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 are our 2019 graduates at our second 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?

President Kurt Landgraf poses with Spring 2019 Business Management graduates at the second annual SCE poster exhibition.

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

Student quick links

Quick links for students

 


9000

What we're reading

  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="183" height="226" alt="Chouinard, Let My People Go Surfing" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/183/height/226/82271_Chouinard.rev.1543599633.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image82271 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="282" data-max-h="349"/>Yvon Chouinard, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143109677/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman</a> </em>(Penguin, 2006). Chouinard, the legendary founder of Patagonia and visionary business leader, shows how making money and changing the world are intrinsically linked.</p><p> With critical lessons on business strategy, Chouinard explains how his business is a force for good in the world while being a leader in the outdoor apparel industry.</p><p> According to Chouinard, “When [Patagonia] makes a decision because it’s the right thing to do for the planet, it ends up also being good for the business.”</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p class="parseasinTitle"> Steven Schussler, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Its-Jungle-There-Inspiring-Entrepreneurial/dp/1402792778/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361811472&sr=1-1" target="_blank">It’s a Jungle in There: Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring</a> (Union Square Press, 2010). </p><p class="parseasinTitle"><img width="124" height="152" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/124/height/152/22952_its-a-jungle-in-there1.rev.1454367501.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image22952 lw_align_left" data-max-w="247" data-max-h="301"/>Schussler, the founder of Rainforest Café, offers an entertaining, winning guide to his own experiences as an entrepreneur on a shoestring. As a young man building his business, Schussler was never afraid to take a chance, even if it might mean making a fool of himself.</p><p class="parseasinTitle">  </p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="125" height="174" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/125/height/174/15828_tiger-mother-comp.rev.1454361933.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15828 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/125/height/174/15828_tiger-mother-comp.rev.1454361933.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/12/width/125/height/174/15828_tiger-mother-comp.rev.1454361933.jpg 3x" data-max-w="450" data-max-h="625"/>Amy Chua, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Battle-Hymn-Tiger-Mother-ebook/dp/B004CLYKLI/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1">Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother</a></em> (Penguin, 2011).</p><p> Best-selling Yale Law professor Chua (<em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/World-Fire-Exporting-Instability-ebook/dp/B000FC0ZB2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352329022&sr=1-1&keywords=world+on+fire+chua">World on Fire</a></em> and <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Day-Empire-Hyperpowers-Dominance---ebook/dp/B001NLKUQY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352329049&sr=1-1&keywords=day+of+empire+chua">Day of Empire</a></em>) explores a more personal topic, how she applied Chinese parenting values to raising two daughters in the United States. Pushing her daughters to a degree few native-born American parents do, she tells a story of both success and resistance.</p><p> The family story Chua tells is fascinating, but the book’s deeper value lies in how it helps Americans better understand Chinese culture and values. Chinese parents, Chua argues, look at their role quite differently than their American counterparts: “Western parents are concerned about their children’s psyches. Chinese parents aren’t. They assume strength, not fragility.”</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><br/><img width="120" height="154" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/154/15562_coso-cover.rev.1454361829.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15562 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/120/height/154/15562_coso-cover.rev.1454361829.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/12/width/120/height/154/15562_coso-cover.rev.1454361829.jpg 3x" data-max-w="660" data-max-h="847"/>Mark Beasley et al., <a href="http://www.coso.org/documents/COSOFRAUDSTUDY2010_001.pdf" target="_blank">“Fraudulent Financial Reporting 1998-2007: An Analysis of U.S. Public Companies.”</a> The study, commissioned by leading American accounting organizations, including the American Accounting Association, documents more than 300 cases of accounting fraud in American business during a decade that saw many high-profile instances of malfeasance, with a total misappropriation of more than $100 billion.</p><p> Senior leaders, according to the study, play a critical role in enabling fraud: 89% of CEOs and/or CFOs were named by the SEC in fraud cases it investigated.</p><p> The study concludes that the  long-term impact of accounting and reporting fraud was strongly negative, with companies committing fraud facing higher-than-average risks of bankruptcy, delisting, or asset sales.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p> Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Endangerment-Outsized-Corruption-Armageddon/dp/B0085RZF5K/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352327596&sr=1-1&keywords=reckless+endangerment"><em>Reckless Endangerment</em><em>: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon</em> </a>(Times Books/Henry Holt, 2011).</p><p><img width="120" height="181" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/181/15829_morgenson-book.rev.1454361933.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image15829 lw_align_left" data-max-w="183" data-max-h="276"/>A searing exposé of the financial collapse in America in the 2000s, a collapse that has had far-reaching consequences and has been likened to a second Great Depression.</p><p> Pulitzer-Prize-winning journal Morgenson and her co-author trace the roots of the collapse to an unhealthy, uncontrolled partnership between private-sector banks, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and politicians going back to the 1990s. They paint a vivid story of how Fannie and Freddie, eager to guard their privileged position of being backed by the government, aggressively resisted Congressional oversight while showering money on politicians to win favorable treatment.</p><p> The authors reveal the workings of the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street, and note that in the years since the collapse, no individual has been held accountable for the ruin and suffering. It’s a powerful, astonishing story of immensely powerful individuals using their connections and positions to enrich themselves, while shielding themselves from the consequences of their mistakes.</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="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="183" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/183/15168_why-smart-people.rev.1454361683.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15168 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/120/height/183/15168_why-smart-people.rev.1454361683.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/12/width/120/height/183/15168_why-smart-people.rev.1454361683.jpg 3x" data-max-w="421" data-max-h="640"/>Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Smart-People-Money-Mistakes-Correct/dp/B00150D6KU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351551791&sr=8-2&keywords=why+smart+people+make+big+money+mistakes" target="_blank">Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them: Lessons From The New Science Of Behavioral Economics</a></em> (Simon & Schuster, rev. ed. 2010).</p><p> In this entertaining and readable book, Belsky and Gilovich explore how people think about money and financial decisions, and why we sometimes make mistakes. Drawing on the rapidly advancing field of behavioral economics, they explore mistakes like the sunk cost fallacy, the tendency to throw good money after bad.</p><p> No matter how ‘smart’ you are, Belsky and Gilovich will help you avoid making irrational financial decisions.</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="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><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="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> Susan Cain, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Power-Introverts-World-Talking/dp/0307352153/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361812136&sr=1-1" target="_blank"><em>Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking</em></a> (Broadway, 2013).</p><p> In this celebrated best-seller, Cain takes a look at the undervalued introvert, and what value ‘quiet’ individuals provide to organizations. “<em>Quiet</em>,” according to a review in <em>Fortune</em>, <em>“</em>should interest anyone who cares about how people think, work, and get along, or wonders why the guy in the next cubicle acts that way. It should be required reading for introverts (or their parents) who could use a boost to their self-esteem.”</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><img width="183" height="276" alt="Ellenberg, How Not to Be Wrong" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/183/height/276/82285_Ellenberg.rev.1543670055.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image82285 lw_align_left" data-max-w="183" data-max-h="276"/>Jordan Ellenberg, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/How-Not-Be-Wrong-Mathematical/dp/0143127535/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking</a></em> (Penguin, 2014). A celebrated mathematician provides clear, clever, and compelling descriptions of the numbers-based problems we confront every day, showing us why we need mathematical tools in our daily lives: to keep us from making blunders that would otherwise seem to be reasonable conclusions.</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.


  • Mark Christie '18 is using his theatre degree to raise important social questions.
    Most people start conversations with a word. Mark Christie starts them with a character, a stage, and questions that aren’t always easy to answer.
  • Students study in the newly dedicated Brown Advisory Lab.

    For the first time since its inception in 2008, The Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund has gone over the $1 million mark.

  • Wilmington Networking Event

[The Daly News: More Department doings]