Steven Tyler, Aerosmith’s infamous vocalist, once noted in a flash of rock wisdom, “We believed that anything worth doing was worth overdoing.” Indeed, the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, with its enthralling appeal, embodies elements of excess and waste.
After a weeklong whiff of concerts, parties and events at the beginning of July, the Roskilde Festival site was covered with piles of food leftovers, partially disassembled tents, empty beer cans and other waste. The festival, located some 30 kilometers west of Copenhagen in Denmark “is a micro-cosmos which displays elements of the sustainability challenges faced on a global level,” says Esben Pedersen, Head of the Corporate Social Responsibility department of the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). “If it has the problems, it should also be able to present the solutions.”
Three days of humanities, business, problems, and possibilities. The “Workshop for Humanities and Social Sciences in Management Education: Writing – Researching – Teaching”, was the latest meeting of the minds of teachers, professors and students in the ongoing debate on how to integrate humanities and social sciences to business education.
Published in 2011, the second Carnegie Report evoked numerous debates among business scholars. According to the report, business schools are in need of a makeover, specifically to incorporate more humanities and social sciences. Alongside US-based Carnegie Foundation and Aspen Institute, teachers at University of St. Gallen, Barcelona’s ESADE Business School and Copenhagen Business School are trying to move the report’s agenda forward.
In a previous article, several university administrators argued that business students are overly rational and mainly money- and career-oriented. However, speaking to a variety of students on the Copenhagen Business School campus draws a different picture: the large number of business majors specialized in numerous sub-fields bears quite a variety in different reasoning. And few of them purely evolve around money and influence.
Business is the largest undergraduate major in the US, according to the book Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education from the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching. The book also states that the business sector plays a central role in the well-being and prosperity of society. This is a call for the humanities, the discipline that can guide single minded conceptualizations of business graduates that there isn’t such thing as a single answer, argues Ulrike Landfester, Professor and Vice-President at University of St. Gallen.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – In the wake of the financial crisis, an era of severe turbulence, rapid changes and increasing complexity has emerged. A black cloud hangs over the past decade’s economic prosperity and global consumption habits, which fundamentally challenges the purpose of business. All too often the approach to business practices has been one-dimensional, lacking in richness and depth. This goes for both the cheerleaders and the critics of the current business practices. In these times, it is important to be able to view the world in different shades – one of possibilities, rather than constraints.