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="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> 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><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="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>
  • <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 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="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="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="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> 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="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="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="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><img width="183" height="275" alt="Navarro, What Everybody Is Saying" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/183/height/275/82264_Navarro_what_everybody_is_saying.rev.1543595741.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image82264 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="332" data-max-h="499"/>Joe Navarro, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/What-Every-Body-Saying-Speed-Reading/dp/0061438294" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">What Everybody is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People</a> (William Morrow, 2008). Why would accounting professor Lansing Williams recommend a book on how to read people’s body language and nonverbal cues?</p><p> “Because accounting isn’t just bookkeeping. Anytime you’re certifying—and putting your name on—other people’s financial statements, you’re putting your credibility and ethics on the line. You need to be able to read people, not just documents.”</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.


  • Emma Silber ’19
    A business management major who serves as vice president of Washington College’s chapter of the American Marketing Association has been tapped to receive a 2018 Sigma Beta Delta (SBD) Fellowship Award.
  • 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.

[The Daly News: More Department doings]