Business Education and the Liberal Arts: A Rhetorical Approach

Joseph W. McDonnell

in The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780195390483
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Business Education and the Liberal Arts: A Rhetorical Approach

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  • Organizational Psychology
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This chapter explores the connection between liberal and professional education. It suggests ways to infuse broader learning objectives into business curricula as a foundation for lifelong learning and practice. Drawing on the liberal art of rhetoric, the chapter shows the use of Plato’s dialogue, the Gorgias, in an MBA class as a case study on ethical leadership. Rhetoric teaches leaders to listen and adjust to various constituencies and to develop pragmatic and persuasive policies that benefit both the organization and the community. Through such pedagogical methods and content, business schools can raise larger issues and provide students with ways to think critically, assisting the next generation of business executives to develop their moral characters and align their behaviors and decisions with justice rather than personal advantage.

Keywords: liberal arts; business education; ethical leadership; Plato; rhetoric

Article.  6956 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology ; Educational Psychology

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