Course description

This course is based on the premise that case studies using the creative vehicles of literature and film can help managers understand the modern complexities of managerial leadership. We all know that the works of great creative writers and the films of outstanding directors present us with the most subtle, complex, and compelling case studies on human interactions. In this course, students build a bridge between the themes and interactions they find in these works and the actions and situations they perceive within a managerial leadership context. The result is a deeper, fresher, and more nuanced perspective on managerial leadership. Specific managerial topics that students have written on in the past include achieving life/work balance; dealing with inflexible managers; recognizing and overcoming racial, gender, and cultural biases; thinking like an entrepreneur; using effective communication strategies to resolve conflict; creating an inclusive and innovative workplace; overcoming resistance to change; thinking strategically to plan present and future initiatives; developing personal power; and carrying out fragile negotiations. Students are encouraged to share their personal management experiences as they relate to the readings. Films include The Aviator (Martin Scorsese), Gandhi (Richard Attenborough), Shall We Dance? (Masayuki Suo), and Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson), and works of literature including Antigone (Sophocles), Julius Caesar (William Shakespeare), Billy Budd (Herman Melville), In the Penal Colony (Franz Kafka), The Guest (Albert Camus), A Doll's House (Henrik Ibsen), Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe), and The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton).

Instructors

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