Holistic approach may reduce materialism of business students

July 25, 2013

A University of Windsor researcher has found that teaching business students a more holistic approach to management theory rather than focusing on maximizing profits improves their critical thinking skills and makes them less likely to be materialistic and individualistic. Kent Walker, an assistant professor in the Odette School of Business’ strategy area, followed more than 230 students who were enrolled in a semester-long introductory management course. One group was taught the standard approach to management, and a second learned under a ‘multi-stream’ approach “that acknowledges that financial performance is important, but also accounts for the emotional, psychological, spiritual, ecological, and physical health of corporations, their employees, and other stakeholders.” Walker found that the second group had lower scores on measures for materialism and individualism, which “could have significant policy implications for business schools, where concerns have been expressed about notable increases in individualism and materialism among students as they move through their programs.”  uWindsor News Release