BUS 682: SEMINAR ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY San Francisco State University Ed Sorensen Spring 2016 E-mail: [email protected] Office: Bus 203f Office Hours: MW 8-9 a.m., 6-7 p.m.; W 12-1 p.m.; and by appointment. COURSE DESCRIPTION This is a seminar course which explores the evolution of firms and their representatives within the context of the economic, political, legal, ethical, and social environment in which firms operate. We do this by investigating the actual behavior of firms and their stakeholders in case studies and student presentations. The case studies will focus on decision-making within a firm and managerial strategies for dealing with the environmental factors listed above. In addition to case study analysis, student teams will engage in debates focused on topics that affect business decision-making when the environmental factors that influence the firm are altered. Except for periodic brief lectures, the instructor's role in this process is limited. I will act as a facilitator of class discussion and as a moderator of class presentations. Significant student participation in this process is actively encouraged. As a seminar course, class size is kept relatively small to allow every student the opportunity to engage in this process. COURSE OBJECTIVES The primary objective is to develop each student’s decision-making skills to enable you as a manager to effectively identify and respond to complex and changing environmental and social challenges facing businesses. The use of the Socratic Method in our case study analysis will also enable you to improve your communications and critical thinking skills. This course will also help students to broaden their awareness of the role of business in society and to develop ethical principles as they relate to the decision-making of the firm and apply these principles to student presentations and to the case studies we will review. STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES Students who successfully complete this course will be able to: 1. Read a business case study and identify the key environmental factors that influenced that firm’s decision making process. 2. Apply both stakeholder and market capitalism theories of firm behavior to their analysis of a business’ actual behavior. 3. Analyze the ethical behavior of a firm when confronted with a change in the environmental forces that influence that firm. 4 Develop and defend a business related topic in a debate format.
5. Research and develop a paper related to their debate topic. 6. Work effectively in a team with respect to the oral and written presentation of a debate topic.
PREREQUISITE COURSES Management 405 and Business 300, with a grade of ‘C-‘or better. Students will not be allowed to take these courses concurrently with Business 682.
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