Business: Top 5 Business Films

I always find that a good way to get student to really understand some of the business concepts in practice is to show clips from films – these help the students to relate the theory that they have learnt to practice in the film. Also, some of the films I have identified below are related to businesses/products that they will identify with and use on a daily basis.

I have included the trailers for each below and also what the film is about and topics it can be used for.

1. The Social Network (trailer)

This is an amazing film and a great teaching aid – for both AS start up enterprise and also A2 Unit 4 growth, ethics & the student’s research of real businesses.

Lets face it, many of our students will be ‘addicted’ to facebook and will know a little about the owner- but not how it started and the ideas of how it began.

Its also excellent to demonstrate the rapid growth of the company.

2. Rogue Trader (trailer)

Again this is an excellent film to use when studying Unit 3 window dressing, income statements – or finance in general.

It’s also an excellent example for ethics when looking at Unit 4. Based on a true story, Nick Leeson, is an employee of Barings Bank who after a successful spell working for the firm’s office in Indonesia is sent to Singapore as General Manager of the Trading Floor on the SIMEX exchange.

The movie follows Leeson’s rise as he soon becomes one of Barings’ key traders. However, everything isn’t as it appears —Nick is hiding huge losses as he gambles away Baring’s money with little more than the bat of an eyelid from the powers-that-be back in London.

3. Wall Street [1987 original] (trailer)

This is a great one! The original is the best, and this film from the 1980’s is based on a young and impatient stockbroker who is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.

This could be used well for finance in Unit 2 & 3, as well as looking at the human resource and ethical side of how greedy he was to succeed!

4. Pirates of Silicon Valley (trailer)

Even though a new film is currently being made about Steve Jobs, this film documents the impact on the development of the personal computer of the rivalry between Apple Computer and Microsoft.

It spans the time period of the early 1970s to 1997, when Steve Jobs and Bill Gates develop a partnership after Jobs returns to Apple Computer. Fantastic for looking at technology in Units 2 & 3 and also for leadership & culture studied in unit 4.

5. Glengarry Glen Ross (trailer)

The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a trainer to “motivate” them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired.

Good for looking at motivation, human resources and ethics, again for units 2, 3 & 4.

 Donna Jestin


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