Western Washington University Western Washington University

Seminar in Management:
Environmental Management
Winter 2008

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Meets: T/R 2:00 pm -- 3:50 pm (CF 231, CRN 14170)
Instructor: Associate Professor Craig P. Dunn, PhD
Office: PH 206A
Office Hours: 12:00 -- 2:00 pm T/R, and by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

MBA 525 SEMINAR IN MANAGEMENT (04) Prereq: MBA 510c. Intensive examination of selected topics in management. Repeatable to a maximum of 8 credits.

This inaugural course offering stresses the appropriateness of assessing the impact(s) of corporate action on the natural environment. The overriding pedagogical objective is to sharpen the graduate student’s ability to diagnose business situations from the environmental point of view. Primary consideration will be given to the organizational implications of shifting from the traditional input-process-output (“cradle-to-grave”) organization model to an input-process-output-input (“cradle-to-cradle”) mindset. Strategic business opportunities associated with an evolving consumer environmental consciousness will be explored.

What is the relationship between business and the natural environment? Do corporations--and more particularly the managers who represent them--have any responsibility to preserve the environment? In what ways does business activity impact the ecosystem? What is the appropriate relationship between the human species and the balance of the natural environment? These and other related questions provide the `grist' for this course. Specific topics include:

Environmental Ethics
Ecofeminism and Environmental Justice
Scarcity, Overconsumption, and the Market
Clean Technology
Pollution Prevention
Life-Cycle Design
Loop Closing
Environmental Management Systems

Students enrolling in this course can expect to come away with both theoretical as well as practical insights with regard to the broad topic of the interface between business and the natural environment.

A maximum of 100 points may be accumulated in this course. Point distribution varies as follows (see grading contract at end of syllabus for details):

o Reflective Journal 20 points
o Team Seminar Presentation 20-30 points
o Writing Assignments 20-30 points
o Team Case Analysis 20-30 points

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 - 100 points


90 - 92.9 points


86.5 - 89.9 points


83 - 86.4 points


80 - 82.9 points


76.5 - 79.9 points


73 - 76.4 points


70 - 72.9 points


66.5 - 69.9 points


63 - 66.4 points


60 - 62.9 points


In a section entitled Grades and Intellectual Honesty, the Western Washington University catalog states:

Grades are given for the student’s work and achievement. Fair evaluation of students’ work and helpful instruction are possible only when students submit work which genuinely reflects their own reading, computation, research and thoughts and is their own production, whether in writing or other format(s). Intellectual dishonesty can result in a failing grade and the placement of a note in the student’s permanent record. For the university’s policy on academic dishonesty, see Appendix D.

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

'. . .my spirit never walked beyond our counting house. . .[It] never roved beyond the narrow limits of our money-changing hole.'
'But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge.
'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing his hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business. . .'

-Jacob Marley
A Christmas Carol
(Charles Dickens)

One text is assigned: The Ecology of Commerce, by Paul Hawken. Assigned case studies, reading materials, and course videos will be available on the course website. Students will be provided additional case studies for end-of-term presentations by their class colleagues.Students are expected to read each assigned reading before the scheduled lecture for that reading.

Each week the class schedule will indicate a 'prompt' for your reflective journal (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment accounts for twenty percent of your course grade, and is designed to engage you in linking the course content with 'real life' application(s).

For each day on which a reflective journal assignment is posted, students are to 'cut and paste' the 'prompt' from the course schedule into a new thread within their own journal, and then provide their reflections on the 'prompt.' The reflective journal is to be kept in Blackboard. To post an entry, do the following:

o Click on the 'reflective journal' button in the left menu bar
o Click on 'view'
o Click on 'new entry'
o Enter a BRIEF journal entry title
o Cut and paste the 'prompt' from the course schedule into the BODY of the journal entry
o Click 'save' (following completion of journal entry)

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty member, have access to these posts--which are time and date stamped upon submission.

TEAM SEMINAR PRESENTATION: Students are to work in seminar groups of two in facilitating discussion for one class session. These 'presentations' are to address the seminar readings as catalogued in the course schedule. The facilitators will be responsible to: 1) provide a brief summary of the literature to be discussed for the selected class session (assume the class has read the assigned material); 2) introduce relevant commentary and/or supplementary readings where appropriate; 3) prepare relevant questions for discussion to be distributed electronically one week prior to their scheduled seminar; 4) relate the required reading to the topic under discussion; 5) introduce relevant pedagogical devices linking theory and practice, and 6) provide an annotated bibliography of readings related to the topic under consideration.

Areas that will be considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in evaluating the seminar presentation are:

o adequacy of analysis
o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o integration of environmental and managerial theory
o professionalism of presentation
o creativity of presentation

There are no examinations for this course.

There will be five writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). Each student is to respond to four of these. All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in class and/or as covered in assigned readings. 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.

Papers are to be submitted electronically to craig.dunn@wwu.edu. The e-mail memo line as well as the MS Word file name MUST begin with the LAST NAME of the student and also include the course designation (MBA 525).

"Greed, for want of a better term, is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of its forms-greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge-has marked the upward surge of mankind."

-Gordon Gecko
Oliver Stone's Wall Street

Each student shall participate in a team project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice. In this project each team will be engaged in analyzing a contemporary environmental business case using the principles outlined in lecture and readings.

In so doing, each team is to prepare both a comprehensive written as well as an oral analysis of an environmental business case of their own choosing, to include: (1) a statement identifying the environmental issue; (2) listing of alternatives providing resolution of this environmental issue; (3) analysis of proposed resolution(s) from the perspective of environmental as well as managerial theory; (4) selection of optimal resolution (with supporting defense from both the environmental and managerial perspectives); as well as (5) suggestions for implementation. Any assumptions made must be clearly identified as such, but do not 'assume away' the dilemma--resolve it!

A 'Case Proposal' form is to be submitted by each group no later than the end of the second week of the course. Cases can come from any appropriate current source; the Wall Street Journal and the 'Social Issues' column of Business Week are among the more popular periodicals for sourcing business ethics cases. Cases are to be presented during two class sessions set aside for case presentation (see course schedule for specific date).

Reporting will take the form of a 30 minute oral presentation followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. Be creative. Prepare the analysis 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 team project are listed in the table below.

o timeliness of case
o soundness of recommendations
o feasibilty of case resolution
o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o use of environmental and managerial theory to support arguments
o professionalism of presentation
o creativity of presentation

Outlined above are the course activities available to students. Ranges of possible points have been listed above. Each student is to fill out and return to the instructor a binding contract for work to be completed this term (see below). You are to fill out the number of points desired for each activity. The total number of points must total 100. Points for each activity will range from 20-50% of the course grade, depending upon the individual assignment and weightings. Points must be selected in increments of 5.

For example, a student may choose to minimize the points on the team case analysis by completing all other assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Reflective Journal 20 points
o Team Seminar Presentation 30 points
o Writing Assignments 30 points
o Team Case Analysis 20 points

In all cases, class participation is mandatory. Failure to attend scheduled class sessions may be reflected in final course grading.

To send your MBA 525 contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted electronically. A confirmed copy of each contract will be returned to each student by the end of the first week of class.

Management 525 Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MGT 525 student and Professor Dunn for work to be completed Winter term, 2008. It is understood that this agreement is not subject to change. Additionally, course participation (or lack thereof) may be reflected in final course grading.

Section #

First Name: Last Name:

Western ID:

Complete E-mail Address:

Point Objective for Reflective Journal:

Point Objective for Team Seminar Presentation:

Point Objective for Writing Assignments:

Point Objective for Team Case Analysis:

Please make certain the above point objectives total 100.

By sending this form, you agree to be evaluated on the basis of this contract as well as by the terms of the course as outlined in this syllabus.

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