The Accounting Historians Journal
Vol. 9, No. 1
David D. Van Fleet TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
Daniel A. Wren UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA
HISTORY IN TODAY'S BUSINESS SCHOOL
Abstract: Members of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business were surveyed to determine to what extent the history of various business school subjects (accounting, economics, management, etc.) was a part of today's curricula. Findings indicated widespread teaching of history and the feeling that more should be done. However, the findings also indicate that much of the current teaching is not being done in separate courses by professional historians or even those interested in history. Implications for curricula development are discussed.
One authority has stated, "There is a growing recognition that a discipline which aspires to be a 'profession' must include its intel-lectual heritage [i.e., its history] as part of the educational process." Is this true for business, management, and related disciplines? In discussions over the past several years, it has become evident that most of us have little precise knowledge about what business schools are or are not teaching by way of history. In an effort to determine the extent to which the history of a discipline (account-ing, business, management, etc.) is a part of today's curricula, a survey was conducted of all member institutions of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). To provide some comparative information, members of the Business History Conference were also surveyed. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of that survey.
The questionnaire was kept simple. It asked only a few questions since it was designed as a first effort to get an overall view rather than an indepth probing of the situation. The basic questions asked included the following:
1. Is history, in some form, part of the program at your school?
2. How is the history taught in your program?