Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession

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9780470889626: Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession
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Business is the largest undergraduate major in the United States and still growing. This reality, along with the immense power of the business sector and its significance for national and global well-being, makes quality education critical not only for the students themselves but also for the public good.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's national study of undergraduate business education found that most undergraduate programs are too narrow, failing to challenge students to question assumptions, think creatively, or understand the place of business in larger institutional contexts. Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education examines these limitations and describes the efforts of a diverse set of institutions to address them by integrating the best elements of liberal arts learning with business curriculum to help students develop wise, ethically grounded professional judgment.

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Business is the largest undergraduate major in the United States and still growing. This reality, along with the immense power of the business sector and its significance for national and global well-being, makes quality education critical not only for the students themselves but also for the public good. Business education for undergraduates, however, is too often narrow, failing to challenge students to question assumptions, think creatively, or understand the place of business in larger institutional contexts. These are the results of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's national study of undergraduate business education. Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education examines these limitations and describes the efforts of a diverse set of institutions to address them by integrating the best elements of liberal arts learning with business curriculum to help students develop wise, ethically grounded professional judgment.

The book powefully articulates the nature of liberal learning, the purpose of which is to enable students to make sense of the world and their places in it, preparing them to use knowledge and skills to engage responsibly with the life of their times. The authors provide compelling examples of effective pedagogies and curricular designs that promote this essential learning for business students, along with campus cultures that support it. They also offer insights about educating for innovation and entrepreneurial thinking and for competence in navigating a global business environment. The lessons of the volume are directly applicable to undergraduate fields such as engineering, nursing, and education, as well as business.

The recommendations of this study point the way toward undergraduate business education that helps students move beyond narrow technical expertise to creativity, professional judgment, and enhanced social contribution and personal fulfillment in their work and their lives.

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Praise for Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education

"With business the most popular undergraduate major for more than 30 years, this book meets a long overdue need to carefully evaluate the state of undergraduate business education in the United States and provide frameworks for improving it. The authors argue forcefully for a balanced approach—one that integrates applied learning with liberal arts models of inquiry. Only with this kind of integration can we educate leaders who can reason both concretely and creatively."
Sally Blount, dean, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

"The authors have provided the most thoughtful and systematic study of under-graduate business education since the famous Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation reports of the 1950s. It is difficult to imagine a more bold and timely study that also offers a path for revitalizing America's undergraduate business schools and, in turn, our nation's business leadership."
Rakesh Khurana, Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, Harvard Business School, and author, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands

"This book effectively dismantles the argument that there is no time or need for the liberal arts in modern business education. The authors correctly point out that the world needs business leaders who can manage complexity, think creatively, and leverage the insights of others—skills honed far more explicitly in the liberal arts than in business. Their call for a thoughtful balance between mastery of business disciplines and exploration of alternative perspectives is one I wholeheartedly endorse."
Roger Martin, dean, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and author, The Opposable Mind

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