Perspectives on Business
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 businesso Legal/regulatory context
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
Describe the sources of legal rules and regulationso Political context
Explain the need for and various types of business regulation
Discuss how business is expected to respond to, or reflect, societal expectations, and the consequences of not doing soo Ecological context
Describe how business influences the regulatory process
Summarize the history of relationships among business, government, and society
Explain the effects of business on the environment, and why it has those effectso Ethical theories and models of ethical reasoning;
Discuss how and why government regulation affects the environment
Discuss how societal values are incorporated into ethical reasoningo 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.
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.
MIDTERM AND FINAL EXAMINATIONS:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
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.
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