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Credit- Degree applicable
Effective Quarter: Fall 2018

I. Catalog Information

BUS 21
Business and Society
5 Unit(s)

 

(See general education pages for the requirement this course meets.)

Requisites: Advisory: EWRT 1A or EWRT 1AH or ESL 5.

Hours: Lec Hrs: 60.00
Out of Class Hrs: 120.00
Total Student Learning Hrs: 180.00

Description: An introduction to the study of the interactions and interdependencies between business, government and society. The course will examine many individual cases of conflict between business and society, both current and historical, and will guide students to explore the lessons these cases hold for current and future business managers.


Student Learning Outcome Statements (SLO)

 

• Student Learning Outcome: Recognize the essential vocabulary of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, and business lobbying, be able to match that vocabulary with its definitions, and be able to employ that vocabulary correctly in a written composition.


 

• Student Learning Outcome: Discuss and evaluate the meaning of business ethics, the major sources of ethical values in business, business ethics in other cultures, and factors that influence managerial ethics.


 

• Student Learning Outcome: Examine and assess the role of government in regulating business, the history of government regulation of business from the Industrial Revolution to the present, and the influence of business on the political process.


II. Course Objectives

A.Analyze and assess two to four of the major alternative frameworks or models for studying, evaluating, or analyzing the interactions between business, government, and society.
B.Evaluate the nature and management of corporate social responsibility.
C.Evaluate the meaning of business ethics, the major sources of ethical values in business, business ethics in other cultures, and factors that influence managerial ethics.
D.Examine and assess the role of government in regulating business, the history of government regulation of business from the Industrial Revolution to the present, and the influence of business on the political process.
E.Examine and discuss the nature of globalization, the value of international trade, and the impact of the rise of the World Trade Organization on business and society, the nature of multinational corporations, and their positive and negative impacts on society.
F.Examine and discuss the impact of business on the natural environment, and the ways that societies and governments can and have attempted to mitigate that impact.
G.Examine and assess current government regulations protecting consumers, and their origins and purpose.
H.Examine and discuss the history of the civil rights movement in America, the struggle for equal treatment of women in the workplace, and the management of diversity in the workplace.

III. Essential Student Materials

 None

IV. Essential College Facilities

 None

V. Expanded Description: Content and Form

A.Analyze and assess two to four of the major alternative frameworks or models for studying, evaluating, or analyzing the interactions between business, government, and society.
1.Introduction to the field.
a.What is the Business-Government-Society (BGS) field?
b.Why is the BGS field important to managers?
c.Several alternative models of the BGS relationship.
2.The dynamic business environment.
a.Underlying historical forces changing the business environment.
b.Volatility in the business environment.
c.The key environments of business.
3.Business power.
a.The nature of business power.
b.Levels and spheres of corporate power.
c.Perspectives on business power.
4.Critics of business.
a.Origins of critical attitudes toward business.
b.Current criticisms of business.
B.Evaluate the nature and management of corporate social responsibility.
1.Corporate social responsibility.
a.The evolving idea of corporate social responsibility.
b.The current concept of global citizenship.
2.Implementing corporate social responsibility.
a.Pressures on corporations for undertaking social programs.
b.Managing society's response to the corporation's actions.
c.Socially responsible investing.
C.Evaluate the meaning of business ethics, the major sources of ethical values in business, business ethics in other cultures, and factors that influence managerial ethics.
1.Introduction.
2.Two theories of business ethics.
a.Ethics: the study of right and wrong behavior.
b.Business ethics: the study of right and wrong behavior in business.
3.The four great repositories of ethical values that influence managers.
a.The theory of amorality: business should be conducted without reference to the full range of society's ethical ideals.
b.The theory of moral unity: business actions should be judged by the general ethical standards of society.
4.Business ethics in other cultures: examples of how they are shaped.
a.Religion: the pillar of moral absolutism (the idea that right and wrong behavior is knowable and objective and comes from an outside source or authority).
b.Philosophy: a brief introduction to the rich history of philosophical inquiry into ethics, beginning with the classical Greek philosophers.
c.Cultural experience: every culture transmits between generations a set of traditional values, rules, and standards that define acceptable behavior.
d.Law: laws codify or formalize ethical expectations.
5.Ethical universalism versus ethical relativism: Are any ethical rules transcultural? Are all ethical rules transcultural? Can we ever declare a law in another country to be unethical, or are any and all rules embraced by a given culture ethically valid? Arguments for and against.
6.Factors that influence the level of ethics of managers and workers.
7.A brief history of the evolution of business ethics in the United States.
a.Company leadership.
b.Company strategy and performance: a "cutthroat" strategy will reduce ethical standards, as will poor financial performance, which "raises the stakes" for top management to improve the bottom line or risk being fired.
c.Corporate culture: the set of values, norms, rituals, and behaviors that are communicated in subtle and not-so-subtle ways to every employee and manager.
d.Moral muteness: the tendency for managers not to bring up or discuss ethical issues at work.
e.The ethical standards and level of moral development employees bring to the job.
8.Ethics codes and programs at modern U.S. companies: Major components of the typical codes and programs, with examples.
a.The Gilded Age (1865-1901): ethics were seen largely as a matter of individual conscience. The Social Darwinists.
b.The Progressive Era (1900-1918): business and government corruption and business dishonesty are seen as key social problems.
c.The Roaring '20s: as the circle of prosperity spreads, all is forgiven.
d.The Great Depression: society's dissatisfaction with business increases.
e.The post-war years: business shrouds itself in patriotism. Anti-communist fervor grows.
f.The '60s and '70s: society's dissatisfaction with business is once again on the upswing.
g.The '80s: a run of contract billing frauds and financial scandals reopens the discussion of ethics in business. Many business schools and corporations beef up their ethics programs.
h.The '90s: the federal government cracks down on hospitals and nursing homes for Medicare billing fraud, and the discussion of business ethics is renewed. The United States Sentencing Commission's 1991 Corporate Sentencing Guidelines increase many fines to make corporations "take notice" and give corporate ethics programs a boost by offering deep discounts on fines for establishing credible programs.
i.The 2000's: The Enron scandal and its aftermath, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis and its aftermath, including the worldwide recession and the regulatory response (the Dodd-Frank Wallstreet Reform and Protection Act, et al.)
9.A review of the merits and limitations of various alternative rules, methods, and yardsticks for distinguishing ethical behavior from unethical behavior, such as the categorical imperative, the conventionalist ethic, the disclosure rule, the doctrine of the mean, the ends-means ethic, the golden rule, the intuition ethic, the might-equals-right ethic, the organization ethic, the principle of equal freedom, the proportionality ethic, the rights ethic, John Rawls' Theory of Justice, and the utilitarian ethic.
10.Do men and women reason differently about ethics?
D.Examine and assess the role of government in regulating business, the history of government regulation of business from the Industrial Revolution to the present, and the influence of business on the political process.
1.Federal regulation of business.
2.A historical review of attempts to roll back the tide of increasing government regulation (of business) and reform the regulatory process in the United States from 1970 to the present.
3.Business' influence on the political process.
E.Examine and discuss the nature of globalization, the value of international trade, and the impact of the rise of the World Trade Organization on business and society, the nature of multinational corporations, and their positive and negative impacts on society.
1.Multinational corporations and government relationships.
a.What is a multinational corporation?
b.The size and power of multinational corporations.
c.Conflicts between governments and multinational corporations.
1.Fundamental goals of MNCs.
2.Fundamental goals of host governments.
3.MNCs and less developed countries (LDCs).
4.MNCs and industrialized nations.
d.Free trade versus protectionism.
1.Why free trade?
2.Pressures for protectionism.
3.The politics of protectionism.
4.Free trader responses to protectionists.
5.U.S. deviation from free trade policy.
6.Classical free trade theory vs. reality.
e.Corruption in business and government transactions.
1.What is corruption?
2.The consequences of corruption.
3.Laws and codes to control corruption.
2.Globalization and BGS relationships.
a.What is globalization?
b.Major forces increasing globalization.
1.Increasing foreign competition.
2.Spreading capitalism.
c.The pros and cons of globalization: an overview.
d.The consequences of globalization.
1.Erosion of nation-state sovereignty.
2.Erosion of cultures.
F.Examine and discuss the impact of business on the natural environment, and the ways that societies and governments can and have attempted to mitigate that impact.
1.Industrial pollution and environmental policy.
a.Industrial growth, pollution, and the environment.
b.Environmental regulation in the United States.
2.Managing environmental quality.
a.Analyzing human health risks.
b.Cost-benefit analysis.
c.Regulatory options.
G.Examine and assess current government regulations protecting consumers, and their origins and purpose.
1.What is consumerism?
2.Food safety issues.
3.Products liability law.
4.False and deceptive advertising.
5.Consumer privacy.
H.Examine and discuss the history of the civil rights movement in America, the struggle for equal treatment of women in the workplace, and the management of diversity in the workplace.
1.A short history of workplace Civil Rights in the U.S.
2.The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
3.Women in the workplace: the persistence of traditional stereotypes.
4.Discriminatory treatment of women in the workplace.
5.Occupational segregation by gender, ethnicity, and race.
6.Subtle discrimination by gender, ethnicity, race, religion, and other variables.
7.Discrimination in compensation by gender, ethnicity, and race.
8.The "glass ceiling" for women in American business.
9.Sexual harassment in the workplace in America.
10.Corporate efforts to promote diversity, especially in the American workplace, in gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other dimensions.

VI. Assignments

A.Required reading from the textbook and supplemental sources.
B.Analysis and discussion of business case studies to develop critical thinking skills, apply course concepts, a develop a systems perspective of the Business-Government-Society relationship.
C.Individual guided research/writing project (1,500-2,500 words) to develop and demonstrate critical thinking skills in the context of the Business-Government-Society relationship, and to practice and demonstrate the art of persuasion through scholarly writing, in which evidence in support of a position is clearly and persuasively laid out, and in which a fair evaluation of the evidence for the opposing position is included.

VII. Methods of Instruction

 Lecture and visual aids
Discussion of assigned reading
Discussion and problem solving performed in class
In-class essays
Quiz and examination review performed in class
Homework and extended projects
Collaborative learning and small group exercises

VIII. Methods of Evaluating Objectives

A.One or more quizzes and/or midterms, and a final exam that appraise comprehension and require synthesis and application of course material.
B.Use student participation in class discussion of case studies to evaluate the student's progressive ability to critically evaluate the Business-Government-Society relationship, apply course concepts, and recommend and support a course of action.
C.Use the individual guided research/writing project to assess the student's comprehension of and ability to apply the concepts offered in the course materials, their ability to think critically about this material, and their ability to persuade an audience (in writing) of a position through the systematic presentation and application of evidence for and against that position.

IX. Texts and Supporting References

A.Examples of Primary Texts and References
1.Steiner, George and John Steiner, "Business, Government, and Society: A Managerial Perspective," 13th Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012.
2.Lawrence, Anne T. and James Weber, "Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy," 15th Edition, New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2016.
3.McAlister, Debbie Thorne and O.C. Ferrell and Ferrell, "Business and Society: A Strategic Approach to Social Responsibility," 4th Edition, South-Western College Publishing, 2010.
B.Examples of Supporting Texts and References
1.Vega, Gina, "Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Business Ethics and Society," 14th Edition, McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2015.
2.TED Talks by Jonathan Haidt, Dan Ariely, Hans Rosling, and others available at http://www.ted.com.