Case competition

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In a case competition, participants strive to develop the best solution to a business or education-related case study within an allocated time frame, typically with teams of two or more individuals pitted against each other in a head-to-head or broader relative ranking.[1][2] Teams deliver presentations for judges and, while competitions vary in composition, a standard format and purpose exists.


The case competition concept originated in the United States and originally included participants from domestic universities. The notion of expanding to include international competitors emerged later, with the concept eventually taking hold across North America and Western Europe. Today, a wide range of international competitions are hosted in various countries in North America, Europe, and Asia,[1] with the phenomenon enjoying particular popularity in Canada.

More recently, case competitions have begun to enjoy increasing popularity in other parts of the world. One example is the Middle East & North Africa Regional Case Initiative (MENARCCI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB). MENARCCI's goal is to serve as a depository of all necessary knowledge about the case method, sources of cases and publishing outlets, and the links to all cases on the Region available on-line. In the Middle East, cases competitions are conducted by the American University of Beirut and the American University in Cairo.


Participants exercise skills and knowledge on a "real world" case for an actual organization, with the support of representatives who can provide professional advice.[1] Other competitions select an issue based on its degree of importance, and employ the competition as a means to both highlight the issue and create potential solutions through the efforts of the competitors.[2] Participants can also be assessed as potential candidates for analysis-based jobs.


Teams in case competitions are tasked with assessing the situation facing the organization, analyzing available information, crafting a solution, and defending their recommendations. Each team is judged independently. In general, teams adhere to a time limit and specific rules. The judges' decision is final and a confidential summary evaluation is generally provided.[3]

Competitions can be internal to a business school, or they can involve teams from multiple schools. Sometimes the competition includes several rounds, with the final round typically judged by outside company executives (sometimes the panel consists of executives from the actual company in the case). For example, the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business' 2010 round of its Global Business Case Competition featured a customized case on the Boeing Company[4] and Boeing executives acted as judges.[citation needed]


Formats vary according to a number of dimensions. The following dimensions are often used to classify and compare competitions:

  • Host: corporate versus educational institution
  • Participant selection: "by invitation" versus "by application"
  • Level: undergraduate, graduate,...

Formats may vary along practical dimensions, including:

  • Case specificity (whether the case has been written especially for the competition or not)
  • Number of teams
  • Organization (student-run, professional etc.)
  • Rules, e.g.:
    • Time (common formats are 3-4 or 24 hours)
    • Material
    • Degree of access to expert advice (either from within the competition or externally)

Format variations

Some competitions add complexity to create a more interesting challenge. For example, Ohio State University (OSU)'s Center For International Business Education And Research (CIBER), in its annual Case Challenge, created teams from the overall pool of participants, regardless of school, dissolving the usual school-based team format. For the Ohio State scenario, once the students are assigned to teams, a full day of team-building exercises is run for competitors.

Notable competitions

Invitational competitions

Competition Country University Level Teams Inaugural Year
John Molson MBA International Case Competition  Canada John Molson School of Business Graduate - MBA 36 teams 1981
WBS Case Challenge  United Kingdom Warwick Business School Graduate 8 teams 2013
CBS Case Competition[5]  Denmark Copenhagen Business School Undergraduate 12 teams 2002
Belgrade Business International Case Competition - BBICC [6]  Serbia University of Belgrade Undergraduate 12 teams 2013
Engineering and Commerce Case Competition[7]  Canada Concordia University Undergraduate 12 teams 2013
Asian Business Case Competition @ Nanyang (ABCC)[8]  Singapore Nanyang Technological University Undergraduate 12 teams 2007
CaseIT MIS Case Competition[9]  Canada Beedie School of Business Undergraduate 20 teams 2004
Champions Trophy Case Competition[10]  New Zealand University of Auckland Undergraduate 12 teams 2008
Citi International Case Competition[11]  Hong Kong HKUST Undergraduate 20 teams 2003
GBCC - Audi & Robert Walters Global Case Competition[12]  Japan Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Undergraduate 16 teams 2015
TUBC - Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge[13]  Thailand Thammasat University Undergraduate 16 teams 2007
Global Business Case Competition[14]  United States University of Washington Undergraduate 15 teams 1999
International Graduate Competition[15]  Canada HEC Montreal Graduate 8 teams 2012
John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition[16]  Canada John Molson School of Business Undergraduate 24 teams 2009
Marshall International Case Competition (inactive) [17]  United States University of Southern California Undergraduate 30 teams 1997
McGill Management International Case Competition[18]  Canada McGill University Undergraduate 12 teams 2001
McIntire International Case Competition[19][20]  United States University of Virginia Undergraduate 6 teams 1982
UOB-NUS Case Competition[21]  Singapore National University of Singapore Undergraduate 12 teams 2009
RMA Credit Risk Case Competition[22]  Canada Sobey School of Business Graduate 8 teams 2013
Sauder Summit Global Case Competition[23]  Canada Sauder School of Business Undergraduate 12 teams 2013
UNICC (University of Navarra International Case Competition)  Spain University of Navarra Undergraduate 16 teams 2013

Competitions by application

Competition Country Associated Institution Level Participants
APEX Business-IT Global Case Challenge[24]  Singapore Singapore Management University Undergraduate 90 (30 teams)
Business Masters[25]  Germany Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate 27 (9 teams)
Changellenge >> [26]  Russia Undergraduate 2,500
Hult Global Case Challenge[27]  United Kingdom Hult International Business School Graduate 150 teams
Oliver Wyman Iberia Case Competition[28]  Spain Oliver Wyman[28] Graduate 150 teams
Inter-Collegiate Business Competition (I.C.B.C.)[29]  Canada Queen's School of Business Undergraduate 102 (48 teams)
KPMG Case Competition [30] Global with regional/local rounds KPMG Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate
L'Oreal Brandstorm  France L'Oreal Undergraduate 135 (45 teams)
Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) Worldwide Case Competition[31]  Canada (2015) Sprott School of Business, Carleton University (2015) Undergraduate 64 (16 teams)
Pitt Health Innovation Case Competition (PHICC)[32]  United States University of Pittsburgh Graduate 60 (12 teams)
Purdue Human Capital Case Competition [33]  United States Krannert School of Management Graduate 36 (9 teams)
Rubicon Contest [34]  Germany, BiTS Iserlohn Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate 96
Suitable for Business Case Competition[35]  Denmark Suitable for Business Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate 48
Gadjah Mada Business Case Competition [36]  Indonesia Gadjah Mada University Undergraduate 24 (8 Teams)
ModelOff International Case Competition [37]  New York Professional Services Champions League Mixed Undergraduate/Graduate 4,000
Schulich International Case Competition [38]  Canada Schulich School of Business Graduate 70 (9 Teams)
FMAA Management Consulting Case Competition [39]  Australia Financial Management Association of Australia Mixed Undergraduate/ Graduate 221 teams


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  2. 2.0 2.1 Staff (1996–2011). "Center for Nonprofit and Public Leadership | Educational Case Leadership Competition". University of California, Berkeley | Haas School of Business. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  3. Staff (2012). "Contact John Molson MBA International Case Competition". John Molson MBA International Case Competition. John Molson MBA International Case Competition. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  4. Staff (2002-11). "Archives Global Business Case Competition". Foster. Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington. Retrieved 13 May 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. "CBS Case Competition: The Concept". Copenhagen Business School. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  6. "Belgrade Business International Case Competition". University of Belgrade. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  7. "Engineering and Commerce Case Competition". Concordia University. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  8. "Asian Business Case Competition @ Nanyang". Nanyang Business School. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  9. "CaseIT: Competition Information". CaseIT MIS Case Competition. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  10. "Business School: About Us". University of Auckland. Retrieved 15 December 2011. 
  11. "About the Competition: General Information". HKUST Business School. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  12. "GBCC". Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  13. "Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge". Thammasat Business School. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  14. "Global Business Case Competition". Foster School of Business. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  15. "International Graduate Competition". HEC Montréal. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 
  16. "John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition". John Molson School of Business. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  17. "Marshall International Case Competition". USC Marshall. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  18. "MMICC: Concept". McGill Management International Case Competition. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  19. "McIntire International Case Competition". Chinese University Bulletin. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  20. "At U.Va.'s McIntire School of Commerce International Case Competition Showcases Business Skills". University of Virginia. 3 February 1997. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  21. "UOB-NUS Case Competition: Competition Details". NUS-DBS International Case Competition. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  22. "RMA Credit Risk Case Competition". Sobey School of Business. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  23. "Sauder Summit". Sauder Summit. Retrieved 25 Mar 2013. 
  24. "APEX Business-IT Global Case Challenge". Singapore Management University. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  25. "Business Masters 2011: About Us". Business Masters. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  26. "Changellenge". Changellenge. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  27. "About Us: The Power of a Good Idea". Hult Global Case Challenge. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  28. 28.0 28.1  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. "History of I.C.B.C.". Inter-Collegiate Business Challenge. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  30. "KPMG's International Case Competition". KPMG. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  31. "Case Competition". Network of International Business Schools. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  32. "Pitt students encourage research colleagues to think outside the box through new case competition". Swanson School of Engineering. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  33. "Purdue Human Capital Case Competition". Krannert School of Management. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  34. "Rubicon International Contest for Business Students". Rubicon Contest. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  35. "Suitable for Business: About". Suitable for Business. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  36. "GMBCC". Gadjah Mada Business Case Competition. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  37. "ModelOff International Financial Modeling Case Competition". Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  38. "Schulich International Case Competition". Retrieved 4 June 2014. 
  39. "FMAA Management Consulting Case Competition". Retrieved 11 May 2015.