Insight Into Liberal Arts Education in Business Schools: a Literature Review

5283 Words Mar 17th, 2012 22 Pages
Insight Into Liberal Arts Education in
Business Schools: A Literature Review

BUSI 610

December 17, 2011


This literature review directly addresses the growing debate as to the integration of liberal arts studies into a business degree program. This paper will look at the historical context that the debate has followed as well as outline major factors of the debate and how they relate to each other. Finally, based on these literary finding, suggestions will be made as to the advancement of research regarding the topic as well as future areas of exploration.

Insight Into Liberal Arts Education in
Business Schools: A Literature Review

Introduction Liberal arts is best defined as an the collegiate education
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While there was a strong correlation between the benefitted success of students and a strong liberal arts education, colleges were being flooded with students and professors were settling into the comfort of an easier curriculum (Jones, 1986). The thoughts and writings of scholars and theorists on the future, such as Mitroff’s writing (1987) discussing the corporate environment and rethinking the focus and direction of the environment of the times or Naisbitt’s book (1982) discussing individualism’s effects on the future of global development, changed the perspective of educators worldwide. After these writings, the educational field began to see a need to review the effectiveness of their liberal arts programs. This was coupled with an increasing concern into the communication and critical thinking skills of business graduates (Porter & McKibbin, 1988). This resurgence, since the release of the Ford Foundation in the 1950’s study, in into the topic of liberal arts was on the rise. In 1989, Stark and Lowther released a study on the liberal arts in the field of business and showed that there was a high level of graduates who were not able to comprehend information on a critical level, make ethical decisions when facing an issue, or relate to others both on a cultural and emotional level. Facing growing concern over the outcome of business students in higher education, universities began to once again view the liberal arts as a

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