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Learning from popular culture in management education
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Accounting and Finance.
(Allmänna Ord)
2007 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper describes and analyses an instance to use popular culture in management education. The background is a concern that management textbooks typically describe business as dominated by rational decision-making. In the textbooks, people are either subsumed under abstract categories or left out altogether. If educators rely exclusively on these books, management education might provide students with a biased view on what management is all about.

When designing a master course titled “Family Business Development”, we therefore decided to use a film, “The Inheritance” directed by Per Fly in 2003, during the course introduction. “The Inheritance” is a film about a young Danish man who takes over the management of the family business, which is in danger of bankruptcy. We chose this film because it is one of few commercial films that includes many scenes laid in a business context. Furthermore, the director expresses an ambition to depict the situation as the leading character would understand it. With this film, we argued, we will start out the course by making clear that business development is about human interaction. Furthermore, the film is clearly related to succession problems, which often are considered a main challenge in family owned or managed businesses. As suggested by previous research, popular culture provides a means for research (Czarniawska, 2004; Kjellander, Nordqvist and Welter, 2007) as well as for education (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2004; Mallinger and Rossy, 2003; Scherer and Baker, 1999) through which practices could be understood. This film would give students and lecturers a chance to follow processes and relations which real life actors might be hesitant or unable to describe and discuss, we reasoned.

After the film, the class discussed the challenges that the main character faced in his role as a newly appointed managing director. We also had a short discussion about the dramaturgical methods when describing the business.

The objective of this paper is to address some problems of using popular movies in general, and this film in particular, in management education and thereby contribute to the discussion about films and education (e.g., Huczynski and Buchanan, 2004; Mallinger and Rossy, 2003; Scherer and Baker, 1999). Was this course introduction a good way to address the problems mentioned above? Or did we just provide the students with another possibly misleading image of a business? Drawing on three focus group interviews with students and practicioners with experience from family business settings, we will relate our pedagogical purpose of using the film to the conclusions that students and the family business actors draw from watching the film.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007.
Keywords [en]
Management education
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-3132OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-3132DiVA, id: diva2:33952
Conference
Nordic Academy Management Conference
Available from: 2008-07-08 Created: 2008-07-08 Last updated: 2016-10-28Bibliographically approved

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Florin Samuelsson, Emilia

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
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  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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