Track 1: Traditional Case Study and Teaching Note



The topic of the case study should be diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a business-related dilemma and/or represented by a diverse protagonist grappling with a decision within any type of business discipline. The dilemma can also be cross-disciplinary, affecting several different disciplines such as accounting, marketing, supply chain operations, strategic management, information technology, economics, entrepreneurship, sustainability and leadership, to name a few. We are looking for new, relevant business case studies that are rigorous in their composition and research, as well as feature tension between the protagonist and other stakeholders with regard to DEI-related decisions and dilemmas. The geographical setting for the case can be anywhere in the world.

Cases might feature diverse protagonists who have more nontraditional, yet inclusive, management styles and highlight challenges of underrepresented groups and/or present diverse styles of leadership. Featured organizations might be minority-owned businesses with challenges related to DEI. Teaching notes that accompany the case should clearly present discussion questions and answers, as well as mindful recommendations for how to approach a discussion about topics that may (at first) be uncomfortable for students.

DEI is defined within the University of Michigan’s most recent DEI Strategic Plan Progress Report as follows:

  • Diversity: We commit to increasing diversity, which is expressed in myriad forms including race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origins, religious commitments, age, disability status and political perspective.
  • Equity: We commit to working actively to challenge and respond to bias, harassment and discrimination. We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight or veteran status.
  • Inclusion: We commit to pursuing deliberate efforts to ensure that our campus is a place where differences are welcomed, where different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual feels a sense of belonging and inclusion. We know that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus and creating a vibrant climate of inclusiveness, we can more effectively leverage the resources of diversity to advance our collective capabilities.

Submission Criteria


  • Case study and teaching note documents should adhere to the format and style described in “How to Write a Business Case” and “How to Write a Teaching Note”.
  • Please adhere to WDI Publishing’s “Preferred Style and Best Practices”
  • Final documents must be submitted online in Microsoft Word format.
  • Citations/Endnotes: All data in the case must be cited (in-text with consecutive numbers) with reputable primary or secondary sources. (Note: Wikipedia sources are not accepted.) The consecutive, in-text citations should correspond to full source information at the end of the document as Endnotes. Please use MLA style for endnotes.

Teaching Note: All submitted cases must also include a teaching note.

Abstract: An abstract for the case must accompany your submission documents. The abstract should be 150 words maximum.

Protagonist, Decision Point (Dilemma): Case must have a protagonist, clear dilemma/decision points, and sufficient contextual background information for a student to develop solutions to the dilemma.

Primary vs. Secondary Research: If your case study is based on primary data (i.e., proprietary, non-public data gathered via personal interview, phone interview, email interview, etc.), WDI Publishing’s Organization Release Form must be signed by the appropriate contact within the organization before the case will be considered for publication. If your case study is based on secondary data (i.e., data publicly available) then no Organization Release is required.

Previously Unpublished: The case study and teaching note must be previously unpublished and must not be bound by any copyright restrictions.

Geographical Setting: The setting for the case can be anywhere in the world.

Publication of the Winning Cases: The three winning cases and their teaching notes will be edited, formatted and published on and priced as determined by WDI Publishing.

Authors of Winning Cases: If your case study is chosen as a winner, all authors must sign WDI Publishing’s Distribution License and Royalty Agreement that states:

  • Authors assign WDI Publishing exclusive distribution.
  • Authors certify and accept responsibility for the type of data in the case.
  • Authors will receive no royalties on future sales of the case.

Judging Criteria

  • Topic/Content
    • The protagonist and/or the case dilemma is clearly focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
    • Content focuses on a business effort/challenge that is compelling and significant within the  DEI space.
  • Inclusive Case Design
    • Diversity and inclusiveness is reflected throughout individual case elements such as the protagonist, writing style, and language.
    • Case is written with sensitivity to intercultural differences.
  • Teaching/Learning Value
    • Engages students in an active learning mode.
    • Provides students opportunities to analyze/solve relevant, practical, and regional business issues related to DEI.
    • Contains elements allowing students to exercise higher-order, complex thinking. Requires more than just comprehension and memory.
  • Intro/Overview
    • Addresses the problem to be examined and arouses interest and curiosity of the reader.
    • Introduces key decision makers and examines the parameters or limitations of the situation.
  • Protagonist/Organization
    • Introduces the protagonist with appropriate detail about their role in the organization.
    • Provides enough details about the organization or company including mission, revenue, evolution, other appropriate profit and loss statements, culture, and geographic location(s).
    • Provides adequate context for both protagonist and the organization, relative to the concept of the case.
  • Dilemma
    • Clearly identifies the decision point early within the case.
    • Clearly identifies the specific time frame of the decision point.
    • The dilemma can realistically be solved by the protagonist.
    • The problem has applicability beyond the immediate situation described in the case.
    • Specifies at least two questions that students need to address in solving the case.
    • Challenges students to analyze the situation and develop multiple, integrative solutions.
  • Format/Writing/Teaching Note
    • Case is appropriate length based on difficulty of the situational context described.
    • Case is accompanied by a comprehensive teaching note that includes clear, measureable teaching objectives, pedagogy, and case analysis.
    • Case submission is free from structural, grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.

Final Judges

Tamika Curry Smith

Tamika Curry Smith is President of The TCS Group, Inc., a firm that provides human resources and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) solutions to a broad range of clients. She was most recently Vice President of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Nike, Inc., where she was responsible for leading a global D&I team across the Nike, Jordan, and Converse brands. Prior to Nike, Tamika was Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Mercedes-Benz USA and Director of Diversity at Target Corporation. Tamika started her career with Deloitte & Touche in auditing, then joined Deloitte Consulting, where she held various management consulting roles and was the Director of Diversity Programs. Ms. Curry Smith earned a BBA in Accounting with High Distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. She also obtained an MBA in Organizational Behavior, Strategy, and Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management.


Scott Page

Scott Page is the John Seely Brown Distinguished University Professor of Complexity, Social Science, and Management at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the function of diversity in complex social systems, the potential for collective intelligence, and the design of institutions for meeting the challenges of a complex world. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, Scott was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and in 2019, he was awarded a Distinguished University Professorship from the University of Michigan, the university’s highest academic honor. He is the author of more than ninety research papers in a variety of fields including: game theory, economics, political theory, formal political science, sociology, psychology, philosophy, physics, public health, geography, computer science, and management.


Award Details

  • First Place:
    • $10,000
    • Edited, published and distributed by WDI Publishing
  • Second Place: 
    • $5,000
    • Edited, published and distributed by WDI Publishing
  • Third Place:
    • $2,500
    • Edited, published and distributed by WDI Publishing
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Edited, published and distributed by WDI Publishing
    • No monetary prize

Prize money will be awarded in US currency with applicable taxes and bank fees withheld. Prize money will only be paid to the winning authors of the case; no third-party designated recipients. Prize money will not be awarded until authors provide WDI Publishing with the following:

  • Completed W-9 tax form (If a US citizen)
  • Completed W-8BEN tax form with a US ITIN number (If not a US citizen)


Thank you for the support of our sponsors. Learn more about them here.

Michigan Ross Logo

University Diversity &
Social Transformation Professorship

Sanger Leadership Center logo

The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan logo

WDI Publishing logo