Welcome to Case Matters, the e-Bulletin of the International Journal of Instructional Cases

Amazingly, we are heading towards IJIC's second birthday this summer! It has been a pleasure developing the journal and welcoming great authors into the collection. Several have returned to us and published more cases. If you haven't already submitted a concise case to the journal, why are you waiting?? Please spread the word amongst your networks too. 


In this issue of Case Matters, we welcome a piece from Simon Linacre, Director of International Marketing & Development at Cabells. Simon writes about the astonishing rise in predatory journals (Cabells currently lists a whopping 11,500 titles in its blacklist of poor publishing practices) and asks the chilling question of whether case studies journals are next. Needless to say, IJIC will be applying for Cabells' WHITElist when we become eligible in the summer!


Next, our Editor-in-Chief, Gina Vega, writes about bridging the gap between academia and the world of business, sharing her experiences of bringing students into industry, and the huge benefits that come from interaction and collaboration amongst students, the business school, and the practitioner world.


Don't forget that the 2019 IJIC Business Ethics Case Writing Competition is now open for submissions until August the 1st. With a prize of US$250 for the winning case, this is an important contribution to the field and we are very pleased with the response so far. Further details are below.

We are also offering free access to one of our best business ethics concise cases until the end of May; you'll find details below. 


All this, and news of our latest cases!

As always, thank you for supporting IJIC and concise cases. Get in touch with us if you've a case that is working well in the classroom and would benefit from a wider, global audience!


Please share this email with your networks and encourage them to sign up to Case Matters!

Rob Edwards

Publisher, IJIC



Hunting the hunters

Simon Linacre
Director of International Marketing & Development, Cabells 

What steps should academics take to protect their intellectual property? Simon Linacre looks at the frightening rise of predatory journals and asks: are case studies next?

A quick Google search of ‘predatory case studies’ turns up very few hits on the hunting habits of Peregrine Falcons in the Scottish Highlands. Instead, the first few pages of results are dominated by news stories, warnings and tragic tales of academic research being exploited for commercial gain; exploited by sharp operators with no intention of publishing articles in a way any academic would reasonably expect. Furthermore, it is big business and getting bigger all the time.

The background of the phenomenon lies in the move towards open access (OA) in the 1990s and early 2000s, where academic authors could publish their articles in journals and enable them to be openly accessible. Instead of selling access to the articles through the assigning of copyright by authors, publishers were able to support publication with the payment of an article processing charge (APC). As such, while the use and promotion of the OA route grew, so did the requests for APCs, followed keenly by predatory publishers who exploited the new willingness to pay to publish to earn a quick buck.

Cabells publishes a Blacklist of such publishers – full disclosure: I have worked for Cabells since Summer 2018 – which it launched in 2017 with 4,000 journals detailed, with the various breaches each one has listed against the 60+ criteria it used to identify them. Two years later, the Blacklist has grown to 11,000 journals, with no sign of that growth abating any time soon. Journals exhibit a whole range of poor publishing practice from the trivial (predatory journal websites are would never win any design awards) to the downright criminal (including money taken off authors without their articles even seeing the light of day once money has changed hands).

Interestingly, Cabells currently includes FOUR journals with “case studies” in title in the are of business and management, including The MENA Journal of Case Studies (take a look for yourself here: https://ibimapublishing.com/journals/the-mena-journal-of-business-case-studies/).
The Blacklist includes seven violations of its criteria, including:
• The owner/Editor of the journal or publisher falsely claims academic positions or qualifications
• No articles are published or the archives are missing issues and/or articles
• Falsely claims indexing in well-known databases
• The website does not identify a physical address for the publisher or gives a fake address.
• No policies for digital preservation.

As the scope and interest in case studies grow, it would not be surprising to see further such journals crop up and lure unsuspecting authors into publishing with them. Before submitting a case study to a journal or website, always check the credentials of the site and any copyright or open access documentation you have to approve. You have been warned.

NB The three other case studies journals in business and management listed by the Cabells Blacklist are the following:

• Journal of Marketing Research and Case Studies
• Case Studies in Business and Management
• Cambridge Case Studies Journal

For more details on the Cabells Blacklist, please visit https://www2.cabells.com/about-blacklist or email simon.linacre@cabells.com for details about how your institution can subscribe.

Simon is Director of International Marketing & Development at Cabells having spent 15 years in publishing at Emerald, where he had direct experience in journal acquisitions, open access and business development. His background is in journalism and he has been published in academic journals on the topics of bibliometrics and knowledge transfer. He holds Masters degrees in Philosophy and International Business and has global experience lecturing to researchers on publishing strategies.


The Practitioner/Academic Connection:  Mind the Gap

Gina Vega, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, IJIC


In 1903, George Bernard Shaw published Man and Superman. In his “wisdom,” he appended a chapter to the play titled, “Maxims for Revolutionists” in which he provided a series of epigrams on topics as disparate as The Golden Rule (“The golden rule is that there are no golden rules” - #4), Democracy (“Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few” - #17), Greatness (“In heaven an angel is nobody in particular.” - #95), The Social Questions (“Do not waste your time on Social Questions. What is the matter with the poor is Poverty: what is the matter with the rich is Uselessness.” - #132), and includes the notorious and often derogatorily cited in Education (“He who can, does; He who cannot, teaches” - #36).

It is not clear why Shaw made this statement, but it is evident and no surprise that we teachers respond poorly to it.

Why do we teach? What draws us to education in lieu of practice in our disciplines? For me, becoming a teacher was the result of serendipity—seeking my doctorate in organizational behavior with the goal of consulting to small businesses, St. John’s University (NY) gave me the opportunity to teach a class on government and business as an adjunct. Halfway through my first lesson, I realized I was in love…in love with the classroom, the students, the opportunity to share what I had learned and experienced in both the world of scholarship and the world of work. Subsequently, after earning my doctorate I pursued a dual path of running a consulting firm and becoming a full-time academic, gaining tenure in two different institutions before leaving the classroom as a full professor. Even now, four years since I left full-time teaching, the beginning of the academic year sends my blood rushing a little faster as I think about prepping my (non-existent) classes.

My first step would always be to investigate what was new in my fields of business ethics and entrepreneurship. What was recently published in the academic and popular press? Which businesses and industries were in the headlines? How were my local start-ups and small businesses succeeding? What kinds of problems and challenges were they facing? Who were the start-up heroes? Who was experiencing scandals or ethical abuses?

Sure, I had a general course structure to adhere to, and a set of learning goals/objectives for my students. But I needed fresh material every year. Every semester, in fact. Because, if my material was stale, so would my lessons be stale. Students appreciated the novelty, the classroom visits by local entrepreneurs and managers, the field trips to factories and commercial locations. They loved seeing and interacting with those who “do,” and not only with those of us who can teach.

And that is the bottom line. What teachers “do” is prepare our students to “do” when they graduate. We provide them with the skills they need to become practitioners – our partners in the economy. We need to find more ways to engage practitioners in the classroom, and one very obvious and simple way is to partner with them to develop teaching and learning tools, such as the concise cases we publish. Any time we can match up an academic with a practitioner to develop a case and teaching note, it is a win for all of us – academic, practitioner, and students alike.

Please, practitioners, share your stories with us and participate in our students’ learning process.


2019 IJIC Business Ethics Case Writing Competition

The International Journal of Instructional Cases (IJIC) is pleased to announce the launch of its 2019 Business Ethics Case Writing Competition.

We share a strong commitment to advancing good business ethics curricula for both undergraduate and graduate programs. To that end, this competition aims to generate teachable concise cases with expanded teaching notes related to addressing the ethical challenges presented to businesses and organizations internationally for use in the classroom and the boardroom.

Cases may be focused specifically on any area that relates to business or organizational ethics on a wide variety of levels: individual, teams, SMEs through multinationals, even nations or regions. Challenges may come in the disciplines of marketing, management, human behavior, economics, finance/accounting, logistics, and others.

Prize: The winning case will receive an award of US $250 and fast track review for publication in IJIC. The prize will be awarded in December 2019.

Submission deadline
• 1 August 2019 

For further information, please see the IJIC website


Free concise business ethics case to download

To mark the launch of our first Business Ethics case writing competition, we are delighted to make one of our most popular Business Ethics cases freely available until the end of May! 

'The Chairman's Jokes' is a concise case written by Ralf Mehnert-Meland (pictured), published last year in IJIC.


The case concerns Thomas, who has recently joined a French company as General Manager of its US operations. His immediate supervisor, the Chairman of the Board, displayed inappropriate behavior, such as telling offensive jokes with sexual, racist and discriminatory content in business and social settings. The behavior was known to the HR department and against company policy. The students should assess Thomas’s situation from legal, management and HR perspectives and consider parallels to the #MeToo Movement. 

Aimed at Postgraduate and Exec level students, the case is great for prompting debate and discussion in the classroom.

To download your free copy of the case, please visit the IJIC website


Just published

Allergic to Change

Authors: Saverio Manago, Anurag Jain, Zaiyong Tang, & Phillip A. Vaccaro



GHMC was struggling with challenges which included increased costs, decreased resources, and a very competitive market. Mr. Bob Dawson, an accomplished Executive Vice President of Revenue took on the challenge of changing processes and procedures at GHMC. Through the case, the student is presented with a series of significant, competing challenges. The instructor should encourage students to formulate action plans that enable the organization to be a viable entity in a highly competitive market.


Project Planning, Work Flow Design, Business Operations, Service Operations Management, Change Management

Target Audience and Usage

This case was written for use by students in an operations class. Prerequisites should include a management class with a change management component to it. It may be used in the upper-level undergraduate or graduate classroom in connection with issues of quality, capacity planning, capacity utilization, workflow, service facilities, process mapping, process design and the relationship between demand and capacity. The textbooks used in this class include Heizer and Render (2012), Operations Management, 10th Edition and Goldratt, Eliyahu (2014), The Goal, A Process of Ongoing Improvement, 4th Edition. The case is best introduced toward the end of the semester after students have been exposed to concepts associated with quality.


New concise case

Achieving a dream in the agricultural sector

Author: Jeannette M. Herz Ghersi


Mike Arce is the owner of a 30-hectare farm in an agricultural area on the coast north of Lima, Peru. He must find a solution to the liquidity problem that arose at the end of 2016 and determine if he has adequate accounting information to make his decision. Students are challenged to review information from an accounting and financial perspective. In the resolution of the case, international rules concerning information to be submitted via financial statements must be considered, especially taking into account the rules concerning agriculture, property/plant and equipment and inventories. This case lends itself to analysis and projection of financial statements and to seeking alternative solutions.

This case was field-researched. The author had full access to the owner of the business and met several times with him.


Accounting, international financial reporting standards (IFRS), financial projections, agriculture.

Target Audience and Usage

This case may be used for an upper level undergraduate accounting course, an entrepreneurial finance course and for graduate level financial and international accounting courses.


Share your news


Want to see your name in print and share your thoughts on all things case with a growing community of other professionals?


We are currently inviting contributions for our next issue of Case Matters, due to be published in July/August 2019.

Tell us about how you use cases. What has worked? Where do you struggle? 

If you are writing a case (hopefully for review in IJIC!), tell us all about it. 

As a starting point, get in touch with our Publisher, Rob Edwards!


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