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Creating Global Impact with Business Case Studies

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The Thompson Center for Business Case Studies enhances the global awareness of business practices in Asia.

Learning about case studies and utilizing participation as a mode of instruction are important elements of business education. In the past, case studies were largely a product of the West, but today the spotlight is on Asia, and the world is hungry to learn more about business practices in the region. The School’s Thompson Center for Business Case Studies is at the forefront of producing Asian case studies to advance the understanding of business in Asia in a truly global context.

Asia has been the fastest growing region in the world for the last two decades, and people are curious about it, says the Center’s Director, Professor Winnie PENG. As more people come to Asia to study and engage in business, Asian case studies are becoming more relevant.

“Apart from the huge cultural and political differences, the East and the West are at different stages of business development,” she says. “So, you can’t just take the Western model and apply it to Asia.” Meeting this demand with the School’s world- class faculty and research, as well as its broad business connections, the Center plays a key role in advancing business education in the region through the development of high-quality Asian business case studies.

According to Professor Roger KING, Senior Advisor and Founding Director of the Center, this is important on many fronts. Firstly, the idea of teaching about case studies is taking root globally, and secondly, social capital in Asia plays an important part in advancing business case studies which offer Asian insights that benefit students who are keen to learn about the region.

Professor Peng also notes that there are locational advantages to having homegrown case studies, as the School is able to bring protagonists from this part of the world into the classroom to share their thoughts and experiences.

Aside from promoting case teaching, the Center is committed to making an impact on the world through the distribution of its case studies. Since entering into distribution partnership with Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) in 2018, the Center has over 61,000 copies of HKUST case studies distributed via HBP case catalogue. To further expand its impact, the School also acts as the hosting school for the Association of Asia Pacific Business Schools Case Center, enabling them to take the lead in organizing workshops on the teaching, writing and research of business cases. “The School is in the perfect location in Asia, as we can do cases in Mainland China and cases in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia,” Professor Peng says. “This is really to the benefit of the whole community.”