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Harvard, the doyen of the case-writing world, scooped six of the awards, including the coveted accolade for the best case, written by David Yoffie and Renee Kim. The case examines the 100 years of rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
David Yoffie, with co-author Penelope Rossano, also won in the strategy and general management category for their 2012 study of Apple, exploring Steve Jobs’ successes and the challenges facing his successor, Tim Cook.
Scholars from Harvard also topped the case-writing ranks in the categories of: knowledge, information and communication; finance, accounting and control; production and operations management (with Innsbruck University School of Management); and entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship case charts the rise of Dropbox, the Silicon Valley start-up.
On an individual level, the second big winner was Debapratim Purkayastha, a professor at the ICFAI Business School. He won the category award for human resources and organisational behaviour, as well as scooping the prize for the outstanding contribution to the case method.
Further category prizes went to HEC Paris (marketing), Stanford (economics) and HEC Geneva (ethics and social responsibility). The individual prize for outstanding new case writer was won by Copenhagen Business School’s Laurel Austin, while that for outstanding case writer on a hot topic went to Steve Muylle and Stijn Viaene from Vlerick Business School.
The Case Centre introduced a new award in 2015 for outstanding case teacher. This was won by Casey Lichtendahl, associate professor of business administration at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. Like Harvard, Darden is renowned as one of the world’s top case-writing centres.
HEC Paris, Innsbruck University School of Management and Vlerick Business School won awards for the first time, but absent from the winning list this year were several European business schools that have been big winners in the past. These include Iese Business School, IMD, Insead and London Business School. Also missing from the winners’ podium was the Ivey school at Western University, in Canada, which has traditionally been viewed as a “mini-Harvard” case-writing school.