NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

SOIM-UB.0002.001 (C40.0002): Business & Its Publics: Plenary

Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Course Meetings

M, 5:30pm to 7:30pm


SOIM-UB.0002 - Business and Its Publics

Plenary Instructor:        Professor Batia Wiesenfeld, bwiesenf@stern.nyu.edu

Add'l Plenary Contact:   Kristy McCadden, Assoc. Dir., Social Impact Programming, kristy.mccadden@stern.nyu.edu

Plenary Day/Time:          Select Monday evenings, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Plenary Locations:


Course Description and Learning Goals

The Social Impact Core Curriculum

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

  • Become more aware of multiple stakeholder perspectives on important business issues;
  • Develop a more nuanced understanding of the many relationships between corporations, governments, NGO’s, market economies and civil society;
  • Begin the process of developing professional ethics in harmony with their own personal values; and,
  • Learn to articulate, defend, and reflect critically on a point of view.

Business and Its Publics - Course Overview

Business has become the defining institution of modern social life: corporate activity and influence affects economies, governments, and people, with far-reaching consequences for local and global communities. Modern society moves by way of its organizations and institutions; as corporate organizations assume more of this social power, we consider how their social responsibilities grow and change to keep pace.

Business and its Publics examines the relationships between corporations and society, in particular the social impact of business. Plenary topics exam this from multiple perspectives:

·         The role of business in society
We look at the original foundations and frameworks for modern corporations, to understand their purpose and the structure of their relationships with other key societal institutions, including the state and community;

·         The impact of business on society
We look at the power and limitations of markets, relationships with stakeholders, and social issues that arise from business operations, including threats to public and common goods, market failures and the social costs of negative externalities;

·         The impact of society on business
We consider how societal issues frame business opportunities and strategies, and how corporations can leverage their role in society to address social problems in ways that create value for stakeholders and shareholders.

The Monday evening 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 their personal perspective on the relationship between business and society.


Course Outline

Plenary Schedule


Class from 5:30-7:30pm, Monday evenings; note two time exceptions below.


Session 1: Introduction to Business as a Societal Institution (January 23, 2012) - SKIRBALL

Session 2: The Corporation – A Historical Perspective (January 30, 2012) - SKIRBALL

Session 3: Business and Markets (February 6, 2012) - PAULSON

Session 4: Business and Governments (February 13, 2012) - SKIRBALL


Session 5: Social Justice / Human Rights and Business (February 27, 2012) - SKIRBALL 


Session 6: Market Crises, Public Goods and Compromise of Stakeholders (March 5, 2012) - PAULSON


Session 7: Business and White Collar Crime (March 19, 2012) - SKIRBALL

Session 8: Social Sustainability and Worker Rights (March 26, 2012) - SKIRBALL


Session 9: Social Entrepreneurship (April 2, 2012) - PAULSON

NO PLENARY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012                                                         

Session 10: Environmental Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (April 16, 2012) - PAULSON

Session 11: Social Sustainability and Entrepreneurship (April 23, 2012) - PAULSON


Assessment Components




Course Grading

PARTICIPATION (100% of grade)

SOIM-UB.0002 is a zero-credit class that is required for graduation.  Attendance is mandatory to pass this class; attendance in the plenaries 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.

Any unexcused absences from the Plenary sessions will have a negative impact on your final grade. 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.

For the Monday evening plenary, we will meet in the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts for six of the eleven sessions, and in Paulson Auditorium in Tisch Hall for the remaining five plenaries. (Please see the schedule above for the exact date locations.)


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.



Stern Policies

Academic Integrity and Personal Response Remotes

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:

· Demonstrating sound judgment and integrity in the submission of documents, forms, and information to, or on behalf of, the School, University, or any member of those communities. 

· Refraining from behaving in ways that knowingly support, assist, or in any way attempt to enable another person to engage in any violation of the Code of Conduct.

Carefully review and abide by the rules and policies of NYU as outlined in detail at  http://www.nyu.edu/about/policies-guidelines-compliance/policies-and-guidelines/code-of-ethical-conduct.html and http://www.nyu.edu/about/policies-guidelines-compliance/policies-and-guidelines.html, recognizing that being fully informed about NYU and Stern rules and codes governing civil behavior and academic integrity is an obligation of community membership. 

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. ALL STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO TEMPORARILY MARK THEIR REMOTE IN SOME WAY SO THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THEIR REMOTE AMONG OTHERS.  For example, students are encourage to place a piece of masking tape with their name written on it on their remote before the first plenary.

Following, and particular to this course, it is a violation of the Stern Student Code of Conduct for a student to:

· Respond to questions posed during the plenary with someone else’s remote.

· Enlist another student to respond to questions posed during the plenary on their behalf.

Violations to the Code of Conduct, whether committed knowingly or out of ignorance, can result in disciplinary action and may result in a sanction up to and including expulsion from New York University.


Additional Information about Personal Response Remotes

Purchasing a new response remote directly from Turning Technologies (A small number of replacement remotes may be available at the NYU Bookstore for purchase.)

1) Go to store.turningtechnologies.com

2) When prompted for a code, put in “eb2h” (this is case sensitive)

3) You should get a message that the school code for NYU has been accepted, followed by the display of the student store

4) The model current used at Stern (and what you should purchase) is the ResponseCard RFC-02 ($28).

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@stern.nyu.edu” in the “Instructor Email” box

7) Click the “Display Classes” button, select “Business and Its Publics S12” 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”)


All students who received a remote at the start of the fall 2011 semester for their Cohort Leadership class are expected to register the same remote for their S12 Business and Its Publics class. Students are also expected to return an RFC-02 Turning Technologies remote at the conclusion of the S12 semester; failure to do so will result in a $50 charge on your student bill.

Course Policies

· Laptops, cell phones, smartphones, recorders, & other electronic devices may not be used in class unless advance permission is given by the instructor. The instructor reserves the right to ask any student seen using these devices to leave the class and that student will be marked absent.

· Attendance is required. Students will receive credit for attendance only when they arrive to class on time and stay to the end of the class period. Students may enter class late or leave class early only if given permission by the instructor and if it can be done without disrupting the class. (Note that instructors are not obliged to admit late students or readmit students who leave class or may choose to admit them only at specific times.)


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Printer Friendly Version