Management Education under Scrutiny- Are we Asking the Right Questions? In light of successive financial crises, ethical scandals, and ecological disasters, management education programs seem to have come under pressure for failing to educate responsible citizens who can show practical wisdom beyond mere technical skills. While (undergraduate) business school curricula have been criticized for being too narrow, disconnected and thus lacking a holistic learning model, others have argued that this is just the rhetoric of crisis. This non-the-less points to a much needed ‘Renaissance’ in the field of business education, inspired by other fields such as the Humanities and Liberal Arts. The possible Renaissance was the focus of a 3-days workshop in May this year hosted by the Centre for Work, Organisation and Society at the University of Essex. More than 30 business school scholars from all over Europe and the US had gathered together on this occasion, enjoying the sincere hospitality of the local organizing team but also the distinctively English atmosphere on the vast parkland campus of the University of Essex in Colchester (Britain’s oldest recorded town and former provincial Roman capital). Between Research and Practice The workshop, which was held in the historic and picturesque eighteenth century Wivenhoe House, was an opportunity in particular to discuss the forthcoming Routledge Companion to the Humanities and Social Sciences in Management Education (edited by T. Beyes, M. Parker and C. Steyaert). The companion aims to provide an introduction and overview on how management education can be enriched and re-conceptualized by drawing upon developments from the Humanities and the Social Sciences. It retraces the many external crises that have increasingly confronted Business Schools and the rich debates this has provoked for rethinking the philosophies, programs and practices of management education. Thus, the collection connects research and writing with the practice of education and teaching. The workshop, sponsored by the Haniel Foundation, was an opportunity as well to discuss many work-in-progress chapter-drafts of the companion, with topics ranging from ‘Educational Philosophies’, ‘Creative and Critical Tensions’, ‘Pedagogical Principles’, ‘New Classroom/ Learning Practices’, and ‘Future Directions in Management Education’. Despite this wide range of topics, the tenor of the chapters was clear: To foster an integrated vision of undergraduate education. That means that chapter authors and discussants emphasized important historical and philosophical antecedents, from Martin Heidegger, to Cornelius Castoriadis, from John Dewey to Jacques Rancière. Others underscored innovative educational and pedagogical principles by sharing some of their experiential classroom practices. Thereby, they gave examples of management education programs which systematically try to combine liberal learning and practical preparation for business. Challenging Questions Keynote speaker Tara Fenwick from the University of Sterling moreover emphasized that it is not only a matter of ‘what texts we read’, but also about ‘what questions we ask’. As a result, a number of interesting questions were raised during the workshop: - How can we cultivate a scholarly attitude? - How can we situate criticality within management teaching? - How can we avoid using the arts/ humanities in a functionalistic/ ‘smash and grab’ fashion? - What could a Critical Posthuman Pedagogy look like? - How can we better include aesthetic practices and sensory experiences in the classroom? - Is this an attempt of turning business education into general studies? - Are we even asking the right questions? Momentum for Movement On the last day of the workshop, first ideas were also raised on how to further collaborate on this theme and how to push the agenda for better integrating Humanities and Social Sciences into business education. This included ideas of creating a ‘manifesto’, something like a ‘Carnegie Report for Europe’, an accreditation system for contextual studies, and the inclusion of people from politics and the business side into the ongoing discussions. As one of the workshop participants noted, “this project has legs”, and there was much agreement that there is huge potential for these discussions to catch even more fire and to spread out quickly all over Europe. To be sure, the initiators of this workshop and some of its participants (and maybe several new ones?) are planning to reconvene on this topic next year in Barcelona for more affirmative action. How it all started The initiative for the Routledge Companion and the related workshop was triggered by some ongoing discussions around the publication of the so called “Carnegie Report”, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession, in 2011. Using the metaphor of a double helix for an undergraduate business curriculum that links students’ learning in business to their learning in the various arts and sciences disciplines, the authors of the Carnegie Report compared several U.S. undergraduate business programs and recommended that a strong liberal education should be part of every business major. Furthermore, it underscored the use of active pedagogies of engagement, the enabling of business students to grapple successfully with ambiguity and uncertainty, and systematic approaches to curricula-design. The report generated a wide reception, ultimately leading to a series of workshops in the U.S. and the formation of the Aspen Undergraduate Business Education Consortium. Beginning with 20 institutions, the consortium has subsequently doubled in size, now including members as well from Europe and from Asia. In Europe, roundtables and conferences were held for instance at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and the University of St. Gallen (HSG). All this has resulted in the preparation for the above mentioned Routledge Companion and the formation of a broader community of practice.