“Not always about capitalism:” how business management can also be a vocation


Unusual Courses is an occasional series from The Conversation US highlighting unconventional approaches to teaching.

Course title: “Management as a vocation”

What gave you the idea for the course? Business schools do not do enough to create successful business leaders willing to serve society. Too often we simply drop an ethics or sustainability elective into a curriculum that puts profits before people and ignores big issues like climate change and income inequality. Thus, we should develop a course that helps students examine their own ethics, values ​​and purpose.

What does the course explore? 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.

Why is this course relevant now? Today, many come to business school with the goal of bringing about positive change. Unfortunately, business education has failed to meet this demand. The programs focus far too much on the “how” of the business and not enough on the “why”.

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. The hope is that students will cultivate a sense of passion and vision in their careers and apply the power of business to meet societal challenges.

What materials does the course have?

not Man’s quest for meaning by Viktor E. Frankl.

not life on purpose by Victor J. Strecher.

n 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.


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