Marketing Novels as Case Studies: How Far Out Is That?

March 2011
by Stephen Davenport

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Marketing Novels as Case Studies: How Far Out Is That?

by Stephen Davenport

Not very far, actually. Every novel is a case study of something. Something always happens that causes another happening and another and another. Certain questions can always be asked. What choices did the characters have in their situation? What if the characters had acted differently? English teachers require their students to ponder such questions every day.

As both a leader and a participant in workshops for honing school leaders’ skills, I have long believed in the efficacy of case studies—realistic scenarios featuring challenging problems that participants are asked to solve in an environment that is safe because the scenarios are fictional. So I finally asked myself this question: Since the usual four- or five-page case study provides good practice in making decisions, wouldn’t a full novel that participants read before a workshop be even more effective?

And then I thought of more questions. Couldn’t additional case studies be created around other problems facing the characters in the novel? Wouldn’t the heads of school and their colleagues with high-level management responsibilities who participate in the workshops be more deeply engaged by a novel than by the usual case study, which lacks the novel’s d…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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