What’s politics got to do with it? ‘Power’ as a ‘threshold’ concept for undergraduate business students

Author: Paul D. Williams, Griffith University

Summary:  Politics courses embedded in business and commerce degree programs have soared in number in recent years. Yet how business students, often compulsorily enrolled in politics courses, learn key politics concepts is an under-researched area. The purpose of this article is to determine where the teaching and learning of political science and business intersects. This research reviews the place of the “threshold concept” in student learning, with particular reference to “power” as a political concept. This article advances three arguments: that the study of political institutions involves a series of “threshold” concepts that students must pass over before moving onto a higher plane of understanding; that the teaching of political institutions should span the three key areas of knowledge, attitudes and skills; and that a real understanding of political institutions allows students to regard business figures, in pursuing self-interest, as “political” actors like any other.  

Keywords: Politics, power, business, threshold concept


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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 54_1. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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