(List #99) Are Business Schools (or Business) Happy? 5 Examples of Happiness in the Curriculum

Can you teach happiness to business students?

(List #99) Are Business Schools (or Business) Happy? 5 Examples of Happiness in the Curriculum
Photo by Stan B / Unsplash

I’ve been reading through a lot of sustainability reports written by business schools lately. They are often filled to the brim with pictures of happy looking students and staff. While I don’t doubt that they are indeed happy in those pictures, I wondered whether business education itself is happy, or where happiness comes into business? Luckily, I found a few examples of happiness in the curriculum to share with you all. What do you think?

1. Community of Kindness

The Mason Chooses Kindness Initiative at George Mason University in the US aims to inspire its community to engage in caring and generous behaviours every day. The initiative, introduced by the school’s Centre for the Advancement of Well Being is to create a sustain a kindness revolution across campus. The initiative is based on an extensive (and growing) body of research that reveals a direct correlation between kindness centered corporate cultures and positive business outcomes. See their 30 days of Kindness Calendar, their Kindness Toolkit  and kindness.gmu.edu for more. 

2. Happiness and the Good Life

Norwegian School of Economics, Norway offers an elective course on Happiness and the Good Life: How to make better decisions. The aim of this course is, simply put, to learn strategies and principles for leading a happier life. Based on research from the field of psychology and behavioural economics, students learn how people, organisation and consumers can avoid fallacies, make better decisions and become more content. The course focuses on two main questions: 1) What makes us happy? and 2) What makes organisations and consumers happy? Important topics include psychological bias, nudging, needs and motivation, self-control, habits, time versus money, social identity and status, autonomy, entrepreneurship, health, justice and social responsibility.

3. Success Factor Happiness

Munich Business School in Germany offers an elective on Success Factor Happiness. The course explores different concepts of happiness and subjective wellbeing. They learn to create customer happiness campaigns for brands, make use of simple but effective concepts in order to generate happiness in their work environment, and also to understand what governments can do to make citizens happy. The school also offers an annual “MBS Happiness Evening” to invite all students to engage in the topic.   For more read this article on the course and its lessons.

4. MBA in Happiness

Lisbon Business and Government School in Portugal offers an MBA in Organisational Happiness. The objective of the programme is for students to gain insights into the scientific approach to organizational happiness and its practice application and to understand the multifaceted impact of happiness both on a personal level and within the context of business. The programme explores how to promote a culture at work where it is easy to be happy as well as how to enhance the happiness of each individual employee. 

5.Managing Happiness

At Harvard Business School it is about managing happiness. The course explores what happiness is, what makes one happy and if you can get happier. It uses philosophical and technical insights to challenge assumptions about happiness, helping students to break bad habits that hold them back and to build good ones they can use for the rest of their life. The course is available on edX for anyone to benefit from. 

If this List made you happy, please share it with others.

Last year on this date I shared this:

(List #44) The Arab World
Examples from Egypt, Dubai and Morocco.

Have a very happy week!