North American business schools tend to focus on the external world: understanding supply chains, human resources, accounting, and other factors that guide a company.
But the academic overseeing CityU in Canada’s school of management, Tom Culham, also wants students to become conscious of their inner world.
So in the bachelor of arts in management, a.k.a. the BAM, the first course is ethics. And 50 percent of that is devoted to self-awareness.
“The most important thing to know first is, ‘What are your personal values?’ ” Culham explains. “Then, when you’re faced with an ethical issue, you’re not asking ‘Does it cost too much?’ You’re asking ‘Is it in alignment with my values? Is it in alignment with the organization’s values?’ ”
Culham is the author of Ethics Education of Business Leaders: Emotional Intelligence, Virtues, and Contemplative Learning. Based on his PhD thesis, it synthesizes Asian and western philosophies with neuroscience, psychology, and education to advance understanding of how ethical conduct can be cultivated to promote emotional intelligence.
He says at CityU in Canada’s school of management, students are encouraged to become “scientists of themselves”.
This is accomplished by observing their own state of mind, learning about emotional self-regulation, and understanding how they experience interactions with other people.
The BAM program places a heavy emphasis on sustainability and ethics.
“The other thing that we’re trying to do in this program is help people connect with each other,” Culham adds.
Prospective students can leverage credits from two-year college or technical-institute programs toward the 180 credits required to obtain a CityU in Canada BAM.
It’s also possible to apply credits from up to two years of undergraduate university education, enabling students to obtain this business degree in just two years.
Culham says that CityU in Canada will accept up to 25 students into the BAM program beginning in October.
It’s ideally suited to those who have moved into management at a company or nonprofit organization or in the public sector and who want a business degree to round out their skill set.
“There is this sense that when you come here, you’re part of a family,” he states. “We’re going to care for you. If something is going wrong with your life and it’s interfering with your education, we have some flexibility around that.
“Obviously, we have standards,” Culham continues. “They have to pass. But it is a welcoming place. It is a friendly place.”
He also says that CityU in Canada’s goal is to put the community first by helping people engage with one another.
To that end, the university hosts Sustainable Series talks at its Vancouver campus.
On September 19, former tech CEO and business coach Staffan Rydin will give a presentation called “Conscious Leadership: Personal Transformation for the Sustainable Economy”. Rydin, a former student of Zen Buddhism and former professional poker player, taught the first Canadian university course on conscious leadership at UBC.
He will be followed on October 24 by Neil Pegram, Vancouver-based director of Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark Canada. It assesses the environmental, social, and governance performance of real-estate portfolios.More