The global financial crisis (GFC) has undermined the legitimacy of orthodox neo-classical economic assumptions, which nevertheless continue to frame the philosophical assumptions of teaching in business schools. The purpose of this paper is to make a case in favour of an expansion of the business school curriculum to incorporate behavioural economics. The paper will also contend that behavioural economics can be connected to social economics, as they are both heterodox in this study and analyse economic phenomenon outside of a neo-classical framework. The aim is to contribute to arguments for an expanded curriculum, beyond the framing assumptions of neo-classical rationalism. This paper will also support its case by reviewing behavioural economics to make the case that this literature can be connected to social economics. This assertion is based on shared connections, including the importance of Kantianism in behavioural economics and in social economics. These connections will be discussed as a common point of reference points, or ties that can serve to broker links between these two economic paradigms. Practical implications (if applicable) the GFC presents an opportunity to re-shape the business school curriculum to acknowledge the centrality of socio-economics and behavioural economics, and consequently to offer an alternative to the dominant ontological assumptions – taken from the economic understanding of rationality – that have previously underpinned business school pedagogy.
The paper presents an inter-disciplinary teaching case, which incorporates socio-economic and behavioural economics perspectives. The teaching case concerned a socio-economic understanding of corruption and white-collar crime. It was also inter-disciplinary to include inputs from business history and criminology. The teaching case developed an appreciation among students that corruption, white-collar crime and entrepreneurship can be analysed within a social economics and behavioural economics lens.
The teaching case example discussed an alternative socio-economic and behavioural economics understanding to core areas of the MBA curriculum with the potential to be included in other academic disciplines. This enabled students to apply a behavioural economic approach to white-collar crime. The findings derived from this case study are that behavioural economics has the potential to enhance the teaching of socio-economics.
The originality of this paper is to apply behavioural economics to a socio-economic teaching case, in core subject areas of the MBA curriculum.
The author of this paper has not made their research data set openly available. Any enquiries regarding the data set can be directed to the corresponding author.
Manning, P. (2018), "Behavioural economics and social economics: opportunities for an expanded curriculum", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-04-2018-0225Download as .RIS
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