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="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="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 class="textbasic"><img width="116" height="173" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/116/height/173/42534_quigley.rev.1454387389.jpeg" class="lw_image lw_image42534 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/116/height/173/42534_quigley.rev.1454387389.jpeg 2x" data-max-w="232" data-max-h="346"/>Carroll Quigley, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Civilizations-Carroll-Quigley/dp/0913966576">The Evolution of Civilizations</a></em> (first published 1961).</p><p class="textbasic"> In this far-ranging historical analysis, Quigley traces the life-cycle of great civilizations. Quigley’s magisterial work provides students of international business with the perspective to realize that global flows of goods, people, and ideas have been a driving force in human history for thousands of years.</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 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="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><img width="120" height="179" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/120/height/179/15265_benfranklin.rev.1454361748.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image15265 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/12/width/120/height/179/15265_benfranklin.rev.1454361748.jpg 2x" data-max-w="319" data-max-h="475"/>Walter Isaacson, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Benjamin-Franklin-American-Walter-Isaacson/dp/074325807X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351776110&sr=1-2&keywords=ben+franklin" target="_blank">Benjamin Franklin: An American Life</a></em> (Simon & Schuster, 2004).</p><p> Inventor, diplomat, statesman, scientist, Founding Father–and entrepreneur. Benjamin Franklin helped invent the quintessentially American notion of the entrepreneur, the enterprising individual who recognizes opportunities, takes risks, and earns great success.</p><p> Isaacson traces Franklin’s story from his start as a printer’s apprentice to his success as a publisher and journalist, to his even greater public career in diplomacy and the American founding. He shows that while Franklin may have ended up a distinguished statesman and beloved figure, he kept to the end his entrepreneurial interest in new ideas, new opportunities, and new enterprises.</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>  </p><p><img width="183" height="276" alt="Akerloff and Shiller, Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/183/height/276/82263_phishing_for_phools.rev.1543594805.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image82263 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="183" data-max-h="276"/>George A. Akerlof  and Robert J. Shiller, <em><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Phishing-Phools-Economics-Manipulation-Deception/dp/1522635009" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception</a> </em>(Princeton University Press, 2015). Akerlof and Shiller, two Nobel laureates in Economics, challenge the central tenet of capitalist thought—that free markets tend toward optimal outcomes. Classical economic theory assumes that buyers and sellers have ‘perfect’ information.</p><p> But, drawing on the behavioral economics revolution, Akerlof and Shiller argue that markets are filled with traps for unwary consumers.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p> Gerald Posner, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Bankers-History-Money-Vatican/dp/1416576576?ie=UTF8&qid=&ref_=tmm_hrd_swatch_0&sr=" target="_blank">God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican</a> (Simon & Schuster, 2015).</p><p><img width="140" height="211" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/140/height/211/62228_godsbankers.rev.1463670349.gif" class="lw_image lw_image62228 lw_align_left" data-max-w="140" data-max-h="211"/>Noted investigative journalist Gerald Posner explores the complex and Byzantine financial workings of the Roman Catholic Church over the past two centuries. “A fast-paced read that brings history alive on every page” (Booklist).</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><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="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><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.


  • In the art studio

    A new minor in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship supports students in the creative arts disciplines.

  • Students at work in the Brown Advisory Investing Lab.
    Thanks to a $1 million grant, WC’s Department of Business Management will create the Warehime Fund for Student Excellence in Business, allowing new opportunities for student research, entrepreneurship, professional networking, and other initiatives.
  • 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.

[The Daly News: More Department doings]