NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

C40.0001.001: BUSINESS & ITS PUBLICS

Spring 2011

Instructor Details

Smith, George

gsmith@stern.nyu.edu

998-0878

By appt.

KMC 8-73

 

Course Meetings

M, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

X-SKIRB


Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:

 

Spring 2011 - Locations

NYU Skirball Center - 566 LaGuardia Place (@ Washington Square South)

Paulson Auditorium (UC-50), Tisch Hall – 40 W. 4th St. (@ Greene St.)

 

The Social Impact Core Curriculum

In the Social Impact Core Curriculum, NYU Stern undergraduate students: 

 

Business and Its Publics - Course Overview

Business and Its Publicsintroduces freshmen Stern students to the many interconnections between business and society. This course views business as a societal institution, dependent upon and also shaping other societal institutions. An understanding of related issues – about the appropriate role of business and actions of those within business organizations – is indispensable for sorting out the questions and challenges leaders face throughout their careers. We will work to help you develop a philosophy of business, management, and stewardship that will guide your day-to-day decision-making for years to come.

Scholars, policy makers and business leaders constantly grapple with questions about the proper place of the corporation in society. The traditional American perspective is that corporations should act in their economic interests and all other activities are peripheral to the central, profit-making focus of the firm. Social, environmental, and even broader system issues are outside the purview of corporate activity. Government regulation may be required to address specific problems, but in general the role of government is to create an infrastructure that supports free enterprise. Corporate involvement in philanthropic and political activities may take place, but these involvements are limited in scope and should be related to the economic interests of corporations. Recently, this perspective has been called into question. 

The recent financial crisis makes it clear that firms operate within a highly interdependent system, and system-level perspectives must be brought to bear on problems. Scholars, policy-makers and many business people argue that social justice and sustainability problems must be taken into account in the operations of markets and of the companies that serve them. Moreover, in the increasingly global economy, the boundaries between the business sphere, social and political spheres are breaking down quickly, and business leaders of the future will have to negotiate the multiple demands of business and its publics. 

In this class, we will review the different perspectives and, in this light, examine the contemporary practices of corporations as they choose to act or not act in our social and environmental world. We will delve into complex theoretical questions and discover that there are no simple prescriptions for what corporations can or should do to make a difference.

 This course will help you to consider these issues in three different ways:

 

  1. First, the Monday evening Plenary sessions provide a forum for a broad range of visitors – including leaders of business, non-profit, public, and activist organizations, as well as thought leaders in a variety of fields – to offer theirpersonal perspective on the relationship between business and society.
  2. Second, the weekly Inquiry sessions provide a forum for small, instructor-led discussions to broaden the perspectives offered in the plenaries and raise alternative points of view and considerations ignored or neglected by the plenary speakers.
  3. Third, once this more expansive range of alternatives is elaborated and discussed, the weekly Discourse sections will provide you the opportunity to articulate and defend your personal perspectives on these issues in writing.

 The course is divided into two main segments. The first explores the complex interdependencies between business and other major societal institutions, such as markets, government and nonprofits. The second explores the social obligations of business, specifically applied to social responsibility and social justice.

 

Course Grading

PARTICIPATION(100% of grade)

C40.0001 is a Pass/Fail class and is required for graduation. 

Attendance is mandatory to pass this class and will be monitored through remote responses to questions posed at the very beginning and at the very end of each plenary session. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure that they have a working remote that is registered to them. 

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT PLENARY ATTENDANCE

We will meet in the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts for seven of the eleven S11 plenaries; we will be in Paulson Auditorium in Tisch Hall for the remaining four. (Please see the schedule above and below for the exact date locations.) All students are required to attend all plenaries with the following exceptions:

Two or more unexcused absences from Plenary sessions will result in the student failing C40.0001.

Per university policy, excused absences are only granted in the cases of documented serious illness, family emergency, religious observance, or civic obligation. If you will miss class for religious observance or civic obligation, you must inform your instructor no later than the first week of class.  Recruiting activities, job interviews and incompatible travel plans are considered unexcused absences, even if you notify us in advance. EXCUSED ABSENCES MUST BE REPORTED TO KRISTY MCCADDEN (kristy.mccadden@stern.nyu.edu) PRIOR TO A SCHEDULED CLASS. 

STUDENTS IN ALL SECTIONS OF C40.0125 WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INFORMATION DISCUSSED IN ALL C40.0001 PLENARIES.

RE-GRADING

In line with NYU Stern Undergraduate College grading guidelines, the process of assigning of grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. This means that you are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it. 

If you feel that an inadvertent error has been made in the assessing of your course grade, a request to have that grade be re-evaluated may be submitted. You should submit such requests in writing to the professor within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.

 

Course Policies

 

Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. All students are expected to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct. A student’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

 ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND PERSONAL RESPONSE REMOTES

Each student is expected to respond to questions posed during each plenary, including at the very beginning and end of each plenary, ONLY with the ONE response remote that is registered to them. It is a violation of the Code of Conduct and is considered cheating for any student to:

Any student who is caught cheating in this class will:

 Please see www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct for more information.

 

Students with Disabilities

Students whose class performance may be affected due to a disability should notify the professor early in the semester so that arrangements can be made, in consultation with the Henry and Lucy Moses Center for Students with Disabilities, to accommodate their needs.

Please see www.nyu.edu/csd for more information.

 

information about personal response remotes

Registering Your Personal Response Remote

1) Go to http://student.turningtechnologies.com/

2) Enter the six-digit response card ID in the “Device ID” field.  (The remote ID code is bolded and can be found below the bar code on the back of the remote)

3) Enter your first and last names in the fields provided

4) Enter your netID (“XX”@stern.nyu.edu) in the “Other” box

5) Complete the security entry and hit “Next”

6) Enter Kristy McCadden’s email – kristy.mccadden@stern.nyu.edu - in the “Instructor Email” box

7) Click the “Display Classes” button, select “Business and Its Publics S11: C40.0001” and click the “Add” button (You should now see this information in the “Classes to Register” box on the right)

9) Click the “Next” button, and verify all information

10) Click “Complete Registration”

 

Setting the Channel on Your Personal Response Remote

1) Press the “GO” button found in the bottom left corner.  The small light in the upper left corner (above the “1/A” button) should flash red and green.

2) While the small light is flashing, press the “3/C” button two times.  (“33” is the two-digit channel number that the remote receiver will be set to in class.) 

3) Press and release the “GO” button again.  The small light in the upper left corner should be green.

(“GO”, “33”, “GO”)

 

IMPORTANT NOTES TO STUDENTS REGISTERED FOR S11 C40.0001 (BUSINESS AND ITS PUBLICS)

 

COURSE OULINE

Part 1: BUSINESS AND SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Session 1: INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS AS A SOCIETAL INSTITUTION

January 24, 2011 in SKIRBALL

Featured Speakers:

George Smith, Clinical Professor of Economics and International Business

NYU Stern School of Business

Shannon Schuyler, Managing Director, Corporate Responsibility

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Session 2: THE CORPORATION

January 31, 2011 in SKIRBALL

Featured Speaker:

George Smith, Clinical Professor of Economics and International Business

NYU Stern School of Business

Session 3: BUSINESS AND MARKETS

February 7, 2011 in PAULSON (all students expected to attend)

Featured Speaker:

Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Media

Session 4: ORGANIZED PHILANTHROPY

February 14, 2011 in PAULSON (students in sections 1-10 of C40.0125 should not attend. A link to the plenary recording will be emailed following the plenary's conclusion.)

Featured Speakers:

Sir David Cannadine, Whitney J. Oates Senior Research Scholar

The Council of the Humanities, Princeton University

Susan Beresford, Former President

Ford Foundation

NO PLENARY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, 2/21/11 - PRESIDENTS' DAY

C40.0125 FINAL PAPER CYCLE 1 DUE 2/27/11

 Session 5: BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT

February 28, 2011 in SKIRBALL

 Featured Speaker:

Cory Booker, Mayor

City of Newark, NJ

 Session 6: "INSIDE JOB"

March 7, 2011 in PAULSON  (students in sections 11-20 of C40.0125 should not attend. A link to the plenary recording will be emailed following the plenary's conclusion.)

 Featured Speaker:

Charles Ferguson, Documentary Filmmaker

NO PLENARY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, 3/14/11 - SPRING BREAK WEEK

 Part 2: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

 Session 7: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

March 21, 2011 in SKIRBALL

 

 Featured Speaker:

Michael Stewart, Head of Global Communications & Partner

Lenny Mendonca, Director of Firm Knowledge

McKinsey & Co.

 Session 8: BUSINESS AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

March 28, 2011 in SKIRBALL

 Featured Speakers:

Jill Kickul, Clinical Professor of Management and Organizations; Director, Stewart Satter Program in Social Entrepreneurship

NYU Stern School of Business

David Bornstein, Author, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas

 C40.0125 FINAL PAPER CYCLE 2 DUE APRIL 3, 2011

 Session 9: BUSINESS AND SUSTAINABILITY

April 4, 2011 in SKIRBALL (this plenary will begin at 7pm)

 Featured Speaker:

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Visionary Environmental Business Leader and Advocate

 Session 10: CORPORATE COMPENSATION AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

April 11, 2011 in PAULSON (students in sections 21-30 of C40.0125 should not attend. A link to the plenary recording will be emailed following the plenary's conclusion.)

 Featured Speaker:

Thomas F. Cooley, Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics, Former Dean

NYU Stern School of Business

Professor of Economics

NYU Faculty of Arts and Science

 NO PLENARY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, 4/18/11

 Session 11: BUSINESS AND WHITE COLLAR CRIME

April 25, 2011 in SKIRBALL

 Featured Speaker:

Justin Paperny, Former Investment Executive and Author, Lessons from Prison & Ethics in Motion

C40.0125 FINAL PAPER CYCLE 3 DUE 5/8/11

 

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