Carleton defending title at NIBS Worldwide Case Competition

Tom Pechloff
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Business students from around the world are busy solving problems before the qualifying round for the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition draws to a close Nov. 21.

Robin Ritchie, associate professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University

The survivors advance to the finals, which will be held at Carleton University in February.

The Network of International Business Schools, or NIBS, has put on the annual competition for 20 years. Not only is Carleton this year’s host, the school is also the defending champion.

Associate marketing professor Robin Ritchie co-ordinates the Carleton team and is chair of the organizing committee for this year’s event. He says the event is “quite possibly the top international case competition in the world,” focusing on the specific challenges of doing business across borders.

“The NIBS competition is an opportunity to experience what it’s like to deal with complexity, to deal with actual decision-making and to contemplate the inter-relatedness of all the aspects of an organization,” Mr. Ritchie says. “In a sense, it’s one of the best kinds of experiential learning we can give these students.”

Each case addresses a number of issues related to dealing with different cultures and management styles around the world.

“The complex tapestry of challenges and opportunities that they are facing is really, really engaging and very interesting,” Mr. Ritchie says.

Teams from 13 countries on four continents participated in the qualifying round. The teams download their cases and then have eight hours to write a final report of up to 1,500 words and five appendices. The teams then send the reports back to Carleton, where a team of judges will determine the top 16 teams that advance to the finals in February. There, they will follow a similar process, this time being judged in person.

The finalists will be announced in early December.

Carleton joined NIBS in 2008 and sent its first team to the competition in 2011. Mr. Ritchie says the competition fits well with the university’s focus on international business issues.

“It is a terrific event. Just to begin with, we’re very excited about  the opportunity to host this. It’s going to attract students from some top universities, top business schools in the world,” Mr. Ritchie says. “It is, in essence, an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in real challenges that they’re going to face after they graduate.”

Organizations: Carleton University, International Business Schools

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