Robert A. Snyder of Northern Kentucky University recently won the first Ruane National Prize for Innovation in Business Education for his article, “Let’s Burn Them All: Reflections on the Learning-Inhibitory Nature of Introduction to Management and Introduction to Organizational Behavior Textbooks,” which was published in the October 2014 issue of Journal of Management Education. Dr. Snyder also has a forthcoming book, The Social Cognitive Neuroscience of Leading Organizational Change, which will be released on March 12, 2016 by Taylor & Francis/Routledge.
The abstract for the award-winning article:
This essay provides evidence from the neurosciences that standard Introduction to Management and Introduction to Organizational Behavior textbooks may inhibit, rather than facilitate, learning of the basic concepts and the rudimentary knowledge-basis that underlie the complex skills business students should learn in subsequent coursework and that they must hone in practice as future managers. Specific introductory textbook limitations that are addressed include the following: (a) the nearly total absence of neuroscience findings that have important relevance and application to management and organizational behavior; (b) the ineffective manner in which theories are presented; (c) the use of idiosyncratic, academically derived, or simply spot-invented language; (d) the nonengaging manner in which information (generally speaking) is presented; and (e) the question of whether such textbooks are being read, much less studied. Based on my recent, joyous experience in not using such textbooks, I propose, for readers’ possible consideration, an alternative (hyperlink) practice that is (a) fully compatible with recent neuroscience research on management, learning, and information retention/retrieval and (b) likely to dramatically increase student engagement with assigned readings in Introduction to Management and Introduction to Organizational Behavior courses and their ability to retrieve content and apply it during class discussions.
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