"I think that it is very important for business school students to be aware of what is happening in politics—both within the United States and abroad," Kafka says. "It is especially important for us to understand how business and politics intersect and how business decisions can affect society."
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"There are students who are talking about Occupy Wall Street and there is certainly a diversity of opinion about the movement and the underlying sense of inequality it stems from," she says. "While politics aren't on the top of everyone's agenda here, there are a lot of students who are very engaged in these topics." She adds that an elective course on modern political economy at Columbia Business School is very popular.
Bonnie Hagemann, chief executive officer at the Oklahoma City-based firm, Executive Development Associates, says there are two reasons future executives need to be well versed in politics: gaining an appreciation for the ways policies will impact their organizations and being able to discuss what is going on in the world.
"At the same time, it is imperative that these future executives can engagingly discuss politics without getting on their own personal soapbox or [pushing] their political agenda," she says. "It's an art, but politics can be discussed from a curious observer standpoint rather than a critical standpoint."
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