Western Washington University

Greening Business Policy and Practice
Fall 2019

Class Syllabus:

Meets: AH 221 [ENVS 359 MW] / AH 015 [MGMT 359 TR], CRN 42075 / 41722 (variable days and times; see course schedule for details)
Professor Craig Dunn / Professor Gigi Berardi
PH 317
Office Hours:
by appointment (see https://calendly.com/wilderprofessor)
360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)

ENVS / MGMT 359 -- GREENING BUSINESS POLICY AND PRACTICE (4) Prereq: This course will provide both a survey and applications of major U.S. and Washington state policies and practices supporting the greening of business. This course will provide an integrative framework for business and sustainability, including the economic, scientific, public policy and ethical imperatives relevant to environmentally-responsive business praxis.

As a result of successfully completing this course, students will:


o Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of environmental policy involved in sustainable business

Discussion Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments

o Demonstrate understanding of the scientific issues involved in sustainable business Discussion Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
o Demonstrate the ability to understand the social and political climate

Discussion Participation
Writing Assignments
Team Project

o Analyze problems, decisions, and priorities using an ethical perspective Discussion Participation
Writing Assignments
Team Project
o Ability to critically analyze problems in light of business knowledge in the context of sustainability and defend position Discussion Participation
Writing Assignments
Team Project
o Solve business and related problems using quantitative techniques Participation
Writing Assignments
Case study
This course is designed as an introductory course for the combined major in Businss & Sustainability. The State of Washington is a leader in responding to the societal imperative regarding environmental issues. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Business & Sustainability is an action component of the state's initiatives. This degree combines three areas of study that give graduates the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate in a changing economic and social environment. Graduates from this program will possess:
- A fundamental knowledge of economics, giving them the skills to apply economic analysis to problems in sustainable business faced by modern organizations;
- A fundamental knowledge of environmental science and policy, giving them the ability to understand the social and political climate as well as the scientific issues involved in sustainable business;
- An extensive knowledge of business and management in the context of business sustainability giving them the basic mindsets, perspectives, abilities and skills needed to succeed in organizations.

In spite of what the current course description might imply this is not a 'nuts and bolts' litany of environmental laws. Learning will instead relate directly to theory and practice, with attention given to how a systems perspective can be useful in engaging students in critical thinking that will be of practical benefit to organizations not likely to be structured around sustainabilty as a central theme.

Further to this point, critical attention will be given to professional readiness and job placement. While the employment landscape is rapidly evolving it is still the case that Business & Sustainabilty majors are very likely to be employed in more 'traditional' business roles at the beginning of their careers. In light of this pragmatic reality significant time will be devoted to equiping students to identify career options that reflect their personal purpose(s), as well as to how to be effective in shifting organizational culture in the direction of sustainabiltiy praxis...all while engaging students in an exploration of their own predispositions and biases, which can serve to enhance or detract from personal effectiveness.

This is an intensive class, with active participation being critical to both student learning as well as success of the course. Be prepared to speak up and be involved. Students are encouraged to work with and discuss class activities with other students; however, written papers are to be recognizable as individual work. If assumptions, objectives and tentative plans do not fit our situation, we will modify them as we work together; if such changes are made, they will be posted on the course web page and/or Canvas site. Students should ask questions, raise issues, express concerns; our best discussions often evolve from trying to figure out how to skillfully handle difficult management situations.

"This is an exciting time to be a manager, full of challenges and opportunities. Today's organizations are increasingly complex, unpredictable, and fast-paced. Significant social and economic trends such as diversity, globalization, and technological advances have fundamentally changed the nature of managerial work. In such an environment, the ability to think broadly and deeply from a variety of perspectives is one of the most important skills a manager can have."

Paula J. Caprioni
The Practical Coach

A maximum of 100 points may be accumulated in this course:

o Writing Assignments 60 points
o Writing Assignment Comments 10 points
o Discussion Participation 15 points
o Term Project 15 points

Each individual assignment will be evaluated on a 10-point scale, with the final course grade being calculated by computing the mean assignment grade for each category of assignment as outlined above, with these data then being utilized to compute a weighted average based on the proportion each assignment category contributes to the overall course grade.

The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the term.

93.35 - 100 points


90 - 93.34 points


86.65 - 89.99 points


83.35 - 86.65 points


80 - 83.34 points


76.65 - 79.99 points


73.35 - 76.64 points


70 - 73.34 points


Appendix D of the WWU Catalog, entitled Academic Honesty Policy and Procedure, states the following:

Upholding Academic Honesty is integral to the educational mission of Western Washington University (WWU), particularly in assessment and recognition of student performance. Recognizing the intention of WWU to promote and sustain a culture of integrity, this policy serves a key role as part of a comprehensive program to encourage behaviors of integrity and discourage violations of such behavior. All students and faculty of WWU are responsible for being familiar with this policy and the processes for reporting and appealing violations that it includes.

Students involved in any form of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or `cheating') on any ENVS / MGMT 359 coursework will receive a failing grade for the course.

The future will either be green or not at all

-Bov Brown
Environmentalist / Author

Assigned case studies, reading materials, podcasts, and course videos will be available on the course schedule. Students are expected to read each assigned reading before the scheduled discussion related to that reading, and to come prepared to respond to any disucssion questions posted for each class session.

There will be weekly writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in the course schedule and/or as covered in class. Each paper will take the form of a two-page, double-spaced, typed paper which directly addresses the question(s) posed. While it is certainly allowable for students to discuss these writing assignments with one another, final papers ought to be recognizable as the 'independent' work of the student submitting the writing assignment.

Writing assignments will be posted roughly one week before their due date, with papers to be submitted electronically through the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), as a word document or a .pdf. A link to the course LMS can be found here: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598.

To post an entry, do the following:

o Login to https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598
o Click on 'Assignments' tab in the left menu bar
o Click on relevant Writing Assignment#
o Read and respond to the Writing Assignment prompt
o Click on 'Submit Assignment' (option for file upload, .doc or .docx)
o Click on 'Submit Assignment' when done

Entries are due by 1:00 pm of the day on which a 'prompt' is listed on the course schedule, and will be posted to Canvas one week in advance of their due date. Evaluation criteria for these assignments include (note grading rubric for each individual assignment for more detail):

o evidence of self-awareness
o adequacy of analysis
o coherence of argument
o practical/prescriptive merit
o overall professionalism

Each assignment should conclude with identification of the student learning outcomes that are addressed by that particular writing assignment (catalogued at beginning of this syllabus).

In addition, following submission of each writing assignment you will be required to offer comments on one other student's writing assignment. In order to do so, refer to the specific grading rubric for the assignment and then post your own evaluation of the student's work in a single paragraph. Your comments will be visible to both the writer as well as the instructor(s), but will be anonymous to the writer.

Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.

-Evo Morales
President, Bolivia

Each student shall actively participate in class discussion. Such engagement is particularly imperative as this is a 'flipped classroom,' with face-to-face contact hours only averaging once per week (see course schedule for specific meeting days). Discussions will be centered around the writing assignments, with particular emphasis given to the application of key learnings to real-world cases and news stories. Each student should come to class prepared to make a meaningful contribution to the discussion. It is your individual responsibility to take the initiative to demonstrate your ability to connect each writing assignment with current events and/or topics that will be discussed in class--or better yet, to introduce relevant topic(s), related to the writing assignments, for discussion.

Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in evaluating discussion contribution are listed in the table below:

o evidence of preparation for discussion
o ability to connect writing assignments with discussion
o logic of arguments introduced
o use of theory to support position(s) taken
o use of business / sustainability knowledge to support position(s) taken
o ability to engage the class in discussion

Each student shall participate in a team-based project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice. The entire class will be engaged in a brainstorming exercise that will result in generating a list of possible options for Sustainable Action Fund (SEJF) proposals. In order to get a general sense of how the SEJF works, visit https://sustain.wwu.edu/sejf/. There note in particular the 'Projects' tab, which contains links to a variety of in-process and completed SEJF projects, as well as the 'Apply' tab, which provides access to the submission standards for SEJF funding.

During this group project you will have full access to Johnathan Riopelle (Johnathan.Riopelle@wwu.edu) from Western's Office of Sustainability, who will serve as a project advisor and mentor. Johnathan will regularly visit class, and additionally will be 'enrolled' in the course Canvas site in order to provide a mechanism for him to provide direct feedback on your work product as it evolves.

In this group project several key points related to solid managerial practice should be kept in mind:

- It is required that there be a clear elaboration somewhere in the application as to how the proposed project relates to the WWU Sustainability Action Plan (see https://sustain.wwu.edu/sustainability-action-plan/), additionally enumerating those specific goals of the plan that would be met by the proposed project
- It is required that there be a clear elaboration somewhere in the application as to how the proposed project relates to at least three of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations (see http://faculty.wwu.edu/dunnc3/rprnts.SDGs_as_the_driver_for_future_business_strategy.pdf)
- It is required that the critical stakeholders for the proposed project be identified within the application (see http://faculty.wwu.edu/dunnc3/rprnts.Innovators_Toolkit_STAKEHOLDER_MANAGEMENT.pdf), and a plan formulated for garnering support for these constituencies
- Related to the current course description, it is required that you identify the key regulations and/or organizational policies that would be relevant to your proposed project...and that you indicate how the 'demands' of such regulations and/or policies will be met within the execution of the proposed project

Beyond these course-specific instructions, you are to be as thorough as possible in completing each aspect of the SEJF form...and submitting same for a preliminary review.

There is a presentation component to this assignment. Reporting will take the form of a 10 minute oral presentation followed by a 5 minute question and answer session. Be creative. Prepare the presentation as if you were presenting the information to any fitting audience you explicitly identify, to be role-played by those students not in your group (who will be accountable for posing relevant questions to the presenting group).

Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in grading the group project are listed in the table below.

o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o use of theory to support SEJF proposal
o soundness of recommendation(s)
o professionalism of SEJF application
o creativity of approach
o ability to engage the class in discussion

There are no examinations for this course.




*course overview

The Powerpoint for this class session can be accessed from within the course Canvas site using the following link:




(Access content via Canvas)

*how to read an academic article / systems thinking / interconnectedness / unintended consequences / risk analysis

The following ARTICLES / VIDEOS, which provide the basis for Writing Assignment 01, can be accessed from within the course Canvas site using the following link:



- attitudes, beliefs, and values toward nature
- definition of systems thinking / systems approach
- the Anthropocene epic
- unintended consequences and risk(y) thinking
- western attitudes toward nature


- exploring the environmental school (16:33 minutes)
- how to read an academic paper (3:13 minutes)
- sustainability 2.0 - systems thinking (3:13 minutes)
- systems thinking - a cautionary tale (cats in Borneo) (3:08 minutes)

Writing Assignment 01 due by 1:00 pm of following Wednesday / Thursday

As will be the norm, there are several parts of this assignment; be sure to address all points below in your submission. 

1) Provide a concise, yet thoroughdefinition of systems thinking. More importantly, catalog the specific benefits of systems thinking that make this approach to exploring truth more accurate than identifying and analyzing discrete components of a system, in isolation of one another.

2) Differentiate between 'foreseeable' and 'unforeseeable' consequences of decision-making. Differentiate 'intended' from 'unintended' consequences of decision making. Having done so, utilize a 2x2 matrix--looking something like this...

foreseeable unforeseeable

...to answer the following questions: for which of the above four cells (eg., intended - foreseeable) can decision makers be considered responsible for a decision?  for which of the above four options can decision makers be considered free from responsibility for a decision? And defend your answer using solid logic.

3) Having answered the questions posed above, and additionally taking into account the two course readings related to attitudesbeliefs and values towards nature, discuss how an individual's perspective as to whether or not humans are part of nature or separate and distinct from nature impacts ones view of systems--that is, are natural systems most usefully viewed as including or excluding humans, and...why?

Assignment submission link: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598/assignments/5030365

02 / 03 OCTOBER


Discussion Questions: 

• Who are we? Are we part of nature, or something separate and distinct from nature?

• How should we place a value on nature?

• Let us now consider the 'problem' of dualism: "The Bible's discrete distinctions between God, nature, and humanity form a core of current scholarly thought on biblical attitudes toward nature. Because God is distinct from his creation, nature is effectively secularized."


• We seem to accept as a matter of course that human beings are 'naturally' driven to acquire more and more.

Is this the case, or rather are we socialized into a consumption mentality? What evidence can you provide in support of your position? Even if we are naturally acquisitive, are we hopelessly so?

• Contemplate the impact of free market capitalism on scarcity as well as overconsumption and overpopulation.

Is free market capitalism sustainable from a systems point of view? If so, for how long?

• How does your view of systems thinking shape your answer to these questions? What are the benefits of systems thinking, as opposed to identifying and analyzing discrete components of a system in isolation of one another?

foreseeable unforeseeable

• For which of the above four cells (eg., intended - foreseeable) can decision makers be considered responsible for a decision?  for which of the above four options can decision makers be considered free from responsibility for a decision?

• Are natural systems most usefully viewed as including or excluding humans, and...why?

07 / 08 OCTOBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*sustainable business literacy / corporate governance /organizational theory

The following ARTICLES / VIDEOS, which provide the basis for Writing Assignment 02, can be accessed from within the course Canvas site using the following link:



- holding management accountable for vision and strategy
- the next big thing: flexible purpose corporations
- Washington's social purpose corporation: creating accountability for corporations or simply providing a halo to undeserving corporations?
- how board members really feel about ESG, from deniers to true believers
- sustainability and the board: what do directors need to know in 2018?
- engaging boards of directors at the interface of corporate social responsibility and corporate governance
- view from the top: how corporate boards can engage on sustainability performance
- which precedes the other? organizational strategy or organizational structure

- Boeing board to call for safety changes after 737 max crashes
- Boeing elevates new safety czar to 'sharpen company focus' as 737 max remains grounded


- overview of corporate governance (Dunn - 14:39 minutes)
- overview of corporate social responsibility (Dunn - 17:39 minutes; also included in following week)

Writing Assignment 02 due by 1:00 pm of following Wednesday / Thursday

As will be the norm, there are several parts of this assignment; be sure to address all points below in your submission. 

1) Provide a concise, yet thoroughdefinition of corporate governance. In so doing, catalog the specific benefits of the corporation as a business form...as opposed to such alternatives as sole proprietorships or partnerships or limited liability companies.

2) There is considerable debate regarding the question of whose interests corporate Directors should represent, with some arguing for a strict shareholder focus and others advocating for a broader set of stakeholder interests. Outline the arguments on each side of this issue--being careful to consider whether there is a 'one-size-fits-all' resolution of this debate.

3) What is the role of the Board of Directors with respect to sustainability? With what justification can Directors give voice to environmental protection and/or advocacy, without calling into question their fiduciary duty to shareholders?

4) The ongoing case of the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 suggests the Board can legitimately intervene in organizational restructuring at times of crisis. Given that we are in the midst of a climate crisis, what actions should Boards be taking to reorient organizational structures in favor of sustainable outcomes?

Assignment submission link: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598/assignments/5040244

09 /10 OCTOBER


Two Guest Speakers today:

Johnathan Riopelle, WWU Office of Sustainability (riopelj@wwu.edu)
Sandy Brown, Career Services Center (browns5@wwu.edu)

14 / 15 OCTOBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*corporate social responsibility / social contract theory / environmental exploitation / product commodification / input-process-output / natural capital / tragedy of the commons


- Friedman, M. The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits
- Dunn, C.P. & Burton, B.K. Friedman's 'The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits:' A Critique for the Classroom
- Dunn, C.P. Are Corporations Inherently Wicked?
- Arthur D. Little The Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility
- Prieto-sandoval, V., Jaca, C. & Ormazabal, M.. Towards a Consensus on the Circular Economy
- Hardin, G. The Tragedy of the Commons


- overview of corporate social responsibility (Dunn - 17:39 minutes, also included in previous week)
- milton friedman (Dunn - 41:31 minutes)
- rethinking progress - the circular economy (3:48 minutes)
- what is the circular economy? CNBC explains (3:42 minutes)
- natural capital (16:16 minutes)
- tragedy of the commons (3:19 minutes)

Writing Assignment 03 due by 1:00 pm of following Wednesday / Thursday

Having now had the opportunity to get professional readiness and job-seeking advice from a representative of Western's office of Career Services, this assignment will have you building upon the in-class visit. You are to do the following:

1) Visit the Career Services website, and search for jobs specifically related to the Business and Sustainability major (even if this is not your specific major).

2) Select the job that would be of greatest interest to you.

3) Draft both a) a cover letter and b) a one-page resume tailored to this specific job, based on your educational credentials at the time of graduation from Western...as well as your work and volunteer experience. Both the cover letter and resume must prominently include a clear single-sentence statement that connects a) your statement of personal purpose with b) the required and preferred job qualifications.

In doing this assignment, keep in mind some of the resources that were shared in class. Information at the following URLs should be read before completing the assignment:


In order to tailor your resume to the sustainability 'industry,' be sure to check out the great tips at the following URLs:

     https://www.thecvstore.net/blog/writing-a-strong-cv-sustainable-energy/ (sustainability energy)
     https://sustain.wisconsin.edu/blog/6-ways-get-sustainability-job-experience/ (see in particular top #4; relates to SEJF)

Assignment submission link: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598/assignments/5044529

16 /17 OCTOBER


Discussion Questions: 

• What actually are corporations--and why would founders of a business organization prefer corporations to alternative business structures?

• So...who do Directors represent: Shareholders? Other stakeholders? Both? Neither? More importantly, what is the logical (or legal) rationale to support one position or the other?

• Is it the case that all corporations are the same, with respect to the shareholder v stakeholder debate? If not, what legitimate points of differentiation would lead Directors in one company to adopt a particular view with respect to their representational duties, while Directors in another company might adopt a very different view?

• What justification might Directors offer if they interpret their corporate duties to include environmental protection and or advocacy? Do these justifications carry enough normative weight to allow for overriding the interests of shareholders?

• What defensible actions (if any) should Boards be taking to reorient organizational structures in favor of sustainable outcomes?

• How might the logic of Hardin's Tragedy of the Commons be applied to actions taken by corporate Directors?

• What are the terms of social contract with respect to nature that might contribute to better organizational decisions by Directors and, by derivation of duty, by the managers of corporations?

• What is overlooked in the traditional input - process - output model of business activity? Why have basic functional models within business practice (and higher education) been so deficient in terms of contemplating sources of input and disposition of outputs?

• In what ways does the concept of natural capital assist with integrating systems thinking into business praxis? In what ways does this construct come of short?

In light of responses to the discussion questions above, what recommendations for positive organizational change might be offered?

21 / 22 OCTOBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*SEJF Project Selection

*environmental degradation & regulation / provocation & justification / international trade


- Red Lights to Green Lights: From 20TH Century Environmental Regulation TO 21ST Century Sustainability
- Sustainable development goals for people and planet
- Towards integration at last? The sustainable development goals as a network of targets
- Are you smart enough to know what to eat? A critique of behavioural economics as justification for regulation
- A top Cornell food researcher has had 15 studies retracted. That's a lot.


- Le Blanc, D. Analyzing the network of SDG goals and targets


- An economic case for protecting the planet (14:14 minutes)
- Let the environment guide our development (18:10 minutes)
- The other inconvenient truth (17:39 minutes)
(also see https://www.drawdown.org/staff/jonathan-foley)

Writing Assignment 04 due by 1:00 pm of following Friday

There is considerable discussion in the assigned articles as to the appropriateness of 'red light' (stick) v 'green light' (carrot) approaches to shifting outcomes in favor of sustainability (see Red Lights to Green Lights: From 20TH Century Environmental Regulation TO 21ST Century Sustainability).

1) Compare and contrast these two approaches, being careful to identify the relative merit(s) of each approach.

2) The broader question is the following: when, and with what justification, should the government intervene in a contract between a willing buyer and a willing seller?

One of the implied criticisms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is that these are generally presented as discrete categories of action, each occupying a separate 'cell' in a 'grid.' However, in their article Towards integration at last? The sustainable development goals as a network of targets Le Blanc advocates for a network approach to interpreting and applying the SDGs.

3) Summarize and critique the network approach to understanding the SDGs, being certain to reference systems thinking as you do so.

Let's take a look at the global commons (click here and here for outcomes of the in-class commons exercise). In her TedTalk Naoko Ishii questions whether the tragedy of the commons can be avoided as sustainability challenges have shifted from having local to global impacts. In so doing, she also offers as a solution the notion of social contract.

4) Relate the concept of social contract (Don't know what that is? Click here) to the debate as to whether public policy should relate more to economic v regulatory solutions. Further, provide examples of social contract provisions that would fall in each of these two categories, and that in your view would have some liklihood of effectively addressing global sustainability challenges--such as outlined by Jonathan Foley in his TedTalk The other inconvenient truth.

Assignment submission link: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598/assignments/5058037

23 / 24 OCTOBER


Discussion Questions: 

• What is the solution to the Tragedy of the Commons?

• What motivates individuals / corporations to 'do the right thing'?

• When, and with what justification, should the government intervene in a contract between a willing buyer and a willing seller?

• How would you go about 'connecting' the UN SDGs with systems thinking?

• What criteria should be used when deciding which SEJF projects should move forward?

28 / 29 OCTOBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*guest visitor: Maria Pettersson, Chaired Professor, Lulea University of Technology


- Lolbar, L., Marciano, P. & Pettersson, M. Land-use planning and designated national interests in Sweden: arctic perspectives on landscape multifunctionality

*stakeholder theory / root cause analysis / SSA Marine case


- R. E. Freeman & McVea, J. A Stakeholder Approach to Strategic Management
- MindTools Stakeholder Analysis
- Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point Starts Permit Process
- Coal Port Proposal Drives a Big Green Wedge into Bellingham Politics
- Developers withdraw coal terminal applications, ending project
- McConnell under barrage in West Virginia


- Demand Metric (recommended resource tool for stakeholder mapping)


- overview of stakeholder theory (Dunn - 15:56)
- Business is about purpose: R. Edward Freeman at TEDxCharlottesville 2013
(17:38 minutes)

Writing Assignment 05 due by 1:00 pm of following Wednesday / Thursday

In the article Land-use planning and designated national interests in Sweden: arctic perspectives on landscape multifunctionality, the authors note the following in their introductory comments:

Integrated management suggests handling the plurality of interests by implementing a spatial focus (landscape, catchment, etc.) and selecting stakeholders on this basis.

They go on to advocate for an expanded notion of stakeholder analysis, stating:

widened consideration...implies that resources of public and/or private interest and various sectoral responsibilities, policies and boundaries must be considered.

In concluding their analysis, the authors advocate for systems thinking and values prioritization as tools for achieving better outcomes than those based on current formalized regulation:

Land-use designation as a tool for managing landscape multifunctionality seems to require equal weighing of the concerned land uses...In concrete planning situations, value descriptions should be enjoined, as we believe, with management prescriptions that originate in overarching considerations.

So for this writing assignment you are to:

1) develop a decision model that combines stakeholder mapping with values prioritization. Simply stated, this model should provide guidance as to how can one preserve the benefits of stakeholder mapping while simultaneously incorporating recognition that values 'matter.' In so doing:

2) select a simple case example and use this exemplar to provide a 'real world' illustration of your decision model.

Assignment submission link: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598/assignments/5062937

30 / 31 OCTOBER


*[class discussion questions to be posted here]

04 / 05 NOVEMBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*career fair preparation


- How to make effective use of a career fair
- Career Fair checklist

- Please click here to view internship and job opportunities offered by organizations attending the Business Career Fair

Writing Assignment 06 due by 5:00 pm of following Monday

Having had the opportunity to visit Western's Business Career Fair--or a similar Career or Internship Fair better tailored to your professional aspirations--it is worth pausing and responding to the following 'prompt:'

First, identify several specific employers with whom you spoke at the Career Fair. Then provide your responses to the following:

1) What is your assessment of the 'value proposition' each recruiters was offering--i.e., what were the key benefits each recruiter highlighted as of critical importance to a potential employee? Were each recruiter's arguments compelling enough to motivate you to keep the potential on your 'short list' of potential organizations for which to work? Why or why not?

2) You were required to probe each recruiter as to the importance of sustainability as a core value; articulate each recruiter's response to this line of questioning. What examples of corporate or organizational sustainability did each recruiter provide? Did you leave with a sense that each company or organization is authentically committed to advancing a sustainability mission?

3) There should have been some overarching 'takeaways' from your experience of participating in the Business Career Fair. Provide a narrative overview of these 'lessons learned.'

Note that this assignment is more experientially-based than academically-based. While you are encouraged to incorporate insights from published sources as part of this submission, do not feel compelled to make this a 'technical' writing assignment; your reflections on the questions above will largely be informed by your outlook and life experience.

Assignment submission link:


1:00pm - 5:00pm

Career Fair attendance required in lieu of face-to-face class, and for Writing Assignment 06

Business Career Fair - Wade King Rec Center MAC Gym

Please join us for Western Washington University's annual Business Career Fair. This Career Fair is brought to you by the Career Services Center and the College of Business and Economics. The fair is open to all students who would like to pursue career and internship opportunities in business. As a participating employer you will:

  • Meet hundreds of highly motivated candidates for career and internship positions
  • Fill your talent pipeline with resumes from qualified students and soon-to-be graduates
  • Increase on-campus awareness of your organization through participation and promotion
  • Expand your recruiting network by connecting with students, staff, faculty and representatives from other companies

11 / 12 NOVEMBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*ethical decision-making / environmental justice / diversity-equity-inclusion / willful ignorance and sustainability

Download an Ethical Decision-making worksheet for this class session by clicking here


Complete Guide to Ethics Management
- Kelman, Steven. Cost-Benefit Analysis: An Ethical Critique
- Le Guin, Ursula. The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
- Dunn, C. P. The Normative Defense for Affirmative Action
- Dunn, C. P. Integrity Matters
- Johnson & Johnson Credo
- Burton, B.K., Dunn, C.P & Goldsby, M. Moral Pluralism in Business Ethics Education: It Is About Time
- McShane, K. Environmental Ethics: An Overview
- Sagoff, M. Zuckerman's Dilemma: A Plea for Environmental Ethics


- ethical theory 1 (Dunn - 38:10 minutes)
- omelas reading
(Dunn - 16.03 minutes)
- ethical theory 2
(Dunn - 1:11:48 minutes)
- ethical decision-making
(Dunn - 23:45 minutes)

Writing Assignment 07 due by 1:00 pm of following Wednesday / Thursday

In the article Environmental Ethics: An Overview, McShane notes the following in her introductory comments:

...public interest [has] increased in questions about humans' moral relationship with the rest of the natural world. In the field of philosophy, a number of theorists at that time came to believe that traditional ethical theories were unable to provide an adequate account of this relationship.

It seems quite apparent that traditional models of ethics, which have to do with how humans should treat one another, are in fact not designed to capture the relationship between human and non-human species. Specifically, the focus on principles, or outcomes, or justice, or caring, or liberty, or even virtue come up short in this regard. So for the first part of your writing assignment you are to:

1) Outline the limitations of these six traditional ethical theories when it comes to adequately capturing the interface between human and non-human species. More specifically, in what ways do each of these ethical frameworks fail to capture the full value of the balance of nature?

In concluding her article McShane suggests:

many theorists [have] raise[d] questions about how we should understand the relationship between aesthetic value and moral value

Consistent with advocacy for a view of value that moves beyod the merely instrumental or utilitarian or economic, in his landmark 1949 work The Sand County Almanac Aldo Leopold suggests the following:

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

This leads to the second part of your writing assignment:

2) Suggest an alternative to the instrumental, or utilitarian, or economic view of nature that would fundamentally support, in the words of McShane, "a more sophisticated understanding of both the value of the natural world and the appropriate human responses that follow from that value."


3) Offer a single practical suggestion as to how business enterprises might incorporate your perspective as suggested in 2) in order to more fully respect nature.

Assignment submission link: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1334598/assignments/5078479

13 / 14 NOVEMBER


* Career Fair debrief

*[class discussion questions to be posted here]

18 / 19 NOVEMBER

*deliberate disruption by design / effective subversion / willful ignorance and sustainability / environmental science


- Edmondson, B. Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's (Google excerpt)
- Edmondson, B. Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's (reserve copy in Canvas; authors summary comments can be found in GreenMoney)
- Bader, C. "Ice Cream Social": The Ben & Jerry's Story (blog post in Huffington Post)


- Bayle-Cordier, J., Mirvis, P.H. & Moingeon, B. Projecting Different Identities: A Longitudinal Study of the "Whipsaw" Effects of Changing Leadership Discourse About the Triple Bottom Line
- Murray, J.H. Ben & Jerry's Struggles with Corporte Social Responsibility in an International Context
- Dunn, C.P. Deliberate Disruptive Design In: Ron Schultz (ed.), Creating Good Work: The World's Leading Social Entrepreneurs Help You Build a Healthy Economy
- Connolly, Emmet. Design Leadership as a subversive activity


- Rael, R. An Architect's subversive reimagining of the US-Mexico border wall

Writing Assignment 08 due by 1:00 pm of following Wednesday / Thursday

In his book Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben and Jerry's Edmondson offers a brilliant description of a clash of culture between an innovative, values-oriented start-up that became a multi-billion dollar enterprise--and the global corporate behemoth that ultimately purchased Ben & Jerry's. In what is undoubtedly one of the premier examples of effective subversion, in negotiating the terms of the sale both Ben and Jerry worked closely with their corporate attorneys to ensure commitment to a triple-bottom-line would be sustained post-takeover. The sale agreements gave the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors primary responsibility for “preserving and enhancing the objectives of the historical social mission of the company as they may evolve,” and for “safeguarding the integrity of the essential elements of the brand."

1) Outline just why the corporate governance dimensions of this case--a topic covered very early on in this course--have such relevance for the takeover of Ben & Jerry's by Unilever.

2) Identify the critical success factors that were essential to making certain Ben & Jerry's maintained its identify as a socially-responsible corporate enterprise post-acquisition.

In his book chapter Deliberate Disruptive Design, Dunn introduces the notion of positive deviance, which involves "looking for solutions among the ranks of those who are already doing well." Ben and Jerry could certainly fall in this category. He goes on to suggest we need to move beyond change that is "obvious and incremental, but rather a result of divergent thinking," closing by noting that "[g]iven the escalation of social inequalities within pure market systems, the system itself needs to be overturned (not abandoned), for complete change to take place--that is, it needs to be subverted."

3) What interventions (i.e., deliberate disruptive designs) should be implemented to ensure free-market capitalism does not further exacerbate the social injustices--including environmental injustice--that have accompanied the practice of this economic model to date?

Rael has provided a provocative TedTalk on reimaging the US-Mexico border. In light of what he identifies as a subversive perspective, give some thought to other fabricated borders--particularly those between public, private, not-for-profit...and nature.

4) Imagine a world in which the boundaries between these three sectors of the economy, and nature, were not so starkly drawn. How might sustainability be enhanced in such a world?

Assignment Submission Link:

20 / 21 NOVEMBER


*Guest Jane Talkington to debrief Ice Cream Social: The Struggle for the Soul of Ben & Jerry's (Click here to see Jane's bio)

Discussion Questions:


1. Consider the title of the book. Why does the author refer to Ben & Jerry’s experience as “a struggle”?

Chapter 1

2. What did Ben Cohen believe about the ‘power of business’?

3. What are two big questions explored by the book Ice Cream Social?

Chapter 2:

4. Name three features of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that qualify it as “super premium.”

5. Explain what was unique about the first “friends and family” stock offering and the second stock offering.

6. What did the Dough Boy experience teach the founders of Ben & Jerry’s?

7. What is the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation? When was it created? What is the purpose? How is it funded? Who sits on the Foundation’s Board of Directors? Who are the trustees?

8. Explain the initial (five to one) salary ratio: how it worked and why the company adopted this policy.

Chapter 3

9. Describe Peace Pops and 1% for Peace. Explain the results, positive and not so positive, that resulted from those initiatives.

Chapter 4

10. Explain the roles of Liz Bankowski at Ben & Jerry’s and the innovations in corporate social responsibility (CSR) that she led.

Chapter 5

11. Do you have an opinion on rBGH?

12. How did you form that opinion?

13. Has is changed over time?

14. Do you continue to follow research on it?

15. Explain the salary structure of the CEO position in 1994 and 1995. Reference dollar amounts. Why do you think the compensation changed so dramatically? What were the implications of this change, positive and negative?

Chapter 6

16. Explain why Bob Holland Jr. was hired and why he didn’t work out in the long term.

 Chapter 7

17. Ben & Jerry’s professes “peace, love, and Ice cream.” So why did they hire an executive from a gun company as their CEO?

18. What would you have done?

19. Would you ignore the cultural fit and focus only on the skill set?

Chapter 8

20. What strikes you as progressive or unusual about the Leading with Progressive Values document? (2 points)

Chapter 9

21. Perry Odak was the CEO of Ben & Jerry’s for three years. He managed the company back to a more financially stable position. This raised the stock price. He then facilitated the sale of the company. When Unilever purchased Ben & Jerry’s, Perry made $12.3 million dollars. Is this fair or egregious? Explain your opinion and justify it.

22. What does “nose in, fingers out” mean?

23. In retrospect, was that the best response by the Board?

Chapter 10

24. What features were significant about the sales agreement?

Chapter 11

25. Explain what happened to the enforcement of the sales agreement immediately after the purchase and then in the first seven years after the purchase.

26. What is your opinion of Odak’s actions of ‘shopping’ Ben & Jerry’s around for a potential buyer?

27. Do you think Odak was operating within the accepted bounds of a CEO’s responsibilities or do you think these actions were intentionally covert and constitute a ‘lie of omission’? Use your intuition because the answer is not in the book.

Chapter 12

28. Describe the events that lead the board of directors of Ben & Jerry’s to consider initiating a lawsuit against Unilever.

Chapter 13

29. Do you have an opinion on GMO?

30.How did you form that opinion?

31. Has is changed over time?

32. Do you continue to follow research on it?

Epilogue with Jeff Furman

33. What are Jeff Furman’s three biggest regrets in retrospect?

34. And what would you say to him in response to these admissions?

25 / 26 NOVEMBER

(Access content via Canvas)

*meaning of work / early career / job preparation / resume building


The Hungry Spirit: Beyond Capitalism..., Chapter 10

- Michaelson, C., Pratt, M.G., Grant, A. & Dunn, C. Meaningful Work: Connecting Business Ethics and Organization Studies
- A Greatness That Cannot Be Taught
- Breaking Up is Hard to Do

- O'Keefe, P.A., Dweck, C.S., Walton, G.M. Implicit Theories of Interest: Finding Your Passion or Developing It?
- Bronson, P.O. What Should I Do With My Life?
- Hopkins, M. S. 'The World According to Me'
- Peters, T. 'The Brand Called You'

The Hungry Spirit: Beyond Capitalism..., Chapter 1

- Terkel, Studs. 'Working'. (Chapter titles: John Fuller, Donna Murray, Carl Murray Bates, Walter Lundquist, Nora Watson, Roberta Victor)
- Taylor, Frederick. `The Principles of Scientific Management'
- Collins, Jim. What Comes Next?
- Bell, K. How Tiny Trash Cans Create Big Change
- Amabile, T. http://www.progressprinciple.com/


- meaning of work - Part 1 (Dunn - 10:51 minutes)

John Fuller (Dunn - 01:49 minutes)

- meaning of work - Part 2 (Dunn - 27:22 minutes)

Donna Murray (Dunn - 02:13 minutes)
Carl Murray Bates (Dunn - 02:31 minutes)

- Scott Dinsmore, How to find and do work you love (17:47 minutes)
- Adam van Koeverden On the Virtue of Hard Work (16:49 minutes)

27 / 28 NOVEMBER

(Thanksgiving recess)


02 / 03 DECEMBER


*presentation skills / LinkedIn Profile

Writing Assignment 09 due by 11:59 pm of previous Sunday

LinkedIn is a professional networking platform that has the potential to offer great benefit as you move through the Program, graduate, and embark on your career. This assignment is designed to bring you into--or more fully into--the LinkedIn network.

So...establish a professional LinkedIn profile--or enhance the profile you currently have. As you do so, make sure the tips from the following resources are clearly in evidence:

The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Job Seekers

How LinkedIn Can Help You Score a Sustainability Job

Evaluation of this assignment will in part have to do with how clearly you have incorporated the tips outlined in these two articles within your LinkedIn profile. In addition, you will need to have a clearly crafted statement of personal purpose--based on the readings and video on the topic of meaningful work--prominently included on your LinkedIn profile.

You are to submit two items:

1) a URL to your LinkedIn Profile

2) a .pdf of your home page as posted on LinkedIn

There is one more part of this assignment, which was referenced very early on in the course. You are to utilize PitchVantage (see https://pitchvantage.com/universities/#univ_vid) to create a brief 'elevator pitch' in an .mp4 format that outlines the value proposition (see https://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/ValueProposition.htm) you bring to a job in business and sustainability.  This should be one to two minutes long, and uploaded to LinkedIn as part of your profile. More specifically,

3)  Register for PitchVantage (recall there have been no other expenses associated with textbooks or readings for this course).  Here are a couple more details:

You can register for PitchVantage here: bit.ly/envsmgmt359 (you can type the URL into your browser; all letters are lower case)

Log into the PitchVantage cloud site (after registering an account) here: https://cloud.pitchvantage.com/ (please use Google Chrome as your web browser)

For this third part of the assignment, you are to provide a minimum of three iterations of your 'elevator pitch.' In order to do so, you will upload a 'first draft,' reflect on feedback provided by the system, modify your presentation, upload a 'second draft,' reflect on feedback provided by the system, modify your presentation, and upload a 'third draft' (I will be able to enter the PitchVantage system and review all iterations).

And if you have not yet done so, in order to facilitate connections between current students and alumni of the Business & Sustainability Program, and for internship opportunities and job postings related to Business & Sustainability,

4) access https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12135827 and click the Ask to join tab.

Assignment Submission Link:

04 / 05 DECEMBER


*SEJF Project Proposal Presentations


(Electronic Group Submission)

*SEJF Project Proposals Due