Innov Case Lab: "Case studies",
a proven educational tool

A case study: what has happened or may happen, circumstances, fact, (an interesting) story, a hypothesis that can be utilised in the context of the courses given by our researcher-active faculty members. Or even, how to explore the different fields of management science (strategy, organisation, marketing, HR) through real-life company issues...

Creating case studies has been encouraged by Excelia Group for nearly ten years because this educational tool allows for unique and valuable contact with the professional world and consolidates academic research whilst enriching our study programmes. Above all, they highlight current issues.

The creation of INNOV Case Lab, in 2015, was the result of a long-standing commitment by Marie-Noëlle Rimaud, the Head of this case study centre. As an ambassador for this educational tool par excellence, she is totally familiar with existing works developed by case centres such as CCMP (Centrale de cas et de médias pédagogiques), The Case Centre and HEC Montréal with whom she always maintains a close relationship. Passionate about their field, Marie-Noëlle Rimaud and her colleagues have already won several "Best Case Study" awards. Today, INNOV Case Lab relies on the strength of a collective system of researcher-active faculty members who develop joint case studies within the framework of partnerships with French or international universities in countries such as Canada and Morocco.

All the cases developed are always in line with Excelia Group's main research areas: social responsibility and tourism management. These research areas have received their own case awards, clear proof of not only the expertise and know-how of INNOV Case Lab, but also the quality of its output, endorsed, amongst others, by certain research organisations such as RIODD (Réseau international de recherche sur les organisations et le développement durable - International Research Network on Organisations and Sustainable Development and AFMAT (Association francophone de management du tourisme - French-speaking Tourism Management Association.

Working within our local region helps promote and highlight good practice of not only SMEs but also of emblematic local organisations and players, as well as facilitating field work and creating important links. In this respect, we have been working with certain companies, such as Léa Nature and Stade Rochelais, for several years.

These "Made in New Aquitaine" case studies can be used as a reference by new teachers, in personalised or group training. The content and form are combined so as to be able offer something totally original. This could include cases being developed as comic strips, the creation of mini pedagogical cases, or even, as far as consultancy projects are concerned, requiring students to take on the role of actual consultants, working on a real theme or issue on behalf of a partner company.

The most interesting innovation is perhaps the Flipped Learning experience, where students are actually involved in appraising tourism pedagogical case studies. As our students regularly use cases as part of their programme, why not solicit their opinion on the cases submitted, making them actors in their own education? This is truly a testament to the spirit of INNOV Case Lab in pursuing every perceivable opportunity and seeing things right through to the end!

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