Weconomics Case Program (WCP)

Using cases and case discussion to design, develop and exploit new organizational forms in the context of the 21st century.

The cost of our prosperity (health, education, security, government), are growing much faster than we can afford. To close this gap, we allowed debt and taken an advance on the future of our children. Despite significant cuts, state debts still increased the last few years (In the Netherlands: from 250 billion in 2007 to nearly 500 billion in 2015). That is no longer sustainable. A not sustainable society is like apartheid or poverty a human problem and therefore can be solved by humans. We will have to organize work and prosperity in a smarter way. You can play an important role in the design, development and exploitation of new organizational forms that are fit for the future. The future is where our children live and that future will look fundamentally different. With this case program, you can contribute to this new future.

We live in a time where physical production (and consumption), more and more is replaced by digital pro­duction and consumption, especially by the internet. We live in a time where information and knowledge are the most important production factors. But most of the organization forms we organize our work with were designed in the early twentieth century. They are especially suitable for physical production in large numbers and in a relatively ‘quiet’ and local market. Traditionally we organize our work within institutes (make), or we organize it via markets (buy). Institutes are scalable, but no so flexible, and markets are flexible, but often not so scalable. In the context of the twenty-first century we need new organization forms that are scalable and flexible at the same time. If you organize your work via the institute, the unity of thinking is the institute. The institute borders are literally the border of your thinking and your IT system for example. With the market, the market transaction is the unity of thinking. We need a new unity of thinking to design new organization forms and new organizations that align with the need of the twenty-first century. The question is: what is your role and the role of Weconomics professional in these new organizations?

In an increasingly complex and changing world, maintaining a strategic advantage as an individual and as an organization requires new thinking, vision, design and development skills, constructive cooperation, problem solving and decision making. But also, it requires new organizational thinking and new organization forms that helps us to address these challenges and emerging opportunities. For this, the Weconomics Foundation offers, leading professionals, summer schools with the Harvard Case Method.

Case Method
Bertrand Russell once quoted: The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution. But it is not easy to define a problem in a state that allows a solution. Perhaps the most important benefit of using cases is that they help professionals and managers to learn how to determine what the real problem is and to ask the right questions. A large part of the task of professionals and managers is asking the right questions. Answers are relatively easy to find, but asking good questions during a dialogue or a problem solving process are critical skills. With the Case Method not the right answer is important (maybe there is no right answer), but asking the right question and finding a way to solve the problem together, is important.

With individual preparation, presentation by an expert, dialogue in group work, debate during the case discussion and the plenary review, should gif enough fundamentals for a good decision and design that solves the case problems. The end result is a design or development or an exploitation of a new organization where (for instance existing) processes can be performed. So what important is in the Case method is to ask the right questions and maintain a fruitful dialogue to discover and develop your own insights that allows a solution. With the Case Method, not the right answer is important (perhaps there is no right or one answer), but asking the right questions and finding a way to solve problems together.

During the case discussion the problem will be viewed from different perspectives. Then various design alternatives are discussed and pros and cons arguments are exchanged. Based on the group work and discussion, participants revise their initial notes. The discussion is lively because the participants come from different branchess. The role of the Case Leader is primarily facilitate the discussion by making connections, challenge participants and share observations. The contribution of the participants will be assessed by the Case Assistant.

Case Program
Important parts of the Case Program are:

  1. Research the case (already done
  2. Case writing (already done)
  3. Develop program by the Program Leader (already done)
  4. Reading, understanding (individually) and preparing the case
  5. Make initial notes (report1)
  6. Introduction case by Case Leader
  7. Extra input from a Case Expert (domain professional)
  8. Prepare case in group, dialogue, make detailed individual notes (report2)
  9. Case discussion with Case Leader, assessment by Case Assistant
  10. Evaluation and hand in final individual report (report3)

What can you expect?
First of all: new thinking about the meaning and organization of work in the context of the 21st century. You learn skills to understand organizational problems and learn how to design, develop and exploit new organization to solve problems. You will develop new organizational thinking by answering questions like: what work will we do in the 21st century, how will we organize it and what will be your role and the role of a Weconomics fellow for instance? With this summer school you share ideas with other professionals by using cases and the Case Method. You will learn how to deal with complex or modern organizations and new organizational situations. You will also experience the intensive learning and working ethos form the leading business school.

Who is right for the program?
This program is designed to meet the needs of new leaders and international oriented professionals, managers and consultants, with minimum 5 years of working experience and some fresh eyes on how we organize work and prosperity in the 21st century. These professionals work in sectors like knowledge intensive service companies, government, healthcare, education and research institutes. This program is part of
APOLLO, the Advances Program On Learning and Leading Others, from the Weconomics Foundation.

From 1 case in 1 day part to an intensive week program with evening session and evaluation day after 3 months


Organization: Case Assistant, WIFI, beamer and horseshoe placing in plenary room, place for group and individual work.

Participant: laptop of tablet (cases and reports will be distributed digital).

Number of participants
Between 10 and

Case leader
Paul Bessems was the first who introduced a Harvard Case Method at a summer school in Europe. It was held on the campus of the University of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) in the summer of 1992. A group of 30 European students joined this first European summer school bases on the Harvard Case Method. Paul received his training form several universities in the Boston (Harvard, MIT and Boston University).

Paul Bessems is organization designer, strategic consultant and co-author of eight management books. As a researcher and entrepreneur he has over 25 years’ experience in new organizational forms and is particularly expert in the field of hybrid organizing. Hybrid organizing is a cross between: do it yourself and contracting out, between firm and market, between private and public. It is a, fundamentally, new organization form that is both efficient and flexible. Hybrid organizing is suitable for the organization of shared information networks, supra shared service centers, communities and cooperatives. These forms play an important role in the network economy.

Besides his work as a consultant, Paul is also chairman of the Weconomics Foundation. This foundation contributes to the organization of a sustainable prosperity by focusing on the productivity improvement of knowledge workers and redistribution of the surplus time. Finally, he is founder and thought leader of The Institute for New Organizational Thinking.

Paul studied management science at the TUE. In 1992 he introduced the Harvard Case Method in the Netherlands and in other developed a master program with the University of Humberside Hull. In 1992 he started Buro Staff Support, his first professional community. In 2009 he founded the Weconomics Foundation and in 2013 The Institute for New Organizational Thinking. Now he works as an independent management consultant for (international), often knowledge-intensive, companies, institutions and governments. He also wrote five books in the field of Weconomics and is co-author of three other books in this field.