The most read case studies of 2021 and the professors who wrote them


Debapratim Pukayastha of ICFAI Business School in India topped the Case Center World’s Best Case Studies list for the sixth year in a row. Sadly, Pukayastha passed away in May from Covid-19.

Harvard Business School, which invented both the first MBA program and the business case method, remains the king of the case study 100 years later, according to the latest international ranking of case authors.

The Case Center, a nonprofit that distributes the largest collection of management case studies to business schools around the world, today (October 25) unveiled its Top 50 Best-Selling Case Authors for 2020-2021. HBS had more case authors (nine) on the list than any other business school. However, ICFAI Business School in India was just behind with seven authors, including the top three individual places. INSEAD had four authors in the top 10, while Harvard had two in the top 10.

Case studies, which use real-life issues faced by business leaders, remain one of the most widely used educational tools by MBA students around the world. More than 8,800 professors are registered as authors with the Case Center. This year’s best-selling cases list includes each author’s best-selling cases.


Debapratim Pukayastha of ICFAI Business School (IBS) in India topped Case Center’s bestselling author list for the sixth consecutive year. He has won the distinction every year since the Case Center began giving out annual awards for case writing. But this year’s award was a bittersweet honor, as Pukayastha passed away in May from Covid-19.

“By selling over 100,000 copies of a vast catalog of cases since the list was introduced in 2016, Debapratim’s undoubted impact on case methodology and management education will continue for years to come thanks to many case writers and teachers he inspired, “the Case Center announced,” and the large number of students whose education was enhanced by learning through his cases. “

Some of Pukayastha’s best-selling cases include a review of safety breaches at a BP oil refinery in Texas City that led to one of the most serious workplace accidents in US history; a case examining Netflix’s use of big data to predict hits; and a case examining how Procter & Gamble develops new products. Besides his annual congratulations on the best-selling case, he also won the Case Center award. Exceptional contribution to the price of the case method in 2015, 2018 and 2019.

“I believe that one can be a good teacher without being a good case writer, but it is not possible to be a good case writer without being a good teacher,” Pukayastha wrote in a profile of author on the Case Center website. “However, I have also found that regular case writing can greatly improve classroom instruction. Case writing can be a lonely activity and even hard work, but if you have the passion, it’s worth it! This means you can make a positive impact in classrooms around the world where your case is taught. “

This Case Center infographic shows the top demographic trends in the 2020/21 ranking of the best best-selling case authors. Courtesy case center


The UK and US-based Case Center has published its list of best-selling case authors each year since 2016, ranking the authors whose cases have sold the most copies during the academic year. former. This year, he increased the number of bestselling authors from 40 to 50.

On this year’s list, the authors came from 19 different business schools in nine different countries. This includes 42% from Europe and the United States, and 16% from Asia.

“As the list goes from 40 to 50, we are seeing a change in geographic dynamics,” the association announced. “The European and American schools each have a 42% share of the Top 50 2020/21, compared to 45% in 2019-20. While the representation of schools in Asia stands at 16%, against 10% last year.

Eighteen percent of perpetrators are women while 82% are men. While the list does not detail the best-selling cases by race, ethnicity, or gender of its protagonists, finding case studies that represent the growing diversity of business students (and business executives) has been a constant concern for the diversity of many B schools, equity and inclusion efforts. For example, Harvard Business School published more than 70 cases with black or African-American protagonists last year after long-standing criticism that its studies ignored black business leaders, according to one. Poets and Quants article published in June.

It also produced 90 cases featuring Hispanic, Asian or Asian-American / Pacific Islander or Native American protagonists. HBS professors write about 400 case studies per year.

“Our students are right that the diversity of protagonists is important,” said Jan Rivkin, senior associate dean of HBS and chair of the MBA program in June. “By studying cases with a wide variety of protagonists, students learn that talent and leadership come from all walks of life and identities. If students do not understand this, they will worsen inequalities, miss opportunities for themselves, and miss opportunities to create opportunities for others.


ICFAI Business School also had Authors # 2 and # 3, and both are new entrants to the Case Center roster.

Second author, Indu Perepu is an assistant professor specializing in human resources management. His best-selling cases include “Airbnb: A Disruptive Innovator” and “Snapchat Declines Facebook Takeover Offer.”

“What makes the case study method even more meaningful is that in developing countries like India where teaching through case studies is growing, case studies help students with international exposure. limited to learning about multinational corporations and the world’s largest corporations, ”says Perepu.

Third author, Syeda Maseeha Qumer is an assistant professor specializing in business strategy. For her best-selling cases, she looked at HBO’s integrated marketing strategy. Game Of Thrones and the impact of conflict palm oil on deforestation, human rights violations and climate pollution, and its use by PepsiCo in its products.

“Case-based learning is unmatched in its ability to engage students and teach essential concepts that are relevant to practicing managers,” says Qumer. “Innovation in the case method is essential for facilitating any classroom and achieving better learning outcomes. I have always strived to develop diverse cases on contemporary issues that provide students with the opportunity to explore complex real-world management challenges in the classroom, allowing them to assess their decision-making skills before proceeding. get into the business world.

ESSEC Business School in France had the best climbing author, Ashok Som, who climbed 26 places to 11th place from last year’s ranking.

See the full list of this year’s case writing winners on page 2, including links to their biographies.

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