Get your popcorn ready: RU professor teaches management skills through movies

Danylle Kunkel

Danylle Kunkel, assistant professor of management.

What can watching movies teach you about management skills?

Plenty, says Danylle Kunkel, assistant professor of management at Radford University.

This fall, Kunkel is teaching Management in the Movies, or Management 105, a class, the professor says, that is designed to introduce fundamental management concepts such as conflict management, structured problem solving, diversity, ethical dilemmas, employee need theory, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards, leadership and motivation, and organizational change.

A movie or multiple movie segments will be viewed in class to introduce and reinforce conceptual presentations and readings.

That’s right: students enrolled in the class get to watch movies in class, 13 movies, to be exact.

So, what’s on the syllabus marquee for the semester?

One of the movies Kunkel will be showing her class is the 2012 hit "Pitch Perfect," which centers on a college a cappella group.

"We'll watch 'Pitch Perfect' and focus on how teams come together and the struggles teams go through. That really comes alive in this movie," Kunkel explains. "The characters in the movie play out the theory perfectly because they have a lot of struggles trying to come together and work together. Finally, they get to a point where they can work together and produce, and it lays out perfectly the theories we're studying."

Other titles scheduled for class review are “The Proposal,” for a look into ethics and ethical theories, and the animated Disney movie “Monsters, Inc.” to examine theories in organizational culture, Kunkel notes.

The class is open to all RU students regardless of major or class year. "One of the things I really love about this course is you do not have to be a management major," Kunkel says. "Business courses go along with any degree you're pursuing. If you're taking art, if you're taking design or criminal justice, you can benefit from taking businesses courses."

To learn more about the class, contact Kunkel at 831-2456 or

Learn more about Radford University at

Aug 26, 2013
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7761