Case writing competition: The Case for Women
In partnership with The Case for Women, Forté, and MBA Roundtable, this case study competition focused on the female case protagonist.
Competition now closed
Women in case studies
The aim of this competition is to encourage and promote the development of high-quality teaching case material that positively represents real women in leadership positions in the workplace.
Having 10 years of research on award-winning case papers, Lesley Symons of The Case for Women showed that women protagonists are present in only 11% of award-winning case papers. She developed the Symons Test which is used to assess the presence of women in case papers:
- Does it have a woman in it?
- Is she the protagonist?
- Does she speak to another woman about the business?
Only 4% of the case papers researched met all three of the rules.
The total prize fund for the collection is $12,000. Prizes are awarded to the overall winner and three runners-up.
- Cases should have a female protagonist
- Her characteristics as a leader should be described in a positive way
- There should be a general balance of genders across the characters in the paper. (This does not need to be precise although an approximate range of between 60:40 either way is considered balanced)
- The female protagonist should speak to another woman about the business
- Authors are asked to include the pronouns of each person, male and female, after they are introduced within the case for the first time. For example "Susan Wojcicki (she) faced a difficult decision."
- Ideally, the industry or setting of the case should not fall into one of the "Four F" categories: food, family, fashion and furniture. This is not a mandatory requirement.
- All cases should be teaching cases based on a real situation in a real company, with a clear decision-making situation, and prepared in accordance with case writing guidelines provided in the instructional materials
- Case studies submitted should not have been published before in their current or substantially similar form or be under consideration for publication in any ISSN/ ISBN-registered publication or with any other case centre
- All cases which are submitted to the judging panel will be published in our eCase Collection. By participating in the competition, you are automatically agreeing to have your case study published in the collection on an exclusive license.
- All case studies must be accompanied by a consent to publish release form, which has been completed and signed by the management of the company or individuals included in the case
- All cases must be accompanied by a teaching note which must include:
- a summary of the case
- the teaching objectives and target audience
- a suggested teaching approach and strategy
- a discussion on the implication of gender issues and leadership in the case
- additional readings or references
- feedback on how the case worked in the classroom.
Can I submit as part of a team or as a single author?
It can be either, we have no limits on who can submit, it can be a group of authors or a single author.
Are there restrictions on the gender ratio of the authors?
No, we have no restrictions as to who can submit in terms of their gender.
Where will the case be published?
The case will be published by Emerald in a collection called "The case for women" in our eCase collection. Find out more information.
Can the female protagonist be part of a team where there are also men?
Yes absolutely. We just don't want the case to focus on a single woman surrounded by exclusively male characters. The author guidelines ask for a roughly even split between genders of named characters in the case, and that the female protagonist must speak to another woman in the case about the business.
Who needs to complete the case study consent form?
If primary research has been carried out, the consent form needs to be signed by a director or member of HR at the organisation where the research was undertaken.
What if I can't get case study consent?
We can allow cases to be disguised in some circumstances, but only when this is the only option, and only if the case follows real events that are disguised, not made up. Cases based on secondary data do not require case study consent and so these would not need to be anonymised.
Can I submit a case study that’s on my institution's repository?
If the case is only on your institution's website, not published elsewhere, and doesn’t have an ISSN registered to it, you are welcome to submit this to the competition.
Can the case study be about a woman facing a specific business dilemma that’s not directly related to gender?
The paper doesn't need to focus on a dilemma related to gender, it can be any business dilemma. However, the teaching note should include a discussion around gender issues in the case.
Can the female protagonist be part of a family business?
Ideally, the cases should not focus on the 4F industries "food, fashion, family, and furniture", as this is where we typically see more female protagonists, but this is not a requirement.
The Case For women winning cases
First place: Navigating Etonhouse Through Crises: the Paradoxical Leadership of Ng Gim Choo
Jean Lee, Huirong Ju and Leah Tan
All authors at :China Europe International Business School
Second place: Riteband: Combatting the Challenges of Cross-Industry Innovation
Arpita Agnihotri, at Penn State Harrisburg, Middletown, Pennsylvania, United States
And Saurabh Bhattacharya at Newcastle University Business School
Third place: CTIP: Diversity in MedTech
Yin, Pai-Ling and Rostoker, Benjamin
University of Southern California
Shortlisted cases (in no order)
Wecyclers Roll Out: Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola
Ijeoma Dhalia Nwagwu, Oreva Atanya and Ngozi Onuzo,
All authors at: Lagos Business School
Happy Self Publishing
Ramachandran, Sathyanarayanan at IFMR Graduate School of Business, Krea University, India
Venturing into Retail: SoGal and Cherry Blossom Intimates
Munshaw, Supriya and Black, Christina
Johns Hopkins University- Carey Business School