Pioneered by NIBS faculty and one of the highlights of the NIBS experience, the case method is a profound educational innovation that presents the greatest challenges confronting leading companies, nonprofits, and government organizations—complete with the constraints and incomplete information found in real business issues—and places the student in the role of the decision maker. There are no simple solutions; yet through the dynamic process of exchanging perspectives, countering and defending points, and building on each other’s ideas, students become adept at analyzing issues, exercising judgment, and making difficult decisions—the hallmarks of skillful leadership.
Simply put, we believe the case method is the best way to prepare students for the challenges of leadership.
The NIBS Case Methodology
After students are served with a case, they place themselves in the role of the decision maker as they read through the situation and identify the problem they are faced with. The next step is to perform the necessary analysis—examining the causes and considering alternative courses of actions to come to a set of recommendations.
To get the most out of cases, students read and reflect on the case, and discuss their findings with other mates. Under the questioning and guidance of the seniors—students probe underlying issues, compare different alternatives, and finally, suggest courses of action in light of the organization’s objectives.
As you watch a case study unfold in class, you’ll see students doing 85 percent of the talking, as the professor steers the conversation by making occasional observations and asking questions. This classroom interaction is enriched by ninety classmates from diverse industries, functions, countries, and experiences. At the end of the class, you’ll be amazed at what you learn from exchanging ideas with your classmates.
Class participation is so important to the learning model at NIBS that 50 percent of a student’s grade in many courses is based on the quality of class participation. This requires students and faculty to work closely together—another hallmark of the NIBS experience. During their time at NIBS, students study and prepare over 500 cases.