Western Washington University Western Washington University

Perspectives on Business
Fall 2010

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Course Syllabus:

Meets: F 10:00 am -- 11:50 am (PH-108; CRN 42080)
Instructor: Assoc. Professor Craig P. Dunn, PhD
Office: PH 017
Office Hours: 2:00 -- 2:50 pm T/R, and by appointment
Phone: 360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)
E-mail: craig.dunn@wwu.edu
URL: www.dunn.cc

An introduction to perspectives on the nature of business in society, the development of the firm and how organizations function.

What is the corporation? Do corporations--and more particularly the managers who represent them--have any responsibilities beyond seeking to maximize shareholder wealth? How are organizations best structured for enduring success? These and other related questions provide the 'grist' for this course.

This course is designed to be a challenging and exciting course for the undergraduate scholars student. The overriding pedagogical objective is to sharpen your abilities to think critically and to diagnose situations from a social perspective. Accomplishing this objective entails introducing you to a broad range of business frameworks, necessarily taking account of the complexities and constraints imposed by the environment in which the firm operates, why the environment must be attended to--and how it affects the moral character of decisions.


o Social context
 Describe the common ways of explaining ethical/social duties in business
 Identify the relationships and responsibilities business has to stakeholder groups
 Explain the nature and imperative of a “market economy” and citizens self-identifying as consumers
o Legal/regulatory context
 Describe the sources of legal rules and regulations
 Explain the need for and various types of business regulation
o Political context
 Discuss how business is expected to respond to, or reflect, societal expectations, and the consequences of not doing so
 Describe how business influences the regulatory process
 Summarize the history of relationships among business, government, and society
o Ecological context
 Explain the effects of business on the environment, and why it has those effects
 Discuss how and why government regulation affects the environment
o Ethical theories and models of ethical reasoning;
 Discuss how societal values are incorporated into ethical reasoning
o Global economic environment
 Identify the effects on business decisions of operating across borders

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

o Reflective Journal 25-50 points
o Writing Assignments 50-75 points

Grading policy anticipates that faculty members are expected to use all grades from A to F to distinguish among level of academic accomplishment, with the grade for average undergraduate achievement being a C. The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the semester.

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 MGT 202 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)

Readings are available on the course schedule. Students are expected to read each assigned reading before the scheduled class session for which it is assigned.

For each week the class schedule will indicate a 'prompt' for your reflective journal (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment is designed to engage you in critical thinking: critique, synthesis, analysis, and application.

For each reflective journal posting, 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 '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)

Only each individual student, as well as the faculty member, have access to journal posts--which are time and date stamped upon submission. Journal entries are evaluated on timeliness and thoroughness in addressing the issue under consideration.

There are no examinations in this course.

There will be four writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in class 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 (MGT 202).

"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

There are no team projects for this course.

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 25-75% 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 reflective journal by completing writing assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Reflective Journal 25 points
o Writing Assignments 75 points

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

To send your MGT 202 contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted electronically. A copy of each contract will be posted to the course Blackboard site by the end of the fourth week of class.

Management 202 Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MGT 202 student and Professor Dunn for work to be completed Fall term, 2010. 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 Writing Assignments:

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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