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Ivey faculty win 2022 Case Centre awards

Feb 28, 2022

L-r: Fraser Johnson, Alison Konrad, Lucas Monzani

L-r: Fraser Johnson, Alison Konrad, and Lucas Monzani.

Three Ivey faculty members won awards in two separate categories of The Case Centre’s 32nd Awards and Competitions, which celebrate excellence and impact in case writing and teaching.

Fraser Johnson, HBA ’82, MBA ’92, PhD ’95, a professor of Operations Management, won in the Production and Operations Management Award category for his case, Apple Inc: Global Supply Chain Management. Lucas Monzani and Alison Konrad, both professors of Organizational Behaviour, along with their co-author Karen Harlos (University of Winnipeg), won in the Outstanding Compact Case Competition category for their work on Three Cases on Workplace Mistreatment.

The annual Awards (in 10 management disciplines, plus an Overall Award) and six Competitions are judged by panels of international experts. The winning cases provide insight into what was being taught to business and management students, often in online or hybrid classes, during a period of unprecedented challenges.

Here’s a look at Ivey’s winners and their award-winning cases.  

Production and Operations Management Award
Won by Fraser Johnson
Case: Apple Inc: Global Supply Chain Management

It should be no surprise that Fraser Johnson’s case on the evolution of Apple Inc. and its supply chain was a winner. It’s a favourite in his supply chain elective course and Johnson won in this category in 2016 for a previous case on Apple. But given the number of cases written each year in the operations management field, Johnson said he was thrilled to be recognized.

“The ability to write cases that resonate with students and instructors is a critical aspect of my job and career. Writing cases that instructors want to adopt in their courses helps promote the use of the case method, which is incredibly important to me personally,” he said.

Johnson said the case stands out for two reasons: One is the popularity of Apple and its products, which prompts curiosity about Apple’s supply chain strengths and capabilities. Second, a strong teaching note helps provide instructors with thorough analysis and guidance on how to deliver the case in the classroom.

Although the case-writing process involved gathering a wide range of data, Johnson said he avoided including extraneous information and focused the case on a decision.

“Do not tell a story, the newspapers can handle that job,” he said. “Students should use the issue(s) and decision, in the role of the protagonist, to focus their analysis. Without a decision in the case, students will not be able to properly structure their analysis and preparation.”

Outstanding Compact Case Competition 
Won by Lucas Monzani and Alison Konrad (with Karen Harlos)
Case: Three Cases on Workplace Mistreatment

The inspiration behind the trio’s work on three mini-cases exploring workplace mistreatment came from Alison Konrad’s observation that educators would value real-life accounts from research, human rights tribunals, or other public records or actual events. Together, the mini-cases explore racial, work-related, and sexual mistreatment through contexts in finance, health care, and academia.

The case has been taught in both HBA and MSc Organizational Behaviour courses several times and it’s always well-received by students. Clearly it is a current issue that resonates with them.

“Unfortunately, many students can connect to the case because they suffered similar experiences at school or work," said Monzani. "I always start my class saying that this is one of the few cases I wish I didn’t have to teach, as workplace mistreatment is unacceptable in any shape or form.” 

But if the case discussions lead to better prevention and intervention, that’s a good thing, and the case writers say they hope the award will spur more use of the case in classrooms and boardrooms.

“For me, winning this competition confirms the importance of bringing our research into the classroom, but also of using the conversations that emerge in the classroom to inform and keep one’s research current with problems that organizations face on a daily basis,” said Monzani.