Business Humanities - MAN00047H

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Shane Hamilton
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
    • See module specification for other years: 2018-19

Module summary

This module explores key issues in contemporary business through the humanistic lenses of literature, history, and history of art. Success in business and management that is sustainable and ethical requires more than an exclusively materialist economic view of the world. Learning to think critically and with sensitivity to the needs of diverse workforces and customers requires moral judgment, awareness of differing epistemological and ontological assumptions about society and culture, appreciation of aesthetics, and the ability to communicate across disciplinary boundaries. Students will learn techniques in literary, historical, and art-historical analysis, deepening their interdisciplinary cultural intelligence while broadening commercial awareness.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module explores key issues in contemporary business through the humanistic lenses of literature, history, and history of art. Success in business and management that is sustainable and ethical requires more than an exclusively materialist economic view of the world. Learning to think critically and with sensitivity to the needs of diverse workforces and customers requires moral judgement, awareness of differing epistemological and ontological assumptions about society and culture, appreciation of aesthetics, and the ability to communicate across disciplinary boundaries. Students will learn techniques in literary, historical, and art-historical analysis, deepening their interdisciplinary cultural intelligence while broadening commercial awareness.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Read diverse texts and images closely and critically, and interpret them with reference to the period and tradition in which they were produced.
  • Analyse the affective power of language and narrative, and their cultural and political impact, and use this awareness to better understand business and management in context.
  • Evaluate complex business situations and their consequences by drawing on literary, aesthetic, and historical perspectives.
  • Make creative business decisions by curating visual sources, and historical and literary texts.
  • Liaise and work with others in a team to deliver an interdisciplinary project in a professional and collegial manner.

Module content

In each weekly practical session we will closely and critically examine a substantial literary or historical text, set of historical primary sources, or an object of visual art, to explore an issue of broad relevance to contemporary business.

Specific topics could include:

- the poetry and prose of strategy

- the culture and literature of finance and financialization

- modern art and corporate capitalism

- storytelling, narratives, and sensemaking

- the moral imagination

- realist fiction and capitalist morality

- science fiction and fantasies of capital

- history, heritage, and organizational identity

- organizational memory and ethics of forgetting

- business, "creative destruction", and social change

The assessment for the module will be based on a group project resulting in a curated exhibit of texts, images, or artifacts that explore an issue of relevance to contemporary business enterprise. Formative work will include a group presentation of a proposal for the exhibit’s content and purpose

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 2000 Words
N/A 60
Essay/coursework
Student Participation
N/A 20
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Group Presentation: Business Humanities
N/A 20

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 Words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written and verbal feedback will be provided on formative presentations within one week of the presentation.

Module assessment reports to students are written by the module leader for all assessments and placed on the VLE after the Board of Examiners has received the module marks.

The timescale for the return of feedback will accord with TYMS policy.

Indicative reading

Robert Coles, The Call of Stories: Teaching and the Moral Imagination (1989)

Christian Madsbjerg, Sensemaking: The Power of the Humanities in the Age of the Algorithm (New York: Hachette Books, 2017).

Richard Powers, Gain: A Novel (New York: Picador, 1998).

Robert Coles and Albert LaFarge, eds., Minding the Store: Great Writing about Business, from Tolstoy to Now (2008)

Karen Lucic, Charles Sheeler and the Cult of the Machine (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991).

Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: Signet Classics, 2000 [1900]).

Lewis, Michael. 2015. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York: WW Norton & Company.

Edgerton, David. 2011. Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900. Profile books.

Berger, John. 1972. Ways of Seeing. Harmonsworth: Penguin.

Zola, Émile. 2001. Ladies’ Delight. Penguin UK.

Clark, Timothy J, and Anne Middleton Wagner. 2013. Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life. London: Tate Publishing.

Coles, R. ed (2004) Teaching stories: An Anthology on the Power of Learning and Literature New York Ny : The Modern LIbrary.

Colby, A. Ehrlich, T. Sullivan, W. and Dolle, J, R. (2011) Rethinking UNdergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession (Carnegie II Report) San Francisco CA: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching/Jossey-Bass

Czarniawska- Joerges, B and Guillet de Monthoux, P.(2004) Good Novels, Better Management reading organizational realities in fiction London: Routledge

Gabriel, Y. (2004) Myths, Stories and Organizations Oxford: Oxford UP

Gagliardi, P and Czarniawska, B.eds (2006) Management Education and the Humanities Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar.

Morgan, C (2010) What Poetry Brings to Business (with K. Lange and C. Buswick) Ann Arbor: Un. of MIchigan Press

Czarniawska, B. (1999) Writing Management: Organization Theory as a LIterary Genre Oxford: Oxford UP.

Sinclair, Upton (1906) The Jungle New York NY: Dover Thrift



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.