Developing Problem-Solving Skills With Case Study In A Conceptual Management Course

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Wei He


Problem-Solving Skills, Case Study, Management Pedagogy, Organizational Behavior


Few management courses highlight the development of students’ problem-solving skills as a learning goal despite the popularity of solving management problems as a routine job for managers. Drawing on the pedagogies of problem-based learning and case teaching, this paper presents a problem-solving approach of case study and applies it to a set of 14 Harvard Business Review cases to develop problem-solving skills in a typical conceptual management course – Organizational Behavior. It explains the detailed requirements of the problem-solving approach of case study step by step, specifies the case references and their suitable topics respectively, describes the organization and process of a problem-solving case study session, illustrates an exemplary case study out of the 14 cases, and discusses the effectiveness and implications of the problem-solving pedagogy. The paper has three folds of contribution to management education: It proves both the necessity and  feasibility of developing students’ problem-solving skills in a conceptual management course; it provides other instructors of Organizational Behavior or Management with a valid, ready-to-use pedagogy and quality teaching materials to improve the relevance and effectiveness of their teaching; and it may inspire more instructors of management courses to explore their own comfortable pedagogies in developing business students’ skills.


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