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Beyoncé in Dazed, wearing custom-made dress and heels by Tom FordPhotography by Sharif Hamza

Harvard Business School will study the business of Beyoncé

The elite university is asking students to analyse the release strategy behind her surprise album

It seems as though academic institutions are fast catching on to the idea that inspiring students to learn is easy – if you reference pop culture constantly. Kendrick Lamar's sophomore record good Kid m.A.A.d city is being studied in Augusta, Georgia, while Rutgers offers a course called Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé. Now Harvard Business School is asking students to study the success of Beyoncé, her self-titled surprise record which dropped on iTunes last year with no warning.

The album ended up selling 600,000 copies in the first three days, suggesting that the marketing technique of having no marketing technique pays off. But the co-author of the case study, Anita Elberse, wants students to understand what the implications of such a release are for Beyonce and her team in the long run. Have they alienated fans and advertisers? Will there be more pressure on her to devise an Even More Brilliant way of releasing music next time? 

According to the Harvard Gazette, the study "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".

While Beyoncé was an unqualified success, the same can't be said of the recently aired TV special of Bey and Jay-Z's On The Run tour. The HBO show drew 888,000 viewers, but it was beaten in the ratings by a re-run of The Big Bang Theory. Maybe they should have included more surfbort?

Watch "Drunk in Love" below: