Can listening to Beethoven make you a better boss? Is a business more likely to survive in the marketplace if its manager has a familiarity with the works of Charles Darwin? David Bach thinks it just might. Mr. Bach, the dean of programs at the IE Business School, in Madrid, is an architect of a pioneering new collaboration between IE and Brown University that is offering a liberal arts and management executive M.B.A.

“Certainly managers need technical skills,” said Mr. Bach, who worked for many years at the consulting firm McKinsey and teaches courses on strategy and the intersection between business and government. “But that’s just not going to be enough if they want to be leading corporations in the future.”

Instead, students will be offered a curriculum in which two-thirds of the courses will cover the core M.B.A. material, while a third will be devoted to areas “beyond business” taught by faculty from Brown, which is in Providence, Rhode Island.

A course on health, ethics and society will encourage students — many of whom will be mid-career executives — to use the tools of social and cultural anthropology to understand how societies allocate resources and calculate risks. Another module on culture, politics and the arts involves a case study of the West-East Divan Orchestra, an ensemble founded by the conductor Daniel Barenboim and the writer Edward Said where young Arab and Jewish musicians perform together, allowing students to combine “cultural, political, and aesthetic analysis with an engagement with the business world of the arts.”

Continue reading: The New York Times


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