ERC held a case study writing workshop for PhD students in November 2014. The workshop was run in partnership with staff from Warwick Create. As a result of the workshop ERC commissioned four PhD students to write cases for publication and these can be found below. Each case comprises a case study, teaching note and accompanying video.

Case Study 1: Social Enterprise North West

This case study compiled by Simon Adderley ( University of Birmingham)  focuses upon a recent decision by the Department for Communities and Local Government to ‘clawback’ £1.4m of European Regional Development Funding which had been awarded to the infrastructure support organisation Social Enterprise North West (SENW).  The decision followed a review of the programme SENW had put in place to support the development of social enterprises throughout its region and led to SENW ceasing to trade on 31st December 2014.The case study highlights the issues around private sector management techniques being applied within the public sector.  It will allow you to examine the nature of this decision and the role of the various actors involved.


Case Study 2:Costin Paving: From Musician to Manager

This case study written by John Richmond (University of Warwick) & Jillian Costin describes, examines, and analyzes the generational differences between the founder and successor, the challenges faced throughout the decades and as the business grew, and how strategies had to be implemented to survive the changing business landscape. Effective management of strategic issues remains an on-going concern for Costin Paving management in the areas of supply chain management, the seasonal nature of the industry, gas & oil prices, and pricing of customer jobs. The case study is an example of a small business successfully navigating generational challenges, growth, and on-going management challenges.

Students are challenged to think strategically about the next steps for the business as it pertains to future directions and succession planning.


Case Study 3: COMTEC- Your translation partner

Compiled by Isabella Moore (Aston Business School) this case study sets out the story of a women-owned service company. It describes the history of the company and the key milestones in the company’s development. From the body of information about the company students will learn about the key challenges of running a small business. The case is intended to encourage students to consider options for growth for the Company. The case provides insights into the roles and tensions between family members working in the business. Additionally the case provides the opportunity to explore other issues such as risk management and performance monitoring in a small company. The case study has also relevance to several theoretical models, particularly in relation to the Knowledge-based theory of the firm, Resource-Based View of the Firm (RBV), Work Systems theory and Effectuation theories.


 Case Study 4: Behind the Taps – A case study of Thornbridge brewery

Written by Yazhou He (Warwick Business School) this case is about recognising the rapid growth as well as challenges a fast-growing brewery in Britain faces and evaluating and setting strategies to sustain long-term success. The case can potentially be divided into three parts and delivered in three stages, one after another, to enable students to explore and understand various macro-environmental factors that need to be considered when running small businesses, to familiarize students with two key strategic planning tools and to ask students to develop strategies for the brewery to achieve and sustain success. This case can be widely adapted for business undergraduate studies students, business master students and MBA students to practice macro business environment analysis such as PEST, and get a deep understanding of the brewery industries.



We welcome comments or feedback on the cases which should be sent to [email protected].