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

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What we're reading

  • <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 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 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="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="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 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>
  • <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>
  • <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> 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="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="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="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>
  • <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>

[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]