Inter-disciplinary Research Applied Ethics, Economic History and Social and Moral Psychology by Dr Kleio Akrivou

Dear Colleagues of this University,

I thought it may be worthwhile sharing via our blog the news on an exciting inter-disciplinary research in Henley Business School’s Centre of Social and Organisational Studies (CSOS) in association with the Centre of Economic History of the University.  Specifically on June 17, 2014 I organised an international academic symposium titled “The Challenges of Capitalism for the Common Good”.  The symposium, linking business and applied ethics, economic history and moral/organisational psychology was very successful and stimulated inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional research relations, with 62 academics from Reading, other UK universities, Spain, Austria, France and other European and US universities.  Reading Academics with key part besides myself, were Professors Marc Casson and Joel Felix, and Dr Lucy Newton, while among the prominent international research cutting edge research leaders who gave talks were Professor Agustin Enciso (Spain) and Alisdair Dobie (UK), and Professors Daryl Koehn (Minnesota, USA), Alejo Sison (Spain), and Ron Beadle (UK), and Geoff Moore.

The symposium line of enquiry examined the evolution of ethics and morality from the Aristotelian conception of virtue, prosperity (eudaimonia) and citizenship in the classic Greek network of inter-dependent political communities of city-states (polis), through pre-modern and medieval times in Europe.  The second part of the symposium examined the evolution of ethics and morality of self-interest and rationality in the modern wage labour capitalist economic and social organisation, with a focus on the problem of definition of the common good in economy, society and the firm, and the enquiry on the moral and human psychology which may support virtue ethics within a utilitarian capitalist commercial sphere of exchange and work.

We all loved the insights, the opportunity to share critical informed perspectives and visions for the future, as well as the conversational space allowing shared reflection and research enquiry in the community of participants and the speakers. It was an exciting and very successful event and there is ongoing research synergy now being built across HBS and the Humanities / Social Sciences on this topic. A great thanks to all who contributed and kindly assisted me in the organisation of this conference!

Kleio Akrivou, Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Organisational Behaviour, Henley Business School.

Teaching and Learning in the School of Humanities: The Department of History Introduces the Third-Year Module History Education (HS3HED): Dr Rebecca Rist (School Director of Teaching and Learning) interviews the module convenor, Dr Elizabeth Matthew

1.       Why has the Department of History decided to introduce the third-year module History Education?
The idea for History Education arose from two coincidental events in mid-January 2011.  A message landed in my inbox calling for applications for Faculty of Arts and Humanities ‘Think Space’ funding for curriculum-development projects to enhance student employability.  Earlier the same day I had seen media coverage of league tables ranking secondary schools by the number of students gaining GCSE passes at A*–C in English, maths, two sciences, a classical or modern foreign language, and either geography or history.  With this new EBacc (English Baccalaureate) measure of performance raising the profile of history in schools, the ‘Think Space’ scheme seemed an ideally timed opportunity to consider a new initiative to help some of our students enter careers in history education. Having close links with the Historical Association (the subject association for history at primary and secondary level) as past president of the local branch in Reading and a current member of the HA Council, I was also keen to offer some practical support for history in schools.  I knew that the university’s Chemistry Department already offered its students credit-bearing placements in local schools.  I wanted the History Department to do this too, ahead of any similar moves within BA History programmes at competitor universities in the south of England.

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