The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Best Business Education

"The best way that business faculty (i.e,. academics who often have minimal business experience themselves) can utilize their intellectual capital is to have students read classic business writings (e.g., Smith, Keynes, and Friedman) and wrestle with difficult questions that cannot be answered with multiple-choice bubbles. For example, addressing the classic question, “Is the social responsibility of a business to earn a profit?” would give young adults practice in tackling future abstract challenges in the workplace. The real world has more than four answer choices, and there is no answer key. "

This is from John W. Pope Center's Jason Fertig lucid article about business education - and he harkens back to a 1959 book, Higher Education for Business by Robert Gordon and James Howell, a lengthy study sponsored by the Ford Foundation, in which they say:

"When ranking academic performance across disciplines, business students are near the bottom…Too many students seek a business degree for economic vis-à-vis educational gain…Classes in business schools are too vocational…Business students need a sound grounding in liberal arts, not training for their first job."

I couldn't agree more with both Fertig and Gordon and Howell. How ironic, that this was their concern in 1959 - and it's still a problem today.

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