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Dr. Frances Bowen

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2008/02/11 - 3:29pm.
  • Faculty: Haskayne School of Business

Teaching Awards

Great teachers involve their students meaningfully in the course. How do you engage your students?

My main aim is to equip students to ask good questions. There is an enormous amount of information available to business decision-makers, accompanied by a wide range of popular management tools designed to facilitate the business decision process. However, separating valuable foreground information from background noise is a cognitively difficult task, and slavishly applying decision-making frameworks is often doomed to failure. I challenge my students to take neither the information available nor the established decision-making frameworks at face value. Instead my classes encourage students to ask critical questions of both data sources and theory. Questioning the reliability, bias and salience of information sources can provide a better basis on which to make sound business decisions. More importantly, questioning the derivation, applicability and generalisability of decision-making frameworks helps students understand their limitations as well as their strengths. In this way, students can move beyond merely applying popular management tools to discussing the economic, psychological, political or social theories underlying business decisions.