Creating Teaching Cases around Sustainability: 4 examples

One of the challenges mentioned by faculty looking to incorporate sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) into their classrooms is the lack of relevant case studies. This includes not just case studies relating to responsible leadership, but also case studies specific to the businesses in their region or other regions around the world. Here is a collection of 4 Business Schools around the world that are taking a leading role to increase the number of relevant case studies from their country, region or internationally:

  • In Poland, Kozminski University has been working on a range of case studies from the region of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The project is coordinated in cooperation with the Center for Business and Society CEU Business School, the Graduate School of Management St Petersburg State University and CSR Ukraine. The aim of the project is to make a selection of the best responsible corporate performers from companies operating in CEE and to prepare a collection of educational case studies. The project will be finalized in 2011 as a booklet of 8 practical teaching case studies for MBA programs. The booklet will be distributed for use by academic institutions to integrate CEE CSR case studies into their mainstream management and executive education programs
  • In Mexico, at Tecnológico de Monterrey, San Luis Potosí, students write and present short teaching cases on businesses in Mexico as a way to provide close-to-real life responsible business learning experiences and to enable students to pass on their learning to classmates. Cases are based on interviews, extensive external resources, and at least one responsible management tool that is taught in class. Students then have the possibility to enter their case into the publication process with the “Centro Internacional de Casos” (the biggest case collection in the Spanish-speaking world).
  • In Italy, ISTUD Foundation has developed a range of case studies around sustainability and CSR of companies based or operating in Italy. This includes 38 case studies based on research projects with companies such as IKEA Italia, BMW Italia, Illy Caffe, Adidas Saloman, and 19 cases of best practices, including Enel Green Power, ENI, Pirelli Labs.
  • In Canada, Richard Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario has been working with the UN Global Compact to create a repository of real-world examples. A significant volume of cases has been developed around the four categories that are used to encompass the ten Global Compact Principles – Human Rights (55 published case studies), Labour Standards (41 published case studies), the Environment (101 published case studies) and Anti-Corruption (36 published case studies).

Get Involved!

Are you working on an initiative to create case studies around sustainability or responsible leadership in your region? Share your experiences in the comments area below this blog.

The PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption and the PRME Working Group on Gender Equality are both working to aggregate case studies and other resources (syllabi, research, etc.) related to their respective topics. Those interested in joining/contributing should visit


3 thoughts on “Creating Teaching Cases around Sustainability: 4 examples

  1. The Global Business School Network(GBSN), United States International University (USIU) and Michigan State University are working together to improve the management and leadership capacity of small scale agribusiness entrepreneurs through training to improve the quality and increase the productivity of the agricultural sector and thereby contribute to food security in Kenya. Funding is provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    GBSN is working with USIU faculty to develop 12 new locally relevant case studies for the new course.

    The project’s goal is to design and deliver a certificate program for smallholder agribusiness entrepreneurs by developing relevant training materials in the form of course modules and case studies that focus on specific agriculture, business, finance, organizational effectiveness and entrepreneurial skills.

  2. Great initiatives! Please find enclosed a number of additional resources for faculty:, an initiative of the Aspen Institute, provides a huge collection of case teaching material in CSR and Sustainability.

    In addition, the oikos case collection offers a selection of prize winning cases in the field of Corporate Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship including abstracts and inspection copies:

    oikos also publishes a quarterly online periodical, where case writers share their experience in developing and CS & SE teaching cases: oikos case quarterly, Issue 4 has been released in Nov. 2011:

    Free case: The winning case of the 2011 oikos Case Writing Competition (Social Entrepreneurship Track) on “Better Place: Shifting Paradigms in the Automotive Industry” by Dror Etzion and Jeroen Struben (McGill University, Canada) is now freely available under creative commons licences at Teaching notes for this case are available for faculty via

    Additional resources and an overview of international case journals can be found and in the 2011 publication “Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability – The oikos collection Vol. 2”

    Faculty interested in learning more about case writing and developing teaching notes are invited to join the oikos Teaching Case Development Laboratory next June in France (Submission deadline: Feb. 15, 2012): More info is available at: – The workshop is led by Magali Delmas (UCLA) and Liudmila Nazarkina, who is heading the oikos case teaching initiative.

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