The problem with Harvard Business School case studies

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

The discipline of business history has long been linked to the case-study method of teaching. It will therefore interest many readers of this blog to learn of a new article in the business press that talks about the historical origins of the case study method, which began at Harvard Business School and which was later adopted in management schools around the world. The article in Quartz disseminates some of the key findings presented in A New History of Management, an important new book by John Hassard, Michael Rowlinson, Stephen Cummings, and Todd Bridgman. Regardless of whether you are a friend or a foe of the use of case studies, I would encourage you to check out the piece in Quartz and the underlying scholarly works.

Personally, I’m glad to see that the life and ideas of HBS Dean Wallace Donham (1877-1954) is being investigated. In the 1920s, Donham was one of the most influential critics of shareholder primacy and the related idea that the maximization of shareholder value is the best criterion for judging the performance of managers. At a time when the idea of shareholder primacy is being scrutinized once again, it is encouraging to know that people are paying attention to Donham.

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