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Business Schools Need to Emphasize Their Great Books



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On the NAS site, I discuss the mediocre quality of business textbooks and argue for professors to adopt a business version of Great Books. 

Today’s business textbooks are chock full of PC shenanigans and racial bean-counting, but beyond those issues, the content in such texts is shoddy at best.

To support my stance, I cite an excerpt of a section on “managing morale during a layoff” from a popular human-resource-management text:

Windy City Fieldhouse is a company that organizes team-building events, some of which are specifically designed to boost morale following a layoff.  For example, to build camaraderie and trust among layoff survivors who may be experiencing guilt, the company might use a competitive game called Puzzling Planks. The exercise is a team competition involving a pile of boards that fit together to make three- dimensional figures. The point of the exercise is to get people to again feel their contributions are important and that they are a part of a team and an organization. Other team- building exercises organized by Windy City Fieldhouse might involve more physical exercises, such as obstacle courses.

In addition to such organized events, there are simple suggestions that can help you create a more fun, upbeat, and energetic climate among layoff survivors.  For example, host a simple end-of-the-week breakfast — bagels, cream cheese, juice, and coffee should do it. Arrange for a pot-luck luncheon or picnic. Hold a monthly raffle in which a drawing is held for a product, gift certificate, or an afternoon off! Add some games, such as guessing the number of pennies in a jar. The point is to infuse some energy and fun into a workplace that may be suffering from a layoff and to send a message to survivors that management cares about and recognizes them.

Have the people involved with publishing these two paragraphs ever been involved with a layoff?



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