1.0 THE COMPETITION
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 a number of senior executives from the Montreal business community. On an exceptional basis, the 2022 Competition will be held virtually, based at the Bonaventure Hotel in Montreal.
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 his/her 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.
3.0 THE TEAMS
Each school must be represented by four students and at least one coach.
No alternates are allowed and, if extenuating circumstances make it necessary, a team may, with advice to the Organizers, compete with less than four participants for as long as is necessary in the Competition.
4.0 COMPETITION FORMAT
The 36 teams will be assigned to six divisions. Divisions will be established by a random draw. Each division will have at least two non-North American schools. Non-North American schools will be assigned to divisions first, followed by the American schools and then the Canadian schools.
Each team will compete for one on one in the five cases during the round-robin phase of the Competition against the other teams in their division, as scheduled by the Organizers. The divisional winners will be the team with the highest number of wins in their division. Nine teams, comprised of the six division winners and the three wildcards (those with the highest match point accumulation during the round-robin phase), will advance to the semi-finals. In the unlikely event that a non-qualifying team has a higher number of wins than one of the wildcard winners, the non-qualifying team will be awarded a wildcard, replacing the wildcard team with the lowest number of match points. Please refer to the section on Scoring.
The nine teams in the semi-finals will be divided into three groups based on total match point accumulation during the round-robin phase. Group One will consist of teams ranked 1,6 and 9 in match point accumulation; Group Two will consist of teams 2,5 and 8, and Group Three will consist of teams 3,4, and 7. The winning team from each of these semi-final groups will compete in the finals.
5.0 THE CASES
There will be three types of cases used in the Competition:
Case one will be a preliminary case prepared by the Organizers in consultation with the Board.
Cases two, three, and five as well as the semi-final and final cases will be regular business cases selected from submissions to an international case writing competition arranged by the Organizers. To the best of their knowledge, these will be unpublished and untested in any forum.
Case four will be a live case where a company will make a live presentation concerning an issue facing the firm which they would like the teams to address.
No written analysis is required for any of the cases.
5.1 The Preliminary Case
Teams will receive the Preliminary Case at the Coaches’ Briefing. They will be required to submit a 15-minute recorded presentation of their analysis and conclusions 5 days after the case is received. There will be no live question and answer period and teams will receive feedback once the judging is complete. The scores of the video presentations will be announced during the week of the competition.
5.2 Regular Cases
The teams that present first in the round-robin phase of the Competition will receive the regular cases at 8 am EST. Teams presenting second will receive the cases approximately 45 minutes later. Teams will have three hours to prepare a live 25-minute presentation to a panel of judges based in Montreal. Each presentation will be followed by a live 15-minute question and answer period with the panel.
5.3 The Live Case
The Live Case company will make a live 30-minute presentation to all teams at 8 am EST. This will be followed by a live 45-minute question and answer period where the teams in turn will have the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters. Teams will then have 2 hours to prepare a live 25-minute presentation to a panel of judges, followed by a live 15-minute question and answer period. The team presenting second will submit their presentation after their two-hour preparation period and will make their live oral presentation approximately 10 minutes after the first team has completed theirs.
Teams will receive their cases and submit their presentations by Dropbox. Where applicable, coaches will receive the cases an hour before their team’s presentation. Presentations will be made on Zoom. The necessary links between the Organizers, the teams, the coaches, and the judges will be communicated to the teams prior to the Competition. The Organizers will be available to provide technical support at all times during the Competition.
6.0 CASE PREPARATION
It is essential that teams not discuss any of the cases, including the Preliminary Case, with their coaches or any third parties at any time between the moment they receive the case and the end of their presentations. The Organizers are relying on the teams to respect this provision in the spirit of the Competition. Moreover, teams must keep their Zoom software open during the case preparation period as the Organizers may conduct virtual check-ins at their discretion.
The teams can access any and all resources, other than communicating with outside parties, in the preparation of their submission for the Preliminary Case.
For the preparation of the regular cases and the Live Case, teams are expected to prepare and present from the same location. If this is not possible due to health or school regulations, team members may prepare and present from different locations with advance notice to the Organizers.
The preparation room may be equipped with four laptops with MS Office capabilities including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Access to the internet is allowed but cellphones, access to social media or other external communication services as well as any other documentation are prohibited.
The use of file-sharing tools such as Google Drive is permitted for the sole purpose of sharing files between each team member, but it must be limited to the four registered participants. No external parties can have access to the file-sharing tool.
Communication by the four participants with their coaches or anyone outside of the team other than the team host will not be permitted from the beginning of the case preparation to the end of the question and answer period.
Coaches will not be permitted to attend the judges’ briefing.
7.0 CASE PRESENTATION
Teams may present in English or French. Teams will notify the Organizers of the language they select and will present in that language for the entire Competition.
Teams are expected to make their presentations at the appointed time and no extra time will be given for a team that is late.
Each member of a team is expected to speak during the presentation but not necessarily during the question and answer period.
Use of animations, video, or audio features will not be permitted and neither will any add-ons to standard PowerPoint features. The use of graphics beyond what is available in the Microsoft Office package is not permitted, however, charts and tables are permitted provided that they are created using tools available within Microsoft Office. All exhibits must be prepared during the allocated preparation time and no material prepared prior to the Competition is permitted. A maximum of 40 slides will be allowed.
There will be a 10-minute break between the end of the first team’s question and answer period and the beginning of the second team’s presentation. The first team will be allowed to attend the second team’s presentation. The Organizers will ensure that each team will present first in two of the regular cases during the round-robin phase. The same process will apply to the three teams in each of the semi-finals and finals.
Case presentations will be recorded. Teams will be given access to their matchup presentations as will the judge panels to help them in their deliberations. Each team will only have access to their respective recordings.
The coach of the second-wave team will not be permitted to watch the live presentation of the first-wave team.
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 three Judges, one of whom will be designated Lead Judge. The Lead Judge will chair the question period, lead the deliberations and prepare the evaluation form for each team once the result has been determined. Teams will receive copies of their evaluation forms once the results of the cases have been posted. Each team in the semi-finals will receive a copy of the evaluation form after deliberations have been completed. Judges have a maximum of one hour to render their decision in the round robin phase. There are no deliberation time limits in the semi-finals and finals. The panel’s decision is final.
During the round-robin phase, with the exception of the Preliminary Case, the panel will evaluate each of the two teams in five evaluation categories, providing a numerical rating of 1 to 10 for each category. 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|
Those 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 tie-breakers:
- By the highest team score of the Implementation category;
- If still tied, by the highest cumulative team score of the Implementation and Recommendation(s) categories;
- If still tied, by the highest cumulative team score of the Implementation, Recommendation(s), and Analysis and Development of Alternatives categories;
- If still tied, by the highest cumulative score of the Implementation, Recommendation(s), Analysis and Development of Alternatives, and Question Period categories;
- In the unlikely event that the two teams have identical scores in all of the categories, the Lead Judge will cast the deciding vote as to the winner.
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 semi-finals and finals. The Judges will declare a winner in each of the semi-final contests. The three winning teams will then participate in the finals. The judges’ decision regarding the first, second and third place winners will be announced soon after the judges’ deliberation period.
*The Preliminary Case will be scored only on the basis of an allocation by the judges of the 11 match points without reference to the differentials.
** The Organizers reserve the ability to establish different scoring criteria for the Preliminary and Live cases if required and with the understanding, these will be communicated with the teams before the competition begins.
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: a) the winner of the contest between the teams; b) the team that defeated the first place team in their division; c) the team with the highest cumulative evaluation score for case 5; d-f) 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 students that will encourage healthy competition, professionalism and interaction by our future business leaders, both amongst themselves and with our business community. The Rules and Guidelines are not all-encompassing and situations may arise that have not been covered. It is the expectation of the Organizers and of the Board of Directors that any issues or disputes will be resolved in the spirit of the Competition.
Any concerns or disputes regarding the implementation of these rules must be brought to the immediate attention of the Organizers. In the event of a discrepancy between the English and French rules, the English version will take precedence over the French. In exceptional circumstances, a body made up of at least one of the Organizers and the chairperson of the competition advisory board or his assignee and at least two other members of that board will be available to settle disputes.
However, please note that THE DECISION OF THE JUDGING PANEL IS FINAL, AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW.