Business management doesn’t always have to be about capitalism – this course shows how it can be a vocation too

Les étudiants en commerce poursuivent plus que de simples carrières.  <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" cible="_Vide" data-ylk="slk:Morsa Images via Getty Images" classe="lien ">Morsa images via Getty Images</a>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ2Ng–/” “–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTQ2Ng–/”></div>
<p><em>Unusual Courses is an occasional series from The Conversation US highlighting unconventional approaches to teaching.</em></p>
<h2>Course title:</h2>
<p>“Management as a vocation”</p>
<h2>What gave you the idea for the course?</h2>
<p>The idea for this course came from my frustration that business schools are not doing enough to create successful business leaders who want to serve society.  Too often we simply drop an ethics or sustainability elective into a curriculum that puts profits before people — and overlooks big issues like climate change and income inequality.</p>
<p>So I thought we should develop a course that helps students examine their own ethics, values ​​and purpose.  As I point out in my book, rather than just imparting knowledge, this course helps students develop their wisdom.  Rather than treating management as a precise science, he adds the liberal arts to it.  I want students to examine their own conscience and decide what kind of manager they are meant to be, what kind of career they aspire to have, and what kind of legacy they hope to leave.</p>
<h2>What does the course explore?</h2>
<p>This course helps undergraduate and graduate business majors see their career as a calling.  Uncategorized, its core focuses on three weekend retreats where students leave their cellphones behind, join others with similar aspirations, and examine their unique purpose in life.</p>
<p>Retreats take place at the beginning and end of their final year of study, and one year after graduation.  They involve exercises, readings, collaboration and quiet reflection.  At the end, students write a personal mission statement and a plan to accomplish it.</p>
<p>There are also lectures on the notion of calling, which I define for this course as a goal that people truly believe in and will devote themselves to wholeheartedly, without scruple or self-interest.</p>
<h2>Why is this course relevant now?</h2>
<p>When I started teaching business in the mid-1990s, students who wanted to improve the world usually studied government or nonprofit management.  Today, many come to business school with the goal of bringing about positive change.</p>
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Unfortunately, business education has not done a good job, in my opinion, of meeting this demand. The programs focus far too much on the “how” of the business and not enough on the “why”. But if we don’t change that, we will continue to have corporate transgressions like tax evasion, labor exploitation and fraud, where short-term profit goals are placed above responsibilities to society.

What is the essential lesson of the course?

We study what a call is, techniques for examining each student’s individual call, and tactics for staying on track. I hope students will cultivate a sense of passion and vision in their careers and apply the power of business to meet society’s challenges, whether it’s fair wage structures, innovations to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions, collaborations to support the government’s role in the marketplace. and new definitions of the role of business in serving the interests of all in society.

What materials does the course have?

“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl.

“Life by Design” by Victor J. Strecher.

Articles by Parker Palmer, Herbert Shepard, David Foster-Wallace, Deb Meyerson and others.

What will the course prepare students for?

This course will help students develop a vision of what a calling is, their calling, and the desire to make its pursuit a lifelong goal. Rather than thinking solely in terms of work, I hope students will imagine the role they want to play in business to create a future that serves not just shareholders, but all of society – employees, customers, community and the world.

This article is republished from The Conversation, an independent, nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Andrew J. Hoffman, University of Michigan. The Conversation offers a variety of fascinating free newsletters.

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Andrew J. Hoffman works for the University of Michigan. It received funding from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.


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