Putting Art at the Heart of Business Education

What happens when business schools collaborate with creative fields? Students discover new ways to view business problems.
Putting Art at the Heart of Business Education

WHEN WE THINK about interdisciplinary business education, we often first think of pairing business with engineering, medicine, or other STEM fields. But what happens when business schools collaborate with more creative and abstract fields, such as music, art, history, and philosophy? What do these disciplines have to offer business education?

A great deal, say those who are spearheading initiatives to make liberal arts disciplines regular players in the business curriculum. While STEM fields bring technical, analytical, and structural know-how to business solutions, arts based disciplines encourage the appreciation of new perspectives, the ability to explore imagination, and the capacity for emotional intelligence—all qualities receiving more attention in studies of great leadership. Through exposure to the liberal arts, students hone their skills as storytellers, artists, and creative thinkers.

The three schools featured in the stories below have dedicated significant portions of their curricula to the liberal arts. Their objective? To teach students that viewing the world through an artist’s perspective can lead not only to more innovative business solutions, but also to greater appreciation of the complex relationships between one’s actions and society as a whole.

Igniting the Creative Spark

How—and why—Virginia Commonwealth University has put creativity at the heart of its mission.

Educating Artful Leaders

Founded on the idea that leadership and the arts are interconnected, the Bled School infuses creativity throughout its culture and curriculum.

The Art of Seeing Differently

UW–Madison connects business and the humanities to open students’ eyes to a broader perspective of business.

This article originally appeared in BizEd's May/June 2018 issue. Please send questions, comments, or letters to the editor to [email protected].