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The most important business case studies every MBA student should know


  • MBA students should expect to read case studies, or real-world examples of why businesses succeed or fail. 
  • The case-reading practice in business schools was originally pioneered at Harvard, where the MBA curriculum requires students to read up to 500 cases during their two-year program. Other business schools eventually adopted the Harvard case method, preparing students for future leadership challenges. 
  • Business Insider has compiled a list of the most influential cases recommended by business school professors. 
  • One of the cases include how Apple’s name change in 2007 allowed the company to redirect its focus from solely Macintosh computers to the iPod, iPhone, Apple Watch, and streaming services. Today, computer sales only account for a tenth of the company’s $1 trillion market capitalization, Business Insider reported
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If you attend business school, you can expect to read a lot of case studies. Professors love them because they offer real-world examples of why businesses succeed and fail. 

The case method teaching practice was originally pioneered at Harvard Business School (HBS), where the MBA curriculum requires that students read up to 500 cases during their two-year program. The Harvard case method soon spread across business schools as professors sought to prepare their students with leadership and decision-making challenges in the workplace.

There are some classic cases that every business student should know — like why Apple changed its name.

Business Insider has compiled the most influential cases here, with recommendations from business school professors across the nation and abroad.


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