Department of

Business Management

Life with meaning.

Prof. Susan Vowels, Dept. ChairProf. Susan Vowels, Dept. Chair

That’s the literal translation of 生意 (sheng-yi), the Chinese word for business.

And that’s our approach to teaching business management as a liberal art.

We engage students. You’ll share ideas with classmates, work closely with expert faculty, and get your hands on real-world tools like SAP (all our majors learn how to use it). You can invest a half million dollars in socially responsible businesses in the Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund. And you can learn how to build your own business from the ground up. 

It’s your dream, and we want you to dream big. Pictured below (click the photo for names) are our 2018 graduates at our first annual Business Management Senior Capstone Experience Poster Exhibition… all of these students reached the finish line and have done amazing things while attending Washington College. Will you be next to follow in their footsteps?

2018 BUS Graduates at the Senior Capstone Experience Poster Exhibition (April 2018). Front row (left to right): Melchol Fantaye, Qin Chen, Samson Ramasamy, Ashley Waldman, Whit Schweizer, Eric Antich. Second row (l to r): Alexandra Green, Sarah Bentley, A. Elaina DiPrimio, Hiyab Gebretensay, Melissa Sue Lopez Neely, Tyler Powers, Austin Hepburn, Chris Antich, Ellie Pitzer. Third row (l to r): Sarah Wieder, Chalisa Singh, Kerri Walsh, Brenna Kacar, Patrick McManus, Lillian King, Zhehao Hou, Jacob Hathaway, Conner Cotting, Evan Laking. Fourth row (l to r): Zach Domenech, Finny Dorsch, Gabby Winsky, Shreyas Suresh, Keri Edmonds, Pete Jacobs, Tim Hickey, Monica Linnell, Joe Lozupone, Josh Knox, Cameron Gilson. Fifth row (l to r): Michael DeMaio, Michael Luckert, Jiahong Xu, Bowen Liu, Prateek Kejriwal, Michael Bloom, Danny Redmond, Hayden Ford, Autumn Spence, Kat Moore, Luke Weaver, Justin Panepinto, John Niswander. Back row (l to r): Peter Ciaccio, Clay Smith, Joey Shelton, Evan Hirschbaum, Matt Tancredi, Peter Mikulus, Nick Popolizio, Ryan Donnelly, Sean Weiss, Brian Kasey. Not pictured: Elizabeth Kearney, Madison Long.

Our grads Global business BUS classroom, Spring 2011 In the classroom

Student quick links

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What we're reading

  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="125" height="190" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/125/height/190/15212_aristotle-gm.rev.1454361715.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image15212 lw_align_left" data-max-w="175" data-max-h="265"/>Tom Morris, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/If-Aristotle-Ran-General-Motors/dp/0805052534/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351713495&sr=1-1&keywords=if+aristotle+ran+general+motors" target="_blank">If Aristotle Ran General Motors</a></em> (Holt, 1997).</p><p> In this book about philosophy and business, Morris argues that ancient philosophy has a lot to teach us about modern life and work. </p><p> “If we let the great philosophers guide our thinking,” Morris says, “… we put ourselves in the very best position to move towards genuine excellence, true prosperity, and deeply satisfying success in our businesses, our families, and our lives.”</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="139" height="204" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/139/height/204/16059_crescentandstar.rev.1454362080.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image16059 lw_align_left" data-max-w="139" data-max-h="204"/>Stephen Kinzer, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Crescent-Star-Turkey-Between-Worlds/dp/0374531404/ref=pd_sim_b_6" target="_blank">Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds</a></em> (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008).</p><p> Kinzer, former New York Times Istanbul bureau chief, presents a concise history of modern Turkey without hiding his passion and love for the country. Turkey, situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, sits symbolically between two worlds–a modern, westernized world of markets and democracy, and a traditional world of faith and authoritarianism.</p><p> Kinzer vividly relates Turkey history, from Kemal Ataterk to contemporary challenges including militarism, women’s rights, Islamic fundamentalism, and the ongoing challenge of the place of the Kurdish minority in Turkey.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="130" height="196" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/130/height/196/21512_breeden-book.rev.1454365896.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image21512 lw_align_left" data-max-w="183" data-max-h="275"/>Jake Breeden, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Sacred-Cows-Masquerade-Virtues/dp/1118345916/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359481998&sr=1-1&keywords=tipping+sacred+cows" target="_blank">Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits that Masquerade as Virtues</a> (Jossey-Bass, 2013).</p><p> Leaders pride themselves on traits such as creativity, passion, and fairness. But unquestioned virtues can curdle into vices when pursued relentlessly or in the wrong contexts.  The author, a Duke University faculty member, takes a hard look at seven ‘sacred cows’ dear to many leaders, showing how overzealous allegiance to them can harm their organizations.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Likeable-Social-Media-Customers-Irresistible/dp/0071762345/ref=bxgy_cc_b_img_a" target="_blank"><img width="150" height="225" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/150/height/225/15549_likeable_social_media.rev.1454361819.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15549 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/150/height/225/15549_likeable_social_media.rev.1454361819.jpg 2x" data-max-w="318" data-max-h="475"/></a> Dave Kerpen, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Likeable-Social-Media-Customers-Irresistible/dp/0071762345/ref=bxgy_cc_b_img_a" target="_blank">Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (And Other Social Networks)</a></em> (McGraw-Hill, 2011).</p><p> “A friend’s recommendation,” Kerpen says, “is more powerful than any advertisement.”</p><p> Social media are transforming how businesses communicate and connect with customers, and how people learn about products and services.</p><p> Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media sites have brought in a new era of informal, rapid-fire interaction–and they’ve also brought waves of new data that companies can analyze to learn more abou their customers’ likes and dislikes.</p><p> In this best-selling book, Kerpen, co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, provides a fast-paced, easy-to-follow guide to the remarkable world of social media marketing.</p><p>  </p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="111" height="173" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/111/height/173/42589_stanley_and_danko.rev.1454387442.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image42589 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/111/height/173/42589_stanley_and_danko.rev.1454387442.jpeg 2x" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="346"/>Thomas Stanley and William Danko, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Next-Door-Thomas-Stanley/dp/0671015206">The Millionaire Next Door</a></em> (first published in 1996).</p><p> Professor Terry Scout recommends this book as one of the best life lessons young people should absorb: become wealthy by the choices you make, including living frugally and avoiding debt. He says the book calls to mind the immortal advice from Charles Dickens’ character Mr. Micawber (from <em>David Copperfield</em>): “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”</p><p>  Based on extensive interviews, Stanley and Danko conclude that wealth in America is usually “the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means.” It’s an old lesson, well understood by many successful people—and it will be the foundation for many future millionaires, too.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="161" height="209" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/161/height/209/20539_turner-book.rev.1454365253.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image20539 lw_align_left" data-max-w="161" data-max-h="209"/>Adair Turner, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Economics-After-Crisis-Objectives-Lectures/dp/026201744X/ref=pd_sim_b_11" target="_blank">Economics After the Crisis</a></em> (MIT Press, 2012).</p><p> The financial crisis of 2008 continues to roil the global economy. Turner, Britain’s chief financial regulator, argues that what is needed to restore sustained growth is a rethinking of the basic premises of economics and financial regulation.</p><p> For the last generation, Turner says, economic policymaking has been driven by the so-called Washington Consensus: that markets are efficient, that economic actors are rational in pursuit of their own self-interest, and that inequality is an inescapable consequence of the necessary pursuit of economic growth.</p><p> These simplifying assumptions certainly make for elegant mathematical models. But Turner argues that they simply don’t do a good job mapping the real world.</p><p> What are the consequences when the assumptions and the real world diverge?  And what should we do now to rebuild the global economy? Turner’s book will inspire hard thinking about these big questions.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="120" height="177" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/177/15166_strategic-capitalism.rev.1454361682.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15166 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/120/height/177/15166_strategic-capitalism.rev.1454361682.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/12/width/120/height/177/15166_strategic-capitalism.rev.1454361682.jpg 3x" data-max-w="536" data-max-h="788"/>Richard D’Aveni, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Strategic-Capitalism-Economic-Strategy-Capitalist/dp/0071781161/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351534988&sr=1-1&keywords=strategic+capitalism" target="_blank">Strategic Capitalism: The New Economic Strategy for Winning the Capitalist Cold War</a></em> (McGraw Hill, 2012).</p><p> Western economists and policymakers have long favored a <em>laissez-faire</em> approach to capitalism and the market.</p><p> But D’Aveni, a strategy professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck Business School, argues that in today’s global economy this traditional hands-off view is failing. Unless Western governments accept a more active role, D’Aveni says, they will continue to lose out to the Chinese model.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="120" height="181" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/181/15167_the-intelligent-investor.rev.1454361683.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15167 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/120/height/181/15167_the-intelligent-investor.rev.1454361683.jpg 2x" data-max-w="332" data-max-h="500"/>Benjamin Graham, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Intelligent-Investor-Rev-ebook/dp/B000FC12C8/ref=tmm_kin_title_0" target="_blank">The Intelligent Investor</a></em> (1949; revised in 2003 with commentary by Jason Zweig).</p><p> How can you make money in the stock market? In this classic book Benjamin Graham lays out his key idea: “value investing.” Warren Buffett, America’s most famous and revered billionaire investor, was inspired by Graham’s ideas, and called <em>The Intelligent Investor</em> “by far the best book on investing ever written.”</p><p> By focusing on fundamentals and resisting the urge to buy and sell at every market fluctuation, Graham argues, the intelligent investor can minimize risk and maximize long-term gain.</p><p> It worked for Warren Buffett and countless other investors in the six decades since Graham’s book first came out. It probably stil has some wisdom left for you.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="110" height="173" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/110/height/173/42586_sutton-and-rao.rev.1454387441.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image42586 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/110/height/173/42586_sutton-and-rao.rev.1454387441.jpeg 2x" data-max-w="220" data-max-h="346"/>Sutton and Rao, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Scaling-Up-Excellence-Getting-Settling/dp/0385347022">Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less</a></em> (Crown Business, 2014).</p><p> Stanford professors Sutton and Rao explore how organizations can take good ideas practices—“pockets of exemplary performance”—and ‘scale’ them: expand their reach across the entire organization. Based on extensive research from many different industries, Sutton and Rao present a concise, clear framework for “spreading excellence” within a company.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="108" height="167" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/108/height/167/15840_startupnation.rev.1454361936.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15840 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/108/height/167/15840_startupnation.rev.1454361936.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/12/width/108/height/167/15840_startupnation.rev.1454361936.jpg 3x" data-max-w="374" data-max-h="577"/>Dan Senor and Saul Singer, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Start-up-Nation-Israels-Economic-ebook/dp/B004QZ9P6K/ref=tmm_kin_title_0" target="_blank">Startup Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle</a></em> (12, 2009).</p><p> Israel, a nation of just 7 million people, has more startup companies than China, India, or Japan, and is a global magnet for venture capital investment, with more than twice as much venture capital per person than the United States, and 30 times more than Europe.</p><p> Senor and Singer explore the intellectual traditions, government policies, and people behind Israel’s remarkable economic success. Entrepreneurialism, the authors suggest, is far more than a policy or a mindset–it is a culture, as well.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="120" height="192" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/192/15072_jobs3.rev.1454361632.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15072 lw_align_left" data-max-w="120" data-max-h="192"/>Walter Isaacson, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Steve-Jobs-Walter-Isaacson/dp/1451648537/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351473756&sr=1-1&keywords=steve+jobs" target="_blank">Steve Jobs</a></em> (Simon and Schuster, 2011).</p><p> Isaacson (best-selling author of biographies of Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein), in his exhaustively researched biography, paints a vivid picture of the complex, difficult genius who co-founded Apple and revolutionized how the world uses computers, listens to music, and more.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="120" height="182" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/182/15213_bigdatatidalwave.rev.1454361715.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15213 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/120/height/182/15213_bigdatatidalwave.rev.1454361715.jpg 2x" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="453"/>Bill Franks, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Data-Tidal-Wave-Opportunities/dp/1118208781/ref=pd_sim_b_2" target="_blank">Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave</a></em> (Wiley, 2012).</p><p> Franks, Chief Analytics Officer for software firm Teradata, explains what the rise of big data means to business and other organizations today.</p><p> Big data is washing over our world, from gigabyte to terabyte to petabyte. Franks surveys technologies for managing it, explains how to analyze and make sense of it, and suggests how to create an organizational culture of discovery and innovation that takes advantage of the possibilities unleashed by the waves of data that are transforming the competitive environment of business.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="133" height="199" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/133/height/199/42535_brynjolfsson-book.rev.1454387389.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image42535 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/133/height/199/42535_brynjolfsson-book.rev.1454387389.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/12/width/133/height/199/42535_brynjolfsson-book.rev.1454387389.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1001" data-max-h="1500"/>Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Race-Against-Machine-Accelerating-Productivity/dp/0984725113/ref=tmm_pap_title_0">Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy</a></em> (Digital Frontier Press, 2012) </p><p> Brynjolffson and McAfee, professors at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, argue that the pace of technological innovation is increasing, and explore the challenges this poses to the future of jobs and the economy. </p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p style="text-align: left;"><img width="120" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/180/15071_lm4.rev.1454361632.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15071 lw_align_left" data-max-w="120" data-max-h="180"/>Tom Cronin and Michael Genovese, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Leadership-Matters-Unleashing-Power-Paradox/dp/161205143X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351537209&sr=1-1&keywords=leadership+matters" target="_blank">Leadership Matters</a></em> (Paradigm, 2012). </p><p style="text-align: left;"> In their new book, political scientists Cronin and Genovese explore the paradoxes of leadership by looking at literature, movies, art, and classic texts. A wide-ranging, head-expanding read.</p><div id="inline-leadership-matters" style="display: none;"><h3> Additional Information </h3><p> This is a test. I will remove this before going live, or update it with content that is actually meaningful. </p></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="130" height="196" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/130/height/196/42533_piketty.rev.1454387389.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image42533 lw_align_left" data-max-w="230" data-max-h="346"/>Thomas Piketty, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Capital-Twenty-First-Century-Thomas-Piketty/dp/067443000X"><em>Capital in the Twenty-First Century</em></a> (Belknap, 2014).</p><p> In this best-selling work, French economist Thomas Piketty argues that the 21st century is seeing a return to ‘patrimonial capitalism,’ the concentration of wealth, income, and power in the hands of a small group of super-wealthy individuals and families.</p></div>

[Click here for more good reads.]

Spanning the Globe

Read perspectives on study—and life—abroad from three Business Management students in the new issue of 4Corners, the Global Education Office’s International Programs Magazine. BUS major Katie Zabel talks about her time in Australia and Scotland, BUS major Lily Britt shares memories of her time in Hong Kong, and BUS minor Evelyn Mantegani remembers her spring semester in Ireland.


  • Washington College has begun a new collaboration with Wake Forest University.

    Partnering with Wake Forest University, Washington College opens up a new opportunity for students who are seeking a master’s degree in management.

  • Pictured left to right: Professor Caddie Putnam Rankin, Mark Blumberg ’19, Evan Laking ’18, Emma Silber ’19...
    Junior business management majors Mark Blumberg, Kristi Kozlowski, and Emma Silber, along with graduating senior Evan Laking, were inducted into Sigma Beta Delta.
  • Tom Polen, president of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, will speak at the...

    Global medical technology business leader Tom Polen, president of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), will join College President Kurt Landgraf on April 16 in a discussion about leadership skills and the future of medical technology. 

[The Daly News: More Department doings]