MBA News: Harvard Business School Dominates Case Study Market

As MBA students know well, case studies play a notable part in many business schools’ curricula. While they offer an incomparably hands-on way for aspiring MBAs to learn the ins and outs of business, they can also account for a large portion of some programs’ revenue. A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article examined Harvard Business School’s (HBS’s) near monopoly on the case study market, noting that the school’s Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) sector sold 12 million cases last year. In fact, a whopping 80% of all such studies used around the world are produced by HBP. To compare, the University of Virginia’s Darden Business Publishing, the self-appointed runner-up in sales, sold fewer than 700,000 cases in 2014. And HBS is not only a prominent case seller—the school is credited with establishing and popularizing the teaching method. Although the institution does not specify the percentage of case studies in its reported publishing revenue, one can assume that they constituted a considerable chunk of HBP’s $194M publishing income in 2014.

Perhaps a popular case study in the future will be about how another top-ranked school figured out how to challenge HBS’s market share…

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