To MBA or Not To MBA?
Warwick Business School Turns To Shakespeare To Help Its MBAs
Full-time MBA students at Warwick Business School can add an unlikely name to the list of world-leading thinkers they can expect to learn from in their time at the School: William Shakespeare.
As well as becoming fully acquainted with innovative management techniques, MBA students at Warwick will also take lessons from the pages of the English language’s greatest playwright.
While the Elizabethan scribe may have died in 1603, academics and educationalists at Warwick believe that he still has much to teach today’s MBA graduates.
The Bard’s words alone can teach MBA graduates a great deal. From the pages of Macbeth, they might learn how to tell a good business pitch from a “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”, or be reminded of the value of quick and decisive action (“if it is done, ‘tis best it is done quickly”)
The pages of Hamlet might be a primer for budding traders, letting them know when it is better to “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and when it just time to sell, sell, sell? Or perhaps, they might reflect after reading King Lear not on “how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child” but on how deadly a thankless customer can be to a product’s success.
They could even, over a copy of A Winter’s Tale, muse on how likely it is that a declining company may well “exit, pursued by a bear” market. But there’s more to Warwick’s full-time MBA programme, which admits 60 to 70 students each year, than the simple application of Shakespearean quotations to today’s business problems.
The sessions take place at the CAPITAL (Creativity and Performance in Teaching and Learning) Centre, a joint venture between Warwick University and the Royal Shakespeare Company, which uses theater workshop techniques to help students understand and best utilize their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Through acting, they learn teamwork, sociability, self-esteem, and self-management. Professor Mark Taylor, the Business School’s Dean, says, “Engagement with the Arts is a way of nurturing the creative impulse that is within every one of our students in order to help them become outstanding business leaders.”