Effects of Using Live Case Studies in a Graduate Business Course


  • Dr. Mokhtar Tabari University Canada West
  • Seyed-Reza Hosseinifar University Canada West
  • Dr. Gelareh Farhadian University Canada West


Live Case Studies, Client-Based Projects, Marketing Management, Presentation Skills, Problem-Solving Skills, Leadership Skills


The use of live case studies, such as client-based-projects, in graduate business courses has gained popularity in recent years in an attempt to provide students with real-world experiences and opportunities to apply their knowledge in a practical setting. However, there is limited research on the potential effectiveness of using live case studies on various aspects of student learning such as power skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. This study seeks to address this gap in the literature using a randomized control trial (RCT) design, where students across six sections of a Marketing Management course are randomly assigned to either a control or treatment group. Power skills were measured using an online survey, in which students rated their confidence and knowledge acquisition in various areas such as presentation, problem-solving, communication, and leadership. Survey results show that, on average, students in the treatment group report higher levels of confidence in real-business problem-solving, communication, and leadership compared to those in the control group. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that the use of live case studies in a graduate business course can improve students’ power skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Therefore, incorporating live case studies into business coursework may enhance student learning and prepare them for success in their professional careers. Furthermore, one direction for future research is to explore the specific mechanisms through which live case studies may influence student learning and development, as well as the optimal frequency and duration of live case study participation.

Author Biographies

Dr. Mokhtar Tabari, University Canada West

Dr. Mokhtar Tabari holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Calgary, a Master of Science in Economics from the Institute for Management and Planning Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology.

Dr. Tabari is an Assistant Professor at University Canada West teaching economics.

As a dedicated educator, Dr. Tabari’s goal is to create an inclusive, respectful, and engaging learning environment that helps students from different academic backgrounds and cultures develop a deep understanding and appreciation for economic theories and concepts in a way that welcomes their unique perspectives and experiences.

Dr. Gelareh Farhadian, University Canada West

Dr. Gelareh Farhadian is Chair of the Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department in the MBA program at UCW.

She earned her DBA from Bordeaux IV University in France as well as a Master of Research in Business. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science

She teaches courses in management consulting and business environment in the MBA program at University Canada West.