Learning Objectives and Content of Science Curricula for Undergraduate Management Education, Journal of Management Education, by Fred D. Ledley & Stephen S. Holt


Business is progressively integrating technologies and R&D with corporate and business strategy. This trend is creating increasing demand for executives and managers who have sufficient technology-centered knowledge to work effectively in interdisciplinary environments. This study addresses how management education could address the growing need for such pluralistic training by embracing development of undergraduate science curriculum attuned to the needs of business students. We found that science courses are part of the required curriculum at 80% of BusinessWeek’s “top business schools.” To assess what content and learning objectives might best meet the needs of business students, we conducted a survey of educators from business, science, and arts and sciences in general and examined curriculum developed explicitly for business students at two freestanding business institutions. These results suggest that science courses could better serve business education by providing a broad picture of scientific principles and their presence in everyday life, promoting critical thinking and inductive reasoning, and enabling understanding of scientific research, technical innovation, and product development as well as their ethical and social implications. Development of such courses would require collaboration between management and science educators to ensure that the scientific content of the courses meet the highest standards of evidence-based science education and the business context is grounded in rigorous management principles and practices.

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