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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9000

What we're reading

  • <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 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="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="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="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> 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="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 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 analyis, Quigley traces the seven-part life-cycle of great civilizations. Prof. Jim Flanagan, who teaches global business, still remembers reading the book as part of Quigley’s “mind-blowing” course at Georgetown University his very first year in college. Quigley, Prof. Flanagan says, still has a lot to teach students today, more than a half-century since the book’s original publication, about history, civilizations, and economics.</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="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="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> 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="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><em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Experience-Economy-Theater-Business/dp/0875848192"><img width="210" height="300" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/12/width/210/height/300/33978_experience-economy.rev.1454379076.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image33978 lw_align_left" data-max-w="210" data-max-h="300"/></a></em></p><p> B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Experience-Economy-Theater-Business/dp/0875848192">The Experience Economy: Work Is Theater & Every Business a Stage</a> (Harvard Business School Press, 1999).</p><p> Terry Scout: Pine and Gilmore’s main point in this classic book is that people want experiences rather than goods and services.  Companies excel by providing compelling experiences for customers.  Apple Stores with the genius bar are an experience.  (They really are. I love to go to an Apple Store.) </p><p><em>Required for BUS 202 Marketing, 2013-14.</em></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>

[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]