taken for some research tasks from up to four hours to just minutes.

JunHe O: 6; L: 8; I: 8; Total: 22 To encourage use of its knowledge-management system, the Chinese firm added training materials along with a feature that automatically logs when training sessions are taken. The firm also rewards its 700-plus lawyers for adding good quality data to the platform by tying this to their bonuses. This has led to an increase in activity on the platform, with 25,000 clicks recorded per month in 2023.

Khaitan & Co O: 8; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 22 The firm sifted 17mn items to identify 841,000 relevant documents for future case work and integrate them into a searchable system. AI tools, under development, will be able to create summaries of the documents and perform predictive analysis on contracts.

Anand and Anand O: 7; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 21 The Indian firm created a “matter knowledge” bank where users can search for a case and generate a summary of relevant details. It spent three years digitising decades’ worth of physical documents and started using the repository in June 2023. The firm hopes to improve processes such as document drafting and trial preparation and encourage internal collaboration.

Clifford Chance O: 6; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 20 The firm developed a tool to help with billing when a client’s requirements change during a transaction, and launched it in the Asia-Pacific region. The spreadsheet-based system gives an improved overview of work done on particular case work with live projections, allowing significantly faster billing decisions.

Sprintlaw O: 7; L: 8; I: 5; Total: 20 In 2023, the Australian firm launched a knowledge-sharing platform for staff servicing smaller businesses. The internal resource has halved the time taken for its lawyers to create some documents, such as standard shareholder agreements.

Hogan Lovells O: 6; L: 7; I: 6; Total: 19 The lawyers conducted a document review for an anti-bribery investigation using AI software that required training in Vietnamese. The subsequent search has identified 150,000 documents for scrutiny by lawyers.

Digital tools

WINNER: Clifford Chance Originality: 8; Leadership: 9; Impact: 8; Total: 25 The firm partnered with tech company Microsoft to create a generative artificial intelligence bot, launched in late October, that tracks and summarises press releases published by Hong Kong regulators.

Lawyers in the region took the lead on ensuring the tool had appropriate understanding of legal jargon and included a summarisation and context extraction function that will save the firm an estimated 480 hours of associate and trainee time per year. Output can be turned into interactive graphs and trends, which the lawyers use to advise clients.

Yulchon O: 8; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 23 The South Korean firm created a service to help clients better comply with the country’s Serious Accidents Punishment Act (SAPA), introduced in 2022, which puts greater responsibility on businesses to ensure safety in their operations and facilities.

The service involves a free self-diagnosis tool that shows clients where they are most at risk of violating SAPA. The firm also uses automation to track news reports of SAPA-related incidents and has created a training programme with videos offering insights into the law. The programme uses an AI-powered search engine to help clients find specific information.

Clayton Utz O: 7; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 22 The Sydney-based firm launched an AI-generated compliance portal, Obligations Navigator, in December 2023. In a client assessment, the portal analysed 100 examples of case law and produced a hyperlinked list of 42,000 obligations, described in plain English and checked by human lawyers. Summarising compliance requirements can be labour-intensive, so the portal saves time and resources and gives the client a clear and comprehensive compliance process — helping them understand which obligations they must comply with, and how.

Lander & Rogers O: 7; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 21 The Australian firm developed an AI tool to extract relevant information from files submitted alongside compensation claims. The innovation and compensation law teams partnered with the firm’s legal tech incubator, Halisok, to digitise the manually-intensive sorting process in mass litigation and class action suits.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu O: 5; L: 8; I: 8; Total: 21 Led by managing partner Soichiro Fujiwara, the firm’s technology start-up MNTSQ designed an AI-powered search engine that allows lawyers to search an internal contract database for relevant Japanese clauses and provisions, after the firm found public search engines such as Google were insufficient.

Rajah & Tann Singapore O: 7; L: 7; I: 6; Total: 20 In June 2023, Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority implemented new requirements for anti-money laundering checks in residential property purchases. The Singaporean law firm launched an AI tool that automates these due diligence checks of potential buyers, which is now used by 30 property developers in the country.

MinterEllison O: 5; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 19 The firm developed a contract review tool to help mining group Anglo American manage its supply chain and contracts. The firm approached the miner — a long-term client — after it struggled with the management of contracts. Lawyers used the company’s data to build the tool from scratch in 2023. Commended individual: Benjamin Fox

Digital strategy

WINNER: A&O Shearman Originality: 8; Leadership: 9; Impact: 8; Total: 25 In partnership with legal tech company Harvey, A&O Shearman (formerly Allen & Overy) was among the first law firms to make wide use of a generative AI tool in early 2023.

Capitalising on the publicity this created, it then launched an AI client working group in Asia Pacific where 81 participants from 19 companies paid the firm for advice on generative AI’s potential legal implications and practical lessons about adoption of the technology in a big organisation.

Highly Commended

Ashurst O: 7; L: 8; I: 8; Total: 23 The firm has run pilots and trials of generative AI that involved more than 400 staff in 23 offices including a competition to identify future applications and blind trials testing applications against humans. The strategy has been implemented worldwide, with a prominent role played by the team from Australia. The firm says nearly 90 per cent of staff felt its technology focus was preparing them for the coming years.

Mayer Brown O: 7; L: 8; I: 8; Total: 23 The Hong Kong office led the rollout in 2023 of AI tool Harvey for use in research, drafting, and data analysis. It is also used to cut the time spent summarising local case law, to improve due diligence, and Chinese-to-English translations.

PwC Asia Pacific O: 7; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 22 The firm’s Asia-Pacific business merged its legal and NewLaw legal services divisions to help clients implement related technology.

Internally, the firm is using AI tool Harvey and its own virtual assistant ChatPwC, as well as experimenting with other relevant tools. The firm recorded more than 18,000 queries being submitted to Harvey in the first six months of using it in the region and estimates that the application saved the firm 9,000 hours of time in that period.

Rajah & Tann Singapore O: 6; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 21 The firm is working with its technology arm Rajah & Tann Technologies to bring in external software that will encourage lawyers to embrace digitisation fully and prepare for the future adoption of AI systems. Examples include applications that are designed to cut the time spent on research and to locate the relevant contract clauses from a centralised database.

JunHe O: 6; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 20 The Chinese law firm’s tech team created a tool that automates the identification and redaction of sensitive material from documents. This tool helps lawyers protect sensitive data and better comply with data protection laws in China when using generative AI.

Trilegal O: 6; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 20 Trilegal’s digital innovation group is leading technological advances at the Indian law firm, creating a knowledge management system and AI-based dashboards to monitor work progress and preparing existing systems to incorporate generative AI.

New solutions

WINNER: Inkling Legal Design Originality: 8; Leadership: 9; Impact: 8; Total: 25 The firm advised the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) on redesigning its commercial project agreements. The lawyers simplified the contracts used by the public research body for project partners, which predominantly include scientists with a non-legal background. Clauses were simplified and legal jargon removed, while retaining legal compliance and addressing complex scientific issues. Redesigning these contracts has led to greater collaboration between the legal department at ANSTO and other parties, internally and externally. Using digital tools and visuals made the contracts easier to navigate.

A&O Shearman O: 7; L: 8; I: 9; Total: 24 In response to China’s property market crash, the firm developed an interactive portal to help co-ordinating committees representing bank lenders to navigate complex, large-scale corporate restructurings. The portal provides clients with access to resources relating to relevant restructurings, a Q&A tool and document review capabilities. Rapid access to comprehensive information and support saves clients time and money.

Lawpath O: 6; L: 8; I: 8; Total: 22 The Australian firm is targeting smaller companies by providing low-cost access to software and document libraries that use AI to fill out contracts and agreements. A human lawyer can be involved to check documents or deal with more complex work if required.

Atsumi & Sakai O: 6; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 21 The Tokyo-based law firm’s Policy Research Institute advised the Japanese government on emerging technology topics, such as developing AI regulation and the construction of a semiconductor factory.

Pinsent Masons O: 7; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 21 The firm has broadened the legal services it offers at each stage of big renewable energy projects to offer clients a more integrated service — ranging from environmental, social and governance assessments to licensing and property transactions. Commended individual: Mark Hu

KPMG Law O: 5; L: 8; I: 7; Total: 20 The firm created a platform to assess how well equipped a company’s legal team is. The system, launched in 2022, uses a digital tool and questionnaires to gather data about the company and automates a report to help in-house teams assess their resourcing.

Keypoint Law O: 5; L: 7; I: 7; Total: 19 The Australian firm is celebrating a decade of operating without billable hour targets or budgets. The policy aims to offer a more flexible working arrangement to lawyers. Partners are typically paid 70 per cent of the services they charge to clients but, if they do not earn, there is no guaranteed pay. The firm has grown to 75 partners since it was launched in 2014.

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International Edition

business law case studies for mba

  • Business Ethics Cases
  • Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
  • Focus Areas
  • Business Ethics
  • Business Ethics Resources

Find ethics case studies on bribery, sourcing, intellectual property, downsizing, and other topics in business ethics, corporate governance, and ethical leadership. (For permission to reprint articles, submit requests to [email protected] .)

In this business ethics case study, Swedish multinational company IKEA faced accusations relating to child labor abuses in the rug industry in Pakistan which posed a serious challenge for the company and its supply chain management goals.

A dog may be humanity’s best friend. But that may not always be the case in the workplace.

A recent college graduate works in the finance and analytics department of a large publicly traded software company and discovers an alarming discrepancy in sales records, raising concerns about the company’s commitment to truthful reporting to investors. 

What responsibility does an employee have when information they obtained in confidence from a coworker friend may be in conflict with the needs of the company or raises legal and ethical questions.

A manager at a prominent multinational company is ethically challenged by a thin line between opportunity for economic expansion in a deeply underserved community, awareness of child labor practices, and cultural relativism.

A volunteer providing service in the Dominican Republic discovered that the non-profit he had partnered with was exchanging his donor money on the black market, prompting him to navigate a series of complex decisions with significant ethical implications.

The CFO of a family business faces difficult decisions about how to proceed when the COVID-19 pandemic changes the business revenue models, and one family shareholder wants a full buyout.

An employee at an after-school learning institution must balance a decision to accept or decline an offered gift, while considering the cultural norms of the client, upholding the best interests of all stakeholders, and following the operational rules of his employer. 

A senior vice president for a Fortune 500 savings and loan company is tasked with the crucial responsibility of representing the buyer in a multi-million dollar loan purchase deal and faces several ethical challenges from his counterpart representing the seller.

Extensive teaching note based on interviews with Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz. The teaching note can be used to explore issues around whistleblowing, leadership, the blocks to ethical behavior inside organizations, and board governance.

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Business Law I Essentials

(5 reviews)

business law case studies for mba

Mirande Valbrune

Renee De Assis, Texas Woman's University

Suzanne Cardell, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Copyright Year: 2019

Publisher: OpenStax

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of use.


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Velda Arnaud, Department Chair, Instructor, and Advisor, Blue Mountain Community College on 4/5/24

All of the topics we need for our business law course are covered in this OER. read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 5 see less

All of the topics we need for our business law course are covered in this OER.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

Some topics need to be updated because this information is 5 years old.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

As previously stated, laws change, and this book is 5 years old.

Clarity rating: 4

The reading level may be difficult for non-native English language students.

Consistency rating: 5

Each chapter is nicely organized.

Modularity rating: 5

This is one of the best features.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

The content flows very well and ends with international law and securities.

Interface rating: 3

All of the information is on the website, and I would prefer to keep students in the learning management system.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

So far, I have not found grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

This is a business course, and they use many different examples. It seems quite representative of the population.

There is a low-cost printed book available for students.

Reviewed by Ben Carr, Associate Professor, James Madison University on 7/30/20

The text was comprehensive in general, to some extent too much so, and with regards to a few topics that I consider critical topics for a business course, completely lacking. First, as to the “too much”. There were some legal subjects which were... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

The text was comprehensive in general, to some extent too much so, and with regards to a few topics that I consider critical topics for a business course, completely lacking. First, as to the “too much”. There were some legal subjects which were unnecessary and seemingly used to take up space. For example, I do not know how or why any student not in law school would need to know about “res ipsa loquitur” (note: it was spelled incorrectly in the text). It is not a practical topic area and only lawyers would need to understand that concept. Another example was the Ethical Decision Making Policies. Despite putting it in the text, there was no discussion about the decision making process beyond just replicating the University of Michigan policy that was quoted. So, in this case, it did not even need to be included, and if so, it merited further discussion. There were a few other subjects dealt with similarly, but those did not necessarily detract from the overall value of the text itself. As for the “lacking” comment, it is surprising that a text on Business Law (even if it is an introduction) does not include a chapter on business entities. Corporations, LLCs, Partnerships (general and limited) and sole proprietorships are significant topics which deserve discussion and explanation. Also, there was no mention of vicarious liability. Respondeat Superior, principal/agent and partnerships are three legal areas where an employer/third party who is not directly involved in a specific incident can/may be held responsible to an injured party due solely to the relationship between that employer/third party and the person causing the injury. The section on ethics was also failed to address professional ethics vs. personal ethics. How those two interact on a daily basis, especially with regards to corporate decisions is an important topic to discuss. For example, Hobby Lobby refused to comply with an Affordable Care Act requirement that medical insurance provided by employers include contraceptives. An employee filed suit, and the U.S. Supreme Court had to ultimately decide the issue. That was a personal value/ethic that the owners of Hobby Lobby (it was privately owned) utilized instead of a “professional” value/ethic. The criminal law section did not address battery and how it was technically different from assault. This is not a critical issue in business law, but if the author(s) were going to address assault, then battery should have also been addressed. The ADR section should have, in my opinion, considered the benefits of an employee agreeing to a pre-employment waiver of the right to trial. Many employers are now either requiring, or at least making it optional, for an employee to waive that right. The consequences of doing so are important and deserve some coverage. The sections on both sexual harassment and negligence were far too superficial and short. These are two areas of significant corporate liability exposure and lawsuit filings. Neither received the type of attention which they deserved. Lastly, I am a big fan of hypotheticals. In this reviewer's opinion, there were not enough of those, especially not enough real-world cases used as tools to explain a concept.

The content was generally accurate with some nit-picking on my part. For example, the author(s) stated that most states do not allow minors to void a contract after turning 18 years of age. It is my understanding that most states actually allow for a “reasonable” time after turning 18 for a minor to void a contract unless that minor has somehow ratified or affirmed the contract after turning 18. Also, comparative vs. contributory negligence was not handled as deftly as it could have been. First, there are two types of comparative negligence, which was not discussed, and second, it is solely dependent upon which state in which the incident occurs as to whether comparative negligence (either type) or contributory negligence will be utilized in a legal analysis. Another nit-picking on my part deals with a few minor mischaracterizations and/or inadequate information. An example of that is when the author(s) discuss the McDonald’s case involving the hot coffee. A significant issue in the case was punitive damages, because McDonald’s knew that their coffee was too hot and had made the “business” decision to not change the temperature. To simply use the case as a “negligence” example misses the primary point of that case. Yet another nit-picking was that when the author(s) discussed Title VII, they did not point out that there are employee limits to the application of that Title. For example, Title VII’s prohibition against discriminating against a person with a disability does not apply to an entity with fewer than 15 employees, while the prohibition against discriminating against age does not apply to an entity with fewer than 20 employees. This is important, because state laws can lower those thresholds and readers need to be ultra aware of checking both the federal and state law protections. There were other nuances that the author(s) did not mention which would be valuable as instruction, such as with sexual harassment. In sum, the text was relatively comprehensive, and would be most useful to an instructor with legal experience who could utilize it in a very, very basic, almost vocabulary level, manner. It says that it is “Essentials”, but there are some essentials, which I have addressed, that I feel should have been included. Assuming that it is intended solely as a very basic introduction, that is where its value can be found. Otherwise, an instructor trying to utilize the text without a sound legal understanding to begin with will find that it will raise many questions that students may ask which he/she will not be prepared to answer or explain and/or even convey information which may be incorrectly applied.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

Due to its very basic manner of addressing virtually all the topics, the content is up-to-date in its content. Without further exploration of the topics in the text, i.e. Essentials II, the text is only marginally useful as a text for practical legal considerations on its own. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.

Clarity rating: 5

The text was written in a way that most would understand. There were a few times when I had to re-read a sentence or paragraph and use my own understanding to have the passage make sense. Again, it is important that whoever uses the text already have a legal background.

The text was consistent in terms of terminology and framework.

Modularity rating: 4

Due to the nature of law itself, the text is marginally susceptible to being divided up into different sections at different points. To stress, that is not the author(s) issue, that is the nature of the beast. There has to be some scaffolding in law with certain concepts being taught/learned in order. In terms of its comparison to other legal texts in this topical area, I would strongly guess that it is pretty consistent and does as well as it can except for one suggestion that I will give in the following review area.

Section 5.2 seemed to me to be out of place. It would be far better suited if placed either in chapter 1 or as its own chapter between chapters 1 and 2. Otherwise, the topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.

Interface rating: 5

I had no problems with the interface or with navigating through the text. Everything was clear and I did not discern any distractions or confusions to the reader.

I am not an English major, but I did not notice any grammatical errors.

The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. I would, however, suggest that the cultural events since the text was published would justify a supplement. More discussion of Title VII and the sex, race and color classes would be appropriate.

I think the goals of this text were laudable, but fell just a little short of my expectations. At times, it seemed as though someone other than an attorney or someone familiar with law was writing it, and was just cutting and pasting without a practical understanding of what was being written. That may be due more to a goal to just give some "essentials" to supplement the in classroom teaching of an instructor with some legal knowledge or experience.

Reviewed by Paolo Davide Farah, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University on 5/1/20

The reviewer believes that text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately. The title of the book is Business Law I Essentials, so the expectation is that there might be the need to prepare a Business Law II Essential for the areas,... read more

The reviewer believes that text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately. The title of the book is Business Law I Essentials, so the expectation is that there might be the need to prepare a Business Law II Essential for the areas, which are missing from the analysis. In fact, my interpretation and understanding is that this book selects some of the most important issues in the areas, but it is also focusing on what it can be virtually possible to cover in a single class module. In fact, 14 sections/chapters are equivalent to a 14-week class. I believe that this textbook is useful for a first clear introduction to beginners and then students can complement with the constitution, the case law, case studies, simulations and other relevant real life examples and experiences.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

The reviewer considers that the content of the book is accurate. The selection of topics is also relevant. Particularly, the corporate social responsibility is an area not covered by all business law textbooks. Generally, other business law textbooks cover predominantly the market oriented analysis and not sufficiently the limits to globalization and the business sector represented by the necessary balance between business and human rights, business and sustainable development, business and other non-commercial values. I would probably extend some parts to also cover corporate governance

The reviewer considers that the book covers relevant contemporary issues without risks for the longevity of the book. The case studies are useful to students to learn from practice.

As previously mentioned, the text is clear and organized in such a way that is easy to access for students that will approach these topics for the first time. The instructor can use the single chapters as the main topic for each of the classes complementing this book with cases and other additional readings. The terminology and the language is accessible to students and non-experts.

Consistency rating: 4

The text is internally consistent, but I believe the pictures are not a relevant addition to the textbook. It would be advisable that the author revises the textbook to use pictures that are actually relevant for the analysis of each of the sections.

Each chapter can be used as an individual section for class modules and lectures complemented with additional materials.

The topics in the text were presented clearly.

The text does not present any interface, but it necessitates some external materials to cover some aspects. In addition, the pictures are not representative of the contents of the textbook.

The reviewer did not detect grammatical errors.

During the review, no culturally insensitive remarks or offensive statements have been detected in any way.

I will use this book for one of my classes.

Reviewed by Steve Custer, Associate Professor, Oakland City University on 12/19/19

This book covered the major aspects inherent to the legal landscape of business. Its subject matter is well referenced and provided a solid vocabulary of terms. Particularly, the content offered an informative section on negotiation skills and... read more

This book covered the major aspects inherent to the legal landscape of business. Its subject matter is well referenced and provided a solid vocabulary of terms. Particularly, the content offered an informative section on negotiation skills and tactics that I would recommend.

Upon inspection, this reviewer found the book to be accurate, without errors, and neutral in its presentation.

This reviewer found the text to be timely and informative. Specifically, chapter 7 (contract law) provided some excellent real-world examples that should be incorporated into classroom discussions.

The book is well formatted which should enable the entry level business law student to excel in their learning and comprehension of broad based legal definitions.

The text is largely consistent, although the authors elected to provide more examples and tables to illustrate concepts in the latter chapters of the text than in the former chapters.

The chapters of this text were well assembled and concise. I would not hesitate to adopt portions alongside other material in the classroom.

The topics were presented in a clear fashion and were easy to understand.

Interface rating: 4

No interface issues were noted, but when compared with other resources, additional content seemed lacking at times.

No grammatical errors were found during this review.

Upon inspection, this reviewer did not notice any insensitive or offensive material in this text.

There are a plethora of business law texts available in the marketplace. Whatever resources one chooses to adopt, the Business Law Essentials text could certainly be utilized as an effective supplement in the classroom.

business law case studies for mba

Reviewed by Chelsea Green, Assistant Clinical Professor, Miami University on 12/6/19

Even though this text is an "essentials" text, there are certain topics that are missing from the text that I would expect to find in a basic legal environments textbook. These include topics such as 1) Real, Personal, and Intellectual Property;... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less

Even though this text is an "essentials" text, there are certain topics that are missing from the text that I would expect to find in a basic legal environments textbook. These include topics such as 1) Real, Personal, and Intellectual Property; 2) Negotiable Instruments and Banking; 3) Secured Transactions and Bankruptcy; 4) Agency and Liabilities to Third Parties; and 5) Business Organizations. The text includes both a table of contents and an index. It would be nice to see a glossary and the US Constitution in the back. The material included is fairly basic and doesn't explore the topics with adequate depth.

I am not finding inaccurate information, however, both sides of various topics are not included such as the free market argument that those arguing for corporate social responsibility would normally face.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 3

Most of the book covers foundation material that will timeless. However, there are a number of links to supporting information located on the web that could become obsolete. This text also lacks examples of the law from trial cases, which may increase the longevity of the text, however, this trait also leads to the shallower coverage of the topics.

The book is easy to read and provides user-friendly vocabulary for a non-lawyer.

The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework. Again, if provides basic information regarding the legal topics covered.

This text is easily read and could be divided up cleanly.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

The organization of the material is logical and clear. There is good use of headings and visual breaks for the reader. The end of the chapters provide simple multiple choice questions for a learner to test themselves. There is not a summary provided at the end of the chapter which is common with standard texts.

I did not find any interface issues related to this text.

Grammatical Errors rating: 4

I did not find any grammatical errors that would stand out to a learner and distract from the content.

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

There are few examples in this text on which to judge its culturally insensitivity. The images included in the text illustrate a diverse group of participants in the law.

The images included in this book seem to be inserted only to take up space. Images in a law text can be very helpful for the non-learner by providing comparisons and flowcharts to simplify concepts. Consider using more meaningful images to support the text and provide the textual information in a different way.

Table of Contents

  • 1 American Law, Legal Reasoning, and the Legal System
  • 2 Disputes and Dispute Settlement
  • 3 Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • 4 Business and the United States Constitution
  • 5 Criminal Liability
  • 6 The Tort System
  • 7 Contract Law
  • 8 Sales Contracts
  • 9 Employment and Labor Law
  • 10 Government Regulation
  • 11 Antitrust Law
  • 12 Unfair Trade Practices and the Federal Trade Commission
  • 13 International Law
  • 14 Securities Regulation

Ancillary Material

About the book.

Business Law I Essentials is a brief introductory textbook designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of courses on Business Law or the Legal Environment of Business. The concepts are presented in a streamlined manner, and cover the key concepts necessary to establish a strong foundation in the subject. The textbook follows a traditional approach to the study of business law. Each chapter contains learning objectives, explanatory narrative and concepts, references for further reading, and end-of-chapter questions.

Business Law I Essentials may need to be supplemented with additional content, cases, or related materials, and is offered as a foundational resource that focuses on the baseline concepts, issues, and approaches.

About the Contributors

Renee De Assis

Suzanne Cardell , University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

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Case i: chemco case.

  • ChemCo is a quality leader in the U.K. car batteries market.
  • Customer battery purchases in the automobile market are highly seasonal.
  • The fork-lift business was added to utilize idle capacity during periods of inactivity.
  • This is a low-growth industry (1% annual growth over the last two years)
  • Large customers are sophisticated and buy based on price and quality. Smaller customers buy solely on price.
  • There is a Spanish competitor in the market who offers low priced batteries of inferior quality.

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  • High quality product, but low end customers care more about price than quality
  • Mismanaged product diversification in a price sensitive market
  • Alternative 1: Establish an Off-Brand for the fork-lift business
  • Alternative 2: Educate the customer market about product quality
  • Alternative 3: Exit the fork-lift battery business
  • Establishing the firm's quality image
  • Increase in market share
  • Increase in sales
  • Cost of the product
  • Protect firm's quality image in the automobile industry
  • Redesigned product to reduce the cost of manufacture
  • Low price to enable it to compete with Spanish producer
  • Make use of the quality leadership in car batteries market
  • Offer reliability testing, extended warranties etc. to promote quality image
  • Set higher prices to extract surplus from these advantages
  • A passive strategy, not proactive
  • Recommendations: Alternative 1 is recommended in this case. Since the firm operates in an industry which has low growth, hence it can expand market share and sales only by taking the customers from other players. Hence, it needs to tackle the Spanish competitor head-on by aggressively pricing its product. At the same time, launching a low-priced product under the same brand name erodes the high quality image in the car batteries market. Hence, the best option is to go for an off-brand to target the fork-lift customers who are increasingly becoming price sensitive. This will enable the company to ward off the threat in short-term and build its position strongly in the long-term.

business law case studies for mba


  • The Nakamura Lacquer Company: The Nakamura Lacquer Company based in Kyoto, Japan was one of the many small handicraft shops making lacquerware for the daily table use of the Japanese people.
  • Mr. Nakamura- the personality: In 1948, a young Mr. Nakamura took over his family business. He saw an opportunity to cater to a new market of America, i.e. GI's of the Occupation Army who had begun to buy lacquer ware as souvenirs. However, he realized that the traditional handicraft methods were inadequate. He was an innovator and introduced simple methods of processing and inspection using machines. Four years later, when the Occupation Army left in 1952, Nakamura employed several thousand men, and produced 500,000 pieces of lacquers tableware each year for the Japanese mass consumer market. The profit from operations was $250,000.
  • The Brand: Nakamura named his brand “Chrysanthemum” after the national flower of Japan, which showed his patriotic fervor. The brand became Japan's best known and best selling brand, being synonymous with good quality, middle class and dependability.
  • The Market: The market for lacquerware in Japan seems to have matured, with the production steady at 500,000 pieces a year. Nakamura did practically no business outside of Japan. However, early in 1960, when the American interest in Japanese products began to grow, Nakamura received two offers
  • The Rose and Crown offer: The first offer was from Mr. Phil Rose, V.P Marketing at the National China Company. They were the largest manufacturer of good quality dinnerware in the U.S., with their “Rose and Crown” brand accounting for almost 30% of total sales. They were willing to give a firm order for three eyes for annual purchases of 400,000 sets of lacquer dinnerware, delivered in Japan and at 5% more than what the Japanese jobbers paid. However, Nakamura would have to forego the Chrysanthemum trademark to “Rose and Crown” and also undertaken to sell lacquer ware to anyone else the U.S. The offer promised returns of $720,000 over three years (with net returns of $83,000), but with little potential for the U.S. market on the Chrysanthemum brand beyond that period.
  • The Semmelback offer: The second offer was from Mr. Walter Sammelback of Sammelback, Sammelback and Whittacker, Chicago, the largest supplier of hotel and restaurant supplies in the U.S. They perceived a U.S. market of 600,000 sets a year, expecting it to go up to 2 million in around 5 years. Since the Japanese government did not allow overseas investment, Sammelback was willing to budget $1.5 million. Although the offer implied negative returns of $467,000 over the first five years, the offer had the potential to give a $1 million profit if sales picked up as anticipated.
  • Meeting the order: To meet the numbers requirement of the orders, Nakamura would either have to expand capacity or cut down on the domestic market. If he chose to expand capacity, the danger was of idle capacity in case the U.S. market did not respond. If he cut down on the domestic market, the danger was of losing out on a well-established market. Nakamura could also source part of the supply from other vendors. However, this option would not find favor with either of the American buyers since they had approached only Nakamura, realizing that he was the best person to meet the order.
  • Decision problem: Whether to accept any of the two offers and if yes, which one of the two and under what terms of conditions?
  • To expand into the U.S. market.
  • To maintain and build upon their reputation of the “Chrysanthemum” brand
  • To increase profit volumes by tapping the U.S. market and as a result, increasing scale of operations.
  • To increase its share in the U.S. lacquerware market.
  • Profit Maximization criterion: The most important criterion in the long run is profit maximization.
  • Risk criterion: Since the demand in the U.S. market is not as much as in Japan.
  • Brand identity criterion: Nakamura has painstakingly built up a brand name in Japan. It is desirable for him to compete in the U.S. market under the same brand name
  • Flexibility criterion: The chosen option should offer Nakamura flexibility in maneuvering the terms and conditions to his advantage. Additionally, Nakamura should have bargaining power at the time of renewal of the contract.
  • Short term returns: Nakamura should receive some returns on the investment he makes on the new offers. However, this criterion may be compromised in favor of profit maximization in the long run.?
  • Reject both: React both the offers and concentrate on the domestic market
  • Accept RC offer: Accept the Rose and Crown offer and supply the offer by cutting down on supplies to the domestic market or through capacity expansion or both
  • Accept SSW: offer; accept the SSW offer and meet it through cutting down on supply to the domestic market or through capacity expansion or both. Negotiate term of supply.
  • Reject both: This option would not meet the primary criterion of profit maximization. Further, the objective of growth would also not be met. Hence, this option is rejected.
  • Accept RC offer: The RC offer would assure net returns of $283,000 over the next three yeas. It also assures regular returns of $240,000 per year. However, Nakamura would have no presence in the U.S. with its Chrysanthemum brand name The RC offer would entail capacity expansion, as it would not be possible to siphon of 275,000 pieces from the domestic market over three years without adversely affecting operations there. At the end of three years, Nakamura would have little bargaining power with RC as it would have an excess capacity of 275,000 pieces and excess labor which it would want to utilize. In this sense the offer is risky. Further, the offer is not flexible. Long-term profit maximization is uncertain in this case a condition that can be controlled in the SSW offer. Hence, this offer is rejected.
  • Accept SSW offer: The SSW offer does not assure a firm order or any returns for the period of contract. Although, in its present form the offer is risky if the market in the U.S. does not pick up as expected, the offer is flexible. If Nakamura were to exhibit caution initially by supplying only 300,000 instead of the anticipated 600,000 pieces, it could siphon off the 175,000 required from the domestic market. If demand exists in the U.S., the capacity can be expanded. With this offer, risk is minimized. Further, it would be competing on its own brand name. Distribution would be taken care of and long-term profit maximization criterion would be satisfied as this option has the potential of $1 million in profits per year. At the time of renewal of the contract, Nakamura would have immense bargaining power.
  • Negotiate terms of offer with SSW: The terms would be that NLC would supply 300,000 pieces in the first year. If market demand exists, NLC should expand capacity to provide the expected demand.
  • Action Plan: In the first phase, NLC would supply SSW with 300,000 pieces. 125,000 of these would be obtained by utilizing excess capacity, while the remaining would be obtained from the domestic market. If the expected demand for lacquer ware exists in the U.S., NLC would expand capacity to meet the expected demand. The debt incurred would be paid off by the fifth year.
  • Contingency Plan:  In case the demand is not as expected in the first year, NLC should not service the U.S. market and instead concentrate on increasing penetration in the domestic market.

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Business Administration, MBA/Law, JD

Degree:  Master of Business Administration (MBA) Business Administration (MBA) Program Information

Degree:  Juris Doctor (JD) Juris Doctor (JD) Program Information

Program Overview

Weatherhead School of Management and the School of Law have a formal full-time dual-degree program where students enrolled in the program who fulfill the requirements set for graduation by both schools will receive both an MBA and a JD degree. The MBA/JD dual-degree program is designed for individuals who want to specialize in the legal, contractual and governmental aspects of management.

Students must be separately admitted to both degree programs in order to pursue a dual degree, the qualitative requirements of both degrees must be fully met, and the two degrees must be earned simultaneously. Students must begin coursework in the second degree program prior to beginning the fifth semester of law school work. Also, no coursework completed prior to official matriculation in the law school may be counted towards the law school degree.

After completion of both degree programs, two separate diplomas are awarded. Coursework for both programs must be completed within six years of the date of initial enrollment in either program.

To learn more, contact Weatherhead School of Management at 216.368.2030 or  [email protected] , or the School of Law at 216.368.3600 or  [email protected] .

Program Requirements

Students may complete the three-year JD program and the two-year MBA program in four academic years by completing 133 credit hours (including a 7-credit-hour overload which can be taken during the academic year or during the summer semester).

The School of Law allows dual degree students to use 12 credit hours from the MBA to fulfill both JD and MBA requirements. The Weatherhead School of Management allows dual degree students to use 12 credit hours from the School of Law to fulfill both MBA and JD requirements. Students must achieve a grade of C or better to receive double credit for the courses. This reduces the total number of hours required for the two degrees by 24 credit hours.

JD/MBA students may enroll only on a full-time basis, except during summer sessions. Dual degree students must receive both the JD and the MBA degrees simultaneously upon completion of degree requirements at both schools in order to receive the 24 hours of cross-credits described above.

Throughout the dual degree program, JD/MBA students continue to register in the first school they attended. After completion of both degree programs, two separate diplomas are awarded. Course work for both programs must be completed within six years of the date of initial enrollment in either program.

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Business Law Case Studies with Solutions

  • Post author: myspeakhr
  • Post category: Case Study
  • Reading time: 5 mins read

Discussed here is the Business Law Case Studies with Solutions. Business Law is also known as Legal Aspects of Business, Commercial Law etc. Here we have given short case studies along with solutions in business law. These simple case law in commercial law contains cases related to Contract Act 1872, Sale of goods Act and Consumer protection Act with solutions. All the 3 Acts discussed here is majorly used in business transactions. These short case studies on commercial law with answers will be helpful for students of MBA, BBA, B.com and Law. These case studies and solutions are explained in very simple words without much difficult legal terms for the benefit of the students.

Below is the Business Law Case Studies with Solutions.

I. Indian Contract Act Case Studies

1. case study on basic contract act.

“A gives an offer in the newspaper for the sale of his HP laptop for Rs. 15000. He also stated that Those who are willing to purchase can send a message to his mobile.”” In this simple case consider the following situation and discuss the solution:

a) B was interested to purchase the laptop and sent a message stating that he wish to purchase for 12000. Was it an acceptance is given by B-

No it was not an acceptance It can be termed as counter offer. If feasible A has to give acceptance.

b) B was interested to purchase the same but he asked C to message on behalf of B. and C messaged as follows

“My friend B is interested to purchase your laptop for 15000”  . Here is this a valid Acceptance? is A binded by the acceptance.

No this is not a valid acceptance. The acceptance needs to be given by the accept-or itself. Hence A is not binded by the action of C.

c)  B who is much interested in purchasing the laptop had called Mr.A and given the acceptance through his phone. Is A obliged for acceptance given by B.

The acceptance must the given by the mode prescribed by the offer-or only. Hence in the given case the acceptance given by B through telephone is not an acceptance.

2. Case study on Valid Contract

Mr. X invited Mr. Y his business partner for X’s sisters marriage. Y accepted the invitation in this ground X booked a table in a costly hotel where the marriage takes place. Due to some reason Y could not attend the function. What type of contact is this. Is this a valid contract. Justify your answer.

This is not a valid contract on the following basis:

a. This is a social agreement. The agreement is not created with an intention to create legal relationship rather to create a social relationship.

b. There is no consideration involved in the contract hence it is not a valid contract.

II. Consumer Protection Act Case Studies

3. case study on who is a consumer.

a. Mr. A bought a printer from an electronics store for using it at home. The TV was defective. Is Mr. A a consumer?

Yes Mr. A is a consumer as he purchased the printer for his own use.

b. Balu is a distributor for computer accessories. He bought 100 pen-drives for selling to other computer vendors. Is Balu a consumer?

Balu is not a consumer as he has obtained accessories for resale.

4. Case study on Restrictive and Unfair trade practices

Mr. X went to a electronic shop to purchase a TV for his newly built house. He asked the information about Samsung 40 inches LED TV to the shop keeper. The shop keeper being a dealer of other brands misguide the customer stating that Samsung had planned to stop the production of 40 Inch LED TV’s. The shopkeeper made the customer believed the same and advice him to purchase some other brand.

The act of Shop keeper is Restrictive trade practice or Unfair trade practices?

The act of shopkeeper is a unfair trade practice as he had mislead the customer with a motive to increase his sale.

III. Sale of Goods Act 1930 Case studies

5. case study on sale or agreement to sell.

On 1st March 2017, Alex agreed to sell his car to Beny for Rs. 80,000. It was agreed between themselves that the ownership of the car will transfer to B on 31st March 2017. when the car is gets registered in Beny`s name. Justify whether it is sale or agreement to sell.

It is an agreement to sell and it will become sale on 31st March when the car is registered in the name of Beny.

6. Case study on Warranty

Anay purchased a second hand typewriter from Balu. Anay used it for sometime and also spend some money on its repairs. The typewriter turned out to be stolen one and as such Anay had to return it to the true owner chand. Is it a breach of Warranty or not. What remedy will Anay get?.

It is a breach of warranty. It is a implied warranty as to quite possession. It was held that Anay could recover damages from Balu amounting to the price paid and the cost of repair.

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