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We are approaching the one-year anniversary of Beyoncé’s self-titled album. You know, the one that overshadowed everything in its path?

It goes without saying that it left the entire music industry in a jaw-dropped, state of awe but outside forces took notice as well.

Aside from the critically accolades she received, the secretive move was the springboard for enormous financial gain from many avenues. And the people of Harvard want to break down the move in a new case study.

Via Harvard Gazette

A new Harvard Business School (HBS) case study to be published next week examines 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. With insights from top executives at Parkwood Entertainment, Columbia Records, Facebook and Apple, the HBS case asks M.B.A. students to decide what they would have done if they were working for Beyoncé.

“She’s clearly among the most powerful people in the music industry at the moment … so to understand the operation behind such a powerful figure is always very interesting,” said Anita Elberse, the Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at HBS who co-wrote the case study with a former student, Stacie Smith, M.B.A. ’14.

Elberse studies marketing strategies in the entertainment, media, and sports industries and has written extensively about the growing trend of hosting “blockbuster events” to grab the public’s attention. She says the unconventional album release and the very hands-on role that Beyoncé plays in overseeing her own business interests present a number of instructive dilemmas for M.B.A. students to consider. Elberse will teach the case in her course “Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries” early next month. “For instance, how did they keep that a secret for so long? It’s quite amazing that they pulled that off.”

Click here to review the timeline of events Beyoncé has enjoyed since the release of her project.

Photo: YouTube