Decolonising the Curriculum: Insights from the Golden Age of Black Business

24 09 2020

The events of the last six months, which include the ‘Black Lives Matter moment’, have encouraged a renewed emphasis on equality and justice issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. The need to decolonise the curriculum of management schools has been discussed extensively in this context. In the past, I have argued that eliminating the vestiges of colonialism from our thinking can allow us to make better decisions, particularly in a business context..

In October, my department will welcome two guest speakers from the United States, Leon Prieto and Simone Phipps, who will talk about their efforts to decolonise management research and teaching and to engage more effectively with African-American management learners. We believe that their presentation will be of interest to staff in the SIBE group, across the management school, and indeed the wider university community.  A recent online presentation by Professors Prieto and Phipps to the Academy of Management attracted considerable interest and was well attended. Their recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review has prompted online debate.

I’m very proud to have helped to organise this talk.

Decolonising the Curriculum: Insights from the Golden Age of Black Business

Leon Prieto (Associate Professor of Management, Clayton State University/ Associate Research Fellow Judge Business School, University of Cambridge) and Simone Phipps (Associate Professor of Management, Middle Georgia State University/ Associate Research Fellow Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)

Black entrepreneurs, managers, and management thought leaders are generally conspicuously absent from management research, omitted, not because they did not contribute, but because they and their contributions have been ignored or overlooked. In this era of Black Lives Matter, the decolonisation of the management curriculum is even more pertinent as it relates to the acknowledgment that Black lives and minds do matter, and should be prominently featured in business education. This session explores the contributions of two of the many Black management thought leaders and practitioners, namely Charles Clinton Spaulding (President of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company) and Maggie Lena Walker (President of St. Luke Penny Savings Bank). Also, the link between decolonisation of the curriculum (including teaching about Black managers and entrepreneurs) and student inspiration will be discussed. Finally, the session will include practical ways to decolonise and revolutionise the curriculum to make it more diverse and inclusive.  


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