‘Hello bank!’ case study wins the ‘Outstanding Case Writer: Hot Topic’ competition

The case study ‘Hello bank! The birth of a mobile bank’ by Vlerick professors Steve Muylle and Stijn Viaene has won the international ‘Outstanding Case Writer: Hot Topic’ competition which is part of The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2015. These coveted accolades recognise worldwide excellence in case writing and teaching and also help to further raise the profile of the case method. They have been presented annually since 1991 and are known as the case method community’s annual ‘Oscars’. This year’s hot topic was Digital Transformation.

“All our judges were extremely impressed by the quality of this case and its relevance to the topic. The competition attracted entries of a very high standard with 32 cases submitted from 20 institutions in 13 countries. This case is a worthy winner of this prestigious prize,” says Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre.

During a special award ceremony at our Brussels campus on Wednesday 13 May the award was given to professors Steve Muylle and Stijn Viaene by Vicky Lester (Deputy Director at The Case Centre) and Antoinette Mills (Media and Systems Development Manager at The Case Centre).


From left to right: Philippe Haspeslagh (Dean Vlerick Business School), Frank Donck (Vice Chairman Vlerick Business School), professor Steve Muylle, professor Stijn Viaene and Vicky Lester (The Case Centre).

Responding to digital challenges

Winning this competition means a lot says Steve: “It underscores the importance of using a contemporary, field-based case to underpin the learning of executives, by working for and with them, and sharing the insights across industries and geographical regions.”

The case holds important lessons for established companies that are considering how to respond to important shifts in their markets, brought about by digital technologies. Stijn elaborates: “This case is about how an established company launches a very new company to address drastic changes in the marketplace, such as the adoption of mobile technologies, changing customer behaviour, increased competitive activity and new entrants from the technology sector. The case explores potential synergies between the two companies, within and across four domestic markets in Europe.” According to Stijn further case study work on digital transformations is key as it challenges traditional strategy thinking and is high on the agenda of executives around the globe.

A long standing process

Writing a successful case in general implies several key steps explains Steve. “First you need to identify an important strategic challenge for executives, identify a company that is in the process of addressing that challenge, identify the key decision makers, and get them excited about the idea of documenting their efforts as a case study. They need to be involved deeply in the case study development process. Once the case is finished you need to test it in a class-room setting, invite one of the case protagonists to these sessions, develop the teaching note and integrate relevant academic thinking on the subject. Finally, you can release the case and enjoy teaching it. It’s also important to make clear that a case study is not necessarily a public relations initiative but a didactical tool that will assist students in learning about the topic from an academic perspective.”

About The Case Centre Awards and Competitions

Awards for cases are presented for nine management categories plus an Overall Winner Award. Each year, an award is given to recognise an individual who has made an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method. In 2015, for the first time, the Outstanding Case Teacher competition recognises an excellent practitioner in the case classroom. Two case writing competitions are held each year to find an outstanding first time case writer, and to identify the best new case written on a topical ‘Hot topic’. The entries for these competitions are judged anonymously to ensure complete impartiality.

About The Case Centre

This not-for-profit organisation advances the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. The Case Centre distributes the world’s largest collection of management case studies, articles and books and provides training in case method teaching, writing and learning. Besides publishing books and articles by eminent case method specialists they offer authors an efficient worldwide case publishing and distribution service. Their growing case method community has over 500 member organisations worldwide.

The case study 'Hello bank! The birth of a mobile bank' is being used as a teaching case in our Digital Leadership Summer School and in our Digital Strategy programme.

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