The Most Forward-Thinking Business Courses of 2019
B-schools around the nation are rethinking their curricula.
Last year, the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business revamped its curriculum to offer more time devoted to core subjects and increased career services seminars for MBAs.
The Aspen Institute, a nonprofit think tank, recently recognized the top 10 most “forward-thinking” business courses of 2019, as reported by Quartz.
Here is the full list of the 2019 honorees:
Assessing the Broader Impact of Business
Western University, Ivey Business School (Canada)
In “Assessing the Broader Impact of Business,” students focus on sustainable and responsible business practices through hands-on experience.
Bridging the American Divides: Work Community and Culture (USA Lab)
Barbara Dyer, Christine Kelly, Thomas Kochan, Leigh Hafrey
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management (USA)
USA Lab is MIT Sloan’s US-focused Action Learning Lab. According to MIT, the course is “motivated by concern about America’s deep divides and a determination to better understand the issues and uncover solutions. The United States provides a focal point for the course, but as students grapple with the complexities of this country’s challenges, they will find universal themes that resonate across the globe.”
Business and Global Climate Change
University of Colorado Denver Business School (USA)
“Business and Global Climate Change” focuses on the business case for preparing for climate change. Through the course, students examine the predicted impacts of climate change, consider policy responses to climate change, learn how companies are implementing an internal carbon price, and more.
“If climate change occurs as scientists predict, managers will increasingly have to consider climate-related costs and risks, regulatory requirements, disclosure and develop competitive products and services for a low carbon world,” Byrd states in the course overview. “No matter what your personal views are about climate change, most corporations will have to develop a climate strategy or plan.”
Global Challenges for Business
Sarah Birrell Ivory
University of Edinburgh Business School (Scotland)
According to the University of Edinburgh Business School, this course “focuses not only on the global challenges students will face as they embark on their scholarly and then graduate life, but explicitly on the skills of critical thinking that will be essential to navigating such issues. Designed around three foundational aspects of critical thinking – quality of argument, strength of evidence, clarity of presentation – the course acts as a foundation for a business degree focusing on teaching students how to think, rather than what to think.”
Global Issues in Accounting
Nick McGuigan, Alessandro Ghio
Monash University, Monash Business School (Australia)
In “Global Issues in Accounting,” students “reflect on the role of accounting in organizations and society more generally, and will develop professional judgement, as well as the key skills that are expected of accountants.”
Leadership in the Global Economy
Matthew J. Slaughter
Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business (USA)
“In Leadership in the Global Economy, each student works to develop his or her own answers to this question by developing Teachable Points of View regarding current global business topics such as the rise of the BRIC countries and support for strategic industries. Class sessions are structured as mock Congressional hearings in which students prepare, debate, and defend CEO testimonies,” Slaughter says.
Life-Cycle Assessment, Life-Cycle Thinking, and Business Strategy
University of Oregon, Lundquist College of Business (USA)
According to the University of Oregon, this course “focuses specifically on lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (hereafter referred to with the shorthand “carbon”), but set in the context of life-cycle analysis and life-cycle thinking more broadly.”
Market Manipulations: Crises, Bubbles, Robber Barons, and Corporate Saints
Barry M. Mitnick
University of Pittsburgh, College of Business Administration (USA)
“The objective of the course is to help students understand the major kinds of market manipulations, their historical contexts and consequences, and what insights they can provide for modern business behavior,” according to Pittwire.
Marketing and Society
Wilfrid Laurier University, Lazaridis School of Business (Canada)
In “Marketing and Society,” students examine “how marketers can develop sustainable marketing strategies by gaining an in-depth understanding of the impact of marketing on the physical, psychological, sociological, cultural and economic world inhabited by consumers. Concepts such as socially conscious marketing, social marketing, corporate social responsibility, conscious consumption, anti-consumption, brand resistance, cause marketing, consumerism and ethical marketing are studied.”
People Analytics and Strategy
Columbia University, Columbia Business School
According to Columbia Business School, “People Analytics and Strategy” focuses on the “growing use of information technology in personnel management as a source of strategic advantage. As an approach to modern business management, People Analytics has applications across the international economy — in both new and old firms, and in traditional employment arrangements and gig-style jobs facilitated by labor platforms.”