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Case hacks : Four hacks for promoting critical thinking in case-based management education for sustainable development

  • Lennerfors, Thomas Taro
  • Fors, Per
  • Woodward, Jonathan R.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DOI: 10.23865/hu.v10.1960
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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In management education at engineering and business schools, the case-based method is commonly used. The case-based method has a strong action orientation but is seen to downplay critical thinking, which is an important component in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Current literature suggests two ways in which the case-based method can be improved, namely by producing better cases, and by improving classroom practice. This paper contributes to research and practice on case-based ESD within management education by outlining a third way: hacking cases, in other words, making modifications to existing cases to promote critical thinking. The hacks presented in this paper are based on a review of previous empirical and conceptual research about, and, on our own experiences of critical thinking. They are: (1) exploring synergies and conflicts; (2) expanding empirical knowledge; (3) shifting perspective; and (4) creating spaces for dialogue. By employing the hacks, case-based management ESD can be adapted to promote both action and critical thinking and, thereby, become an improved educational method in management ESD. An illustration of these four hacks within the course Managing sustainability in global industrial companies is provided.

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