BUS 332 / BUS 532 - Business & Society
This course surveys the complex and evolving relationship between corporations and society. As powerful social actors, corporations are increasingly held accountable to not just their shareholders but also a range of internal and external stakeholders. This course adopts a broad theoretical perspective on the challenges and opportunities that corporations confront in their interactions with society, such as struggles to maintain legitimacy, acquire resources, build partnerships, and solve complex global problems. Topics covered in the course include (but are not limited to) the following: The history of the corporation as a social, political, and legal actor; the participation of business in government, including lobbying and PACs; corporations, the environment, and human rights; ethical consumerism and cause-related marketing; fair trade and fair labor; corporations, NGOs, and social movements; and multilateral institutions that impact business, such as UNICEF and the UN Global Compact. A significant portion of the course will address the issue of corporate social responsibility and how companies are strategically addressing these challenges with business acumen.