William Davidson Institute reaches publishing deal with Harvard Business Press

Monday, June 6, 2016 - 2:45am

The University of Michigan-affiliated William Davidson Institute — a non-profit educational and research organization that focuses on producing private-sector solutions for developing markets — has reached an agreement with Harvard Business Publishing to distribute a portion of its case studies for business schools around the world.

The Ann Arbor-based institute also began publishing business cases written by University faculty members for instructional use at other business schools in 2008. Despite its close affiliation, WDI remains independent of the University.

Cases are common instructional tools used in business education, where authors detail a business scenario and challenge students to derive solutions. WDI cases are based off of research from faculty in the Ross School of Business and other University schools and colleges, and topics range from Amazon’s entry strategy in emerging markets to the brand expansion of Zingerman’s Delicatessen.

Since 2008, reprinting rights to WDI cases have been purchased by over 200 universities around the world, some as nearby as Michigan State University and others as distant as the University of Cambridge and the National University Singapore. Currently, universities in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America are using WDI cases in their courses, with the largest customer being the University itself.

The reach of WDI cases and Michigan faculty research is expected to expand even further with this finalized agreement with Harvard Business Publishing. This is the first third-party distribution deal of WDI’s case publishing history, and, by becoming a part of HBP’s publishing network, WDI will be joining case publishing houses from universities such as Stanford, Northwestern and the University of Virginia.

Sandy Draheim, manager of marketing and case publishing at WDI, said this agreement would not only benefit the institute, but it would also augment the University’s global reputation and impact. She also noted that Harvard approached WDI due to growing demand for the institute’s cases from HBP’s customers, who appreciated the quality of the cases.

“It’s an excellent way to document faculty research and then put it out there for others to learn from,” Draheim said. “Not to mention the branding opportunity for the University.”