TERM:2021-22 Winter
COURSE TITLE: Business, Society and the Environment
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern business operates within a complex web of relations with governments (at various levels), the rest of society and the natural environment. These interactions are mediated presently by a set of regulations, laws and voluntary programs with an uncertain (and contested) effect. Increasingly it is realised though, that business is embedded in and cannot exist without sound relations with society and nature. But this realisation is only slowly becoming an essential and integral part of both the internal decision logic of business and of its evolving relations with governments an other stakeholders in society. This course provides an overview of the unfolding an evolution of these relations. It also examines the options for making earthkeeping and sustainable livelihood basic elements of healthy business and its functioning in its broader context. Resources for keeping abreast of this evolving and increasingly relevant field of action for business will be surveyed and evaluated.

Prerequisites: BUSI 200 and 6 credits of ECON 203, 204 or 315
REQUIRED TEXTS: All resources for this course are available through the moodle site for the course
Class participation15%
Forum Posts  10%
Sustainable Development Goals20%
Assessing Sustainability25%
Final Exam 30%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course intends to raise the awareness and knowledge of Business students about a world where big corporations play a very (possibly too) powerful role, using rules that are increasingly under severe scrutiny. This comes about through the complicated but unavoidable set of linkages and dependencies between business, the rest of society, and the natural environment. The course will investigate the major ways and patterns in which these relations are currently organized and managed. The limits and increasingly problematical aspects of the current situation will be reviewed and analyzed – the most pressing of which deals with the impact of doing business on the social and physical environment.

The objectives of this course are:
  • Familiarization with the current form and impact of doing business on the social and physical environment;
  • Familiarization with some of the main issues and critical reactions that have arisen from the role and wider impact of how business is mostly done;
  • Familiarization with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Assessment and evaluation of the ability of corporations to embrace and champion environmental and social sustainability;
  • Discussion and evaluation of alternative responses and ideas about reorienting core business decision-making towards greater social and environmental responsibility;
  • Gaining a deeper appreciation for the relationship between business, society, and the environment, and assessing some alternative ways in which these relations can be structured.
LECTURE SCHEDULE: Note: These dates are subject to modification as may be needed.
Jan 5 – 12: Introduction to the Course and the Issues
Jan 14 – Feb 2: The Relation of Business to the Environment
Feb 4 – Feb 28: The Real Purpose of Business
Mar 2 – Mar 28: Sustainability: What is it? Embracing and Embedding it.
Mar 30 – Apr 13: Rebalancing, the Future, and Final Considerations
NOTE: A detailed schedule of classes will be available on the course moodle site.

Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.

The King's University
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