|COURSE NUMBER:||BUSI 365|
|COURSE TITLE:||Business, Society and the Environment|
|NAME OF INSTRUCTOR:||Dr. Elwil Beukes|
|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
|MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:||
|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 provide an overview of the major ways and patterns in which these
relations are currently organised and managed. The limits and
increasingly problematical aspects of the current situation, both
inside and outside Canada, will be reviewed and analysed – the most
pressing of which deals with the impact of doing business on the social
and physical environment.
Students will be offered a discerning and contemporary overview of the debates around and implications of what is broadly seen as corporate (social) responsibility. The question will be addressed whether what is said and done with regard to CSR, is a significant enough response when seen from a transformationally Christian viewpoint. For this, substantial attention will be given (among others) to the more and less convincing forms of “greening” corporations.
The course will also offer practical examples from Canada and elsewhere of what can be done to assist (and hopefully convince) business corporations to base their core internal decision-making on the idea of genuine and credible corporate “citizenship”. Students will be encouraged to evaluate the current trends, options and outcomes from a Christian (or other normative) viewpoint and to consider why alternative ways forward are necessary, and how that can be achieved.
Use will be made of lectures, class discussion and debate, as well as case studies. Students will be allowed the opportunity to design and argue for ways of leading and managing a business enterprise in a convincingly responsible way.
The objectives of the course will thus be:
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.
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