The John Molson MBA International Case Competition (the “Competition”) is organized by a team of MBA students from the John Molson School of Business (the “Organizers”) with the support of student volunteers and a Board of Directors which includes senior executives from the Montreal business community. The 2023 Competition will be at Hotel Bonaventure in Montreal from January 01 to January 06.
The Competition is open to graduate schools offering an MBA or equivalent program deemed acceptable by the Board of Directors. A student who is registered in at least one course in such a program at their school in the fall semester immediately preceding the Competition and who has not previously competed in any John Molson MBA International Case Competition is eligible to participate in the Competition.
Each team must be represented by four students and at least one coach. A fifth student may be included as an alternate at the discretion of the school. An alternate may only participate for his/her school in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Organizers. A team member who has been replaced by an alternate may only return to his/her team in a subsequent case. An alternate who competes for his/her team will not be eligible to participate in future competitions. Teams that do not have an alternate may, under exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Organizers, compete with three members for as long as is necessary for the Competition.
In the event there are an odd number of schools registered for the Competition, the Organizers will form a Team Global made up of four alternates. Alternates will be asked to volunteer during registration and will be selected at random from the pool of willing alternates. If possible, Team Global will be comprised of an alternate from a school based outside North America, with the other members from American and Canadian schools. An alternate may rejoin his/her team should this become necessary during the Competition. An alternate who participates with a team other than his/her own school will be eligible to participate in future Competitions.
4.0 COMPETITION FORMAT
The 36 teams will be assigned to six divisions by random draw with each division to include, if possible, at least two non-North American schools and at least one American school. Each team will compete with teams in their division one on one in five cases during the round-robin phase of the Competition.
Nine teams will advance to the semi-finals including six divisional winners and three wild cards. Divisional winners will be the teams with the highest number of wins in their divisions during the round-robin. Wildcards will be the non-divisional winners with the highest match point accumulation during the round-robin. In the unlikely event that a non-qualifying team has more wins than a wildcard team, that team will replace the wildcard team with the lowest match point accumulation. (Please refer to the sections on Scoring, Match Points and Tie-breaking for additional detail).
The nine semi-finalists will be divided into three groups based on their match point accumulation during the round-robin. The first group will include teams ranked first, sixth and ninth in match point accumulation. The second group will include teams ranked second, fifth and eighth while the third will include teams ranked third, fourth and seventh. The teams in each group will compete in a semi-final case with the winners advancing to the finals.
There are three types of cases used in the Competition:
5.1 Regular cases
Cases 1, 2 and 5, as well as the semi-final and final cases, will be traditional written business cases selected by the Organizers from those submitted to an international case writing competition arranged by the Organizers. These will be to the best of their knowledge, unpublished and untested.
The teams will ordinarily have three hours to prepare a 25-minute PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges which presentation will be followed by a 15-minute question and answer period with the panel.
The cases will be released to the teams in 2 waves. Teams presenting second (wave 2) will receive the cases 45 minutes after the teams presenting first (Wave 1) have received the cases.
5.2 A short case
Case 3 will be a short case where students will be challenged to deal with an issue or situation in a limited amount of time.
Teams will have 90 minutes to prepare a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges followed by a 10-minute question and answer period
The cases will be released to the teams in 2 waves. Teams presenting second (wave 2) will receive the cases 30 minutes after the teams presenting first (Wave 1) have received the cases.
5.3 A live case
Case 4 will be a live case where senior management of an organization, the identity of which is only revealed on the morning of the case, presents an issue facing the organization that they would like the students to address. The company will make a 30-minute presentation to all the students seated by their respective teams in the main ballroom at the hotel followed by a 45-minute question period. The Organizers will draw team names from a bowl and time permitting, each team will get the opportunity to ask one previously unanswered question to the presenters.
Teams presenting first (wave 1) will be escorted to their preparation rooms soon after the conclusion of the question period. Teams that are presenting second (wave 2) will be seated separately in the ballroom for 45 minutes under strict instructions not to discuss the case. Wave 2 teams will then be escorted to their preparation rooms.
Teams will have 2 hours and 30 minutes to prepare a 25-minute presentation to a panel of judges followed by a 15-minute question period.
6.0 CASE PREPARATION
Each team will be assigned a preparation room along with a team host who will supervise the team’s preparation and resolve any issues that may arise. A team that has not arrived at the room at its appointed time will not be given additional time to prepare the case for that round. The participants are required to bring up to four personal laptops (minimum 2) equipped with MS Office & OneDrive. We recommend using the latest versions of these applications (2019 or later). The laptops will be internet enabled and the use of file-sharing services such as OneDrive will be granted for the collaboration and distribution of cases. Access to these services must be limited to the four registered participants and the team host. Teams are allowed to bring a dictionary. However, cellphones, personal electronics, memory storage devices, programmable calculators, bags, backpacks, books, or other documents are not allowed in the preparation room. All forms of external communication by the four participants with their coaches or anyone outside of the team other than the team host are not permitted from the beginning of the case preparation to the end of the question-and-answer period.
Teams are to use PowerPoint for their presentations. The use of animations and transitions is not permitted. However, manual animation by the building of slides (bringing in one bullet or element at a time) is allowed. The use of charts and tables is allowed provided they are created using tools available within Microsoft Office. Use of video, audio, graphics or any add-ons to standard PowerPoint features is not allowed. Teams are allowed to use pre-made templates if they meet above-said guidelines.
There are no limits to the number of slides and exhibits a team may use in its presentation, but their relevance, clarity, and cohesiveness will be a factor in the judges’ evaluations. Additional exhibits may be prepared at the team’s discretion in anticipation of questions from the judging panel. Cue cards and personal notes are allowed for use by the teams during their presentations. No material prepared prior to the Competition is permitted.
At the end of their preparation time, teams must submit their presentation by uploading it on the file-sharing link provided by the Organizers. The presentation file is to be submitted in .pptx format for it to be accessible by the judging panel for their assistance during deliberations.
Team host will then escort each team at their appointed time to a presentation room where each of the two competing teams will, in turn, make their presentations to a panel of judges. A copy of the presentation will be sent to their coaches at the end of the day.
7.0 CASE PRESENTATION
Presentations may be made in English or French. Teams will notify the Organizers of the language selected before the Competition and will present in that language for the entire Competition.
Unless otherwise indicated, each team will have a strictly enforced maximum of 25 minutes to present, followed by a 15-minute question and answer period with the Judges’ panel. There will be a 10-minute break before the second team’s presentation. The second team will not be allowed in the presentation room until after the question period for the first team ends. The first team may remain in the presentation room during the second team’s presentation. The Organizers will set the order of presentation and each team will present first at least twice during the round-robin phase of the Competition. Participants or coaches may not record any team presentations other than their own.
In the semifinal and final rounds, there will be 3 team presentations followed by question and answer periods. The team in each group with the highest number of match points accumulated during the round-robin will have the option of selecting if they wish to present 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, in their group. The team with the second-highest match point total will be given the second choice. Similar to the round robin, a team cannot attend another team’s presentation until it has completed its own presentation and question period.
Each team member is required to participate in the team’s presentation but not necessarily in the question period following the presentation. The teams may not interact with judges during the presentations, nor should there be any communication with the audience. Teams may record their own presentations. The Organizers may record any presentation for purposes of promoting the Competition.
Judges are members of the business community selected by the Organizers and the Board of Directors. Panels are constituted at the discretion of the Organizers and will include at least 3 Judges, one of whom will be designated Lead Judge. The Lead Judge will chair the question period, lead the deliberations, prepare the evaluation form and determine the result with the panel’s support. Judges have a maximum of one hour to render their decision in the round-robin phase. Each team will receive a copy of their respective evaluation form. There are no deliberation time limits in the semifinals and finals. The judge panel’s decision is final and not subject to review.
During the round-robin phase, the panel will evaluate each of the two teams and provide a numerical rating of 1 to 10 in five evaluation categories.
1. Presentation: A well-organized presentation, delivered in a professional manner
2. Analysis and Alternatives: Developing a range of credible and creative alternatives to address the identified pertinent issue by using relevant case data and making realistic assumptions
3. Recommendations: Effective evaluation of each of the alternatives it proposes and with clear and substantiated criteria, justify its recommended course of action in a realistic and pragmatic manner consistent with the case data and its subsequent analysis
4. Implementation: Formulating a viable implementation plan that is financially sound and includes a reasonable timeline and contingency plan that is consistent with their recommendations
5. Question Period: The team’s ability to effectively defend, support and/or build its recommendation during the question period with clear, concise and on-point answers
Each category is weighted differently, and the relevant multiplier, when applied, will give the weighted score for that category:
|Analysis and Development of Alternatives||x 2|
|Question Period||x 1.5|
The weighted scores will then be summed to provide a cumulative score, up to a maximum of 100. The team with the highest cumulative score will be declared the winner of that match.
In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by using, in order, the following tiebreakers:
– The highest Implementation Plan score;
– If tied, the highest cumulative Implementation Plan and Recommendations scores;
– If still tied, the highest cumulative Implementation Plan, Recommendations and Analysis and Development of Alternatives scores;
– If still tied, the highest cumulative Implementation Plan, Recommendations, Analysis and Development of Alternatives and Question Period scores;
– In the unlikely event that the teams have identical scores in all categories, the lead judge will decide the winner.
10.0 MATCH POINTS
For purposes of determining the Competition’s divisional and overall rankings, a total of 11 match points will then be allocated to the two teams (based on the differential in their cumulative evaluation scores), on the following basis:
|Total Score||11 Match Point Split|
|Differential of 3 or less||6 match points to winning team|
|5 match points to losing team|
|Differential of 3.5-10||7 match points to winning team|
|4 match points to losing team|
|Differential of 10.5-20||8 match points to winning team|
|3 match points to losing team|
|Differential of 20.5-35||9 match points to winning team|
|2 match points to losing team|
|Differential of 35.5 or more||10 match points to winning team|
|1 match point to losing team|
In addition to their allocated 11-point split, the winning team will receive an additional 30 match points, except in the event of a 6-5 split wherein the winning team will receive an additional 20 match points and the losing team will receive an additional 10 match points.
There is no match point allocation in the semifinals and finals. The Judges will declare a winner in each of the semifinal contests as well as provide written feedback on their performance. The three winning teams will then participate in the finals. The Judge’s decision regarding the first, second and third place winners will be announced at the closing banquet.
11.0 TIE BREAKING
In the event two teams in a division have the same number of wins at the end of the round-robin, the divisional winner will be the winner of the contest between the two teams during the round-robin.
If more than two teams are tied, the winner will be the team with the best record in the contest between them in the round robin. If teams are still tied, the winner will be the team with the highest number of match points accumulated during the round-robin.
In the event teams are tied for the last semi-final position, the semi-finalist will be selected with the application, in sequence, of the following criteria:
1. the winner of the contest between the teams;
2. the team that defeated the first place team in their division;
3. the team with the highest cumulative evaluation score for case 5;
4. the team with the highest cumulative evaluation score for each preceding case, in reverse order.
The same process will be applied to determine the ranking of the semi-finalists
The Competition is intended to provide a learning experience for the participants by encouraging healthy competition and providing an opportunity to interact with future business leaders from around the world and professionals from our local business community.
The rules may not cover every situation and any questions regarding their application or interpretation should be referred to an Organizer or a member of the board of directors. It is the expectation that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the Competition. There will be no tolerance for any team or individual participant who knowingly does not abide by the rules.
In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French rules, the English version will take precedence.