The live act of business and the culture of realization

Fabian Muniesa


The concept of reality saturates today’s business curriculum. Educational methods that emphasize an experiential approach to business reality, practical training through real cases, or an active realization of business insights have become almost inescapable in contemporary business education. The case method of instruction in business administration, famously developed at the Harvard Business School, stands perhaps as the most widely acknowledged pedagogical vehicle for this sense of the business real. Ethnographic investigation on the practice of the case method demonstrates the pregnancy of a concept of reality that revolves around the idea of the subjective confirmation of a contextualized experience. But it also suggests the paradoxical centrality of a concept of reality as what cannot be realized. An anthropological examination of the problem of the business real thus requires attention to what appears to be a form of anxiety.


business education, case method, ethnography, reality, realization

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14318/hau7.3.019