Can Poetry Benefit Business Students?

[We’re pleased to welcome Carolyn M. Plump who collaborated with William Van Buskirk for Clare Morgan’s What Poetry Brings to Business.]

While searching for creative ways to reach our students, we came across Clare Morgan’s book, What Poetry Brings to Business. The book has innovative suggestions for how one can use poetry to expand business skills. Although the idea of using poems to enhance business concepts was intriguing, we were unsure whether it would prove useful in actual practice. We were pleasantly surprised by the results. We found students were more actively engaged in the classroom discussions when we introduced poetry. We also found students who typically did not speak during class began offering their opinions when we did poetry exercises. Finally, we found poetry allowed the students to break out of traditional business paradigms and approach solving situations in new ways. We now use poetry in a variety of our classes, including classes on globalization (e.g., to demonstrate how stakeholders looking at a situation can have different points of views and perceptions), ethics (e.g., to demonstrate how different ethical views have validity even if they are not the same as your view), and law (e.g., to demonstrate how contractual terms can be interpreted differently and cases can be distinguished depending on your client’s position). We even flipped the idea by collaborating with our colleagues in the liberal arts department to discuss what business can teach their students. We hope you enjoy our article and find the information useful for your classes. We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

The review, “Roses Are Red, Money is Green: A Resource Review of What Poetry Brings to Business” is available to read for free by clicking here from Journal of Management Education. Don’t want to miss out on all the latest research and reviews from Journal of Management Education? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

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