Training the future of Business in Heritage Management
We talk so easily about ‘global business’ these days that it is easy for us to forget that all business is a social activity that takes place somewhere. Executives and managers who know something beyond the surface facts of the ‘somewhere’ in which they conduct business have an advantage: they know the social context in which they are operating. In the Bentley MBA programme, our emphasis on understanding social context has led us to some locations that do not immediately spring to mind when one thinks about business today. After all, what does an ancient Greek ritual procession have to do with someone wanting to transact business in Greece? Perhaps not much directly, but understanding how that procession reflects the components of society deemed important can alert an executive to pay attention to those social components today. Understanding how the procession connected communities underscores the networks that are activated now. Realising that the past is part of the present community’s composition heightens sensitivity to relationships that can make business move more easily … or that can stall the best intentions.
Bentley students in the thick of it! Thinking of the role of Heritage in Business and the role of Business in Heritage.
So we at Bentley were thrilled to be able to work with the Heritage Management Organization, an organisation that understands the place heritage has in today’s world. Dr. Girtzi, who guided us in role-playing and in imagining a colourful past, was outstanding in her ability to motivate some occasionally skeptical MBA students. HMO staff led spirited discussions on the connections between heritage and business–what only seems old, but is ever-present, and what we tend to consider ever-new, but is really based on good old human relations. Our students, who average around 8 years of work experience and who come from 19 different countries, were energised and excited by this different way of looking at the world. We are grateful for the Initiative’s help and look forward to working with them in the near future.
David Schwarzkopf and Marcus Aurelius in ancient Eleusis
David Schwarzkopf is Associate Professor, Accountancy, Bentley University and Visiting Professor, Reykjavik University. He has studied at Harvard, Bentley, Connecticut and the Jennedy School of Government. David is the current director of the MBA Programme at Bentley.