Confidence through the Case Method
Redeemer business professors Laurie Busuttil and Susan Van Weelden make their mark on the North American business landscape with best-selling course materials.

In Redeemer’s business program, Prof. Susan Van Weelden, Prof. Laurie Busuttil and their colleagues are advancing the case method, an experiential learning approach for business students. Ivey Publishing, an arm of the well-known Ivey Business School at Western University, recently published a seven-part student guide to the case method written by Van Weelden and Busuttil from materials that Van Weelden has used in her courses for over 20 years.

In the case method, students take on the role of managers in a variety of industries, organizations and scenarios. Students apply concepts and models to identify and analyse problems and opportunities facing organizations. They then develop solutions and compare the advantages and disadvantages before making a final recommendation and planning how their solution will be implemented. Overall, the case method provides a way for students to practise and gain confidence in their management skills.

Van Weelden and Busuttil not only authored the student guide to the case method but also their own case, which asks students to decide whether to test new services at the Banff Aspen Lodge. Their case, Banff Aspen Lodge: Evolving the Business Strategy, became a bestseller in its first month of sales through Ivey Publishing. They have a second case in progress.

Both the seven-part student guide and the case are being sold through Ivey and through Harvard Business Publishing — two publishing houses that are among the top producers of business course materials in the world. Ivey Publishing adds six to seven new cases to their collection each week. As such, the publication of these materials in an important success not only for Van Weelden and Busuttil but also for the university. It is a testament to the quality of Redeemer’s Business program and the high calibre of its faculty.

The accomplishments also show Redeemer faculty’s dedication to their students. Van Weelden first created her guide to the case method for her own students. “I wanted to provide Redeemer students with every advantage to succeed in their business studies using the case method,” she explained.

Alumni of the Business program at Redeemer who have gone on to complete MBAs or CPA designations report that Redeemer prepared them well for their post-undergraduate education, which makes extensive use of the case method.

Today, Van Weelden and Busuttil’s materials are being used across Canada at schools like the Ivey Business School, McMaster University and York University and internationally at Harvard Business School, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) and Aalto University (Finland).

“It’s just plain exciting!” Van Weelden concluded. “It is confirmation that what we are doing in Redeemer’s Business program is on par with leading schools of business around the world!”

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