Stories v. Case Studies LO1290

Robert Becker (
Thu, 18 May 1995 11:05:52 -0400

>Replying to LO1244 --
>>On Wed, 3 May 1995, James W. Hunt wrote:
>>> How is storytelling different from real world case studies?
>On May 17, Tim Temple responded:
>To add another thought about the difference, I usually think of stories as
>illustrative of a single point, often told in a way that encourages me to
>"suspend disbelief," as Barry Mallis suggested in LO1216. I think of case
>studies as a more three-dimensional telling in which I am encouraged to
>walk around, learn what I can and add my own judgment to the situation.
>Case studies often intentionally stop short of either the last chapter or
>drawing a moral conclusion.
>Marilyn Darling
Host's Note: Not sure just who said which of the above prev. msgs...

The first time I used case studies to any extent was at Harvard's
Management Development Program. Some cases were historical/factual (re:
Tim Temple), but some were also "made up." Some had an "ending" others
did not. I could say the same about stories. Some stories have a single
point, others have many.

Anything having to do with humans whether in case studies or stories often
require me to "suspend disbelief."

Perhaps we will have to live with ambiguity until the MLA steps in and
resolves the issue for all time. (Small amount of irony, not meant to be
a new issue for debate.)

Bob Becker
Dean/Academic Programs
Western State College of Colorado