Case-Based Reasoning for the Case Method

Stephen Slade

Eighty-five years ago, Harvard created a business school to train the leaders of industry and commerce. Within a decade, Harvard had institutionalized case study as its primary teaching method in the business school. Today, the case method is a fixture at most business schools. An average MBA student prepares (or is supposed to prepare) up to 600 cases during his or her two years in graduate school. The contrasts between the case method and traditional teaching methods are similar to those between case-based reasoning and rule-based systems. In this paper, we discuss the case method and compare it with the paradigm of case-based reasoning. We describe a computer system designed to extend the case method with the application of case-based reasoning. The implementation of this system requires the development of an indexing scheme and content theory of the goals, strategies, and explanations of business decision making.


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