Harvard Business School to Study Beyoncé

Their course material includes a new case study that goes long on Queen B’s ​record-breaking ​“surprise” album.

September 26, 2014

Next month, a class of Harvard Business School students will be thinking long and hard about the business of Beyoncé. Their course material will consist of a new case study that takes a close look at Queen B's record-breaking “surprise” album, and, more specifically, “what it took to pull off the ambitious and costly campaign, the prevailing market conditions, the structural and technical obstacles, as well as the many difficult decisions Beyoncé and her management team confronted along the way,” the Harvard Gazette reports.

The study's co-author, business-administration professor Anita Elberse, generally agrees that the unprecedented release was “a huge success artistically.” What she wants is for the students in her “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries” class to ask whether it was really worth it. “You could look at the album and say, ‘How did it perform?’ But you also have to think longer-term and ‘What did that do to her ability to control the next release that she’s planning?’ or ‘What does that do to her potential as a touring artist?’ Those are harder questions to answer,” she tells the Gazette. “Luckily, we have very smart students at Harvard.”

They'll just have to keep in mind that–just because they think they have answers–doesn't mean B's gonna want to hear them; she's got her own priorities:

To other men that respect what I do
Please accept my shine
Boy I know you love it
How we’re smart enough to make these millions
Strong enough to bear the children
Then get back to business

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Harvard Business School to Study Beyoncé