Case Studies in Aboriginal Business

The Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies is pleased to introduce a new series called Case Studies in Aboriginal Business. Those of you who are familiar with the work of the Chair will already know that it is committed to developing educational resources, such as case studies, that can be used in universities across Canada to help indigenize business curriculum at the post-secondary level. Over the past few years, we've collaborated with current Aboriginal business students to mentor them as they write cases on Aboriginal businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs in their home communities and we've written a few ourselves as well. Now that we have 16 of these cases written and released — and more coming soon! — we've itemized them on the "teaching resources" tab of our website and hope that educators will contact us to review and use these cases in their classrooms and other educational settings.

When I think about case studies, I think of them as fitting into two categories. The first is the decision-based case, which puts the student in the position of the decision-maker and invites him or her to identify the criteria upon which that decision should be based, the information required in order to make the decision, and alternative courses of action, before finally deciding what he or she would do in that particular situation (think here of the Ivey or Harvard style of case). The second type is what I've been referring to as story-telling or story-analysis. In these, a business, organization, or entrepreneur is described, perhaps along with particular challenges or issues, and students are then invited to analyse the situation presented and answer questions. Both have incredible value in learning environments, as they are so-called "real world" examples through which students can put theory into practice. We have a mixture of both styles of case in our collection.

If you're an educator, we hope that you will consider adopting one or more of our cases in your courses. If you know an educator who might be interested in the Case Studies in Aboriginal Business series, we invite you to share the case listing with them. And if you are an Aboriginal business student, we hope that you will let your instructors know about this growing resource.

Remember to check back often, as new cases will be added as soon as they are released. Also, in the coming months, we'll have a new website to unveil and greater detail about each case will be available.

-Janice