Academic Department

CSR/Business Ethics
Instructor: Jerry Goodstein

This seminar examines the management of stakeholder relationships (shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, publics) from a normative perspective, evaluate the effects of publics (including governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, communities, and the public at large) on organizational strategy, and apply a formal process to identify and address ethical conflicts between firms and stakeholders, paying particular attention to private sector-public sector interactions. This includes:

• Identifying and evaluating the importance of resources provided by public stakeholders.

• Evaluating the role of the “moral manager” in making public and private sector decisions including resolving tradeoffs among stakeholders.

• Evaluating the social contract between the firm and public stakeholders and evaluating how this social contract should guide decision making.

• Applying a formal ethical framework that incorporates personal values and broader utilitarian, rights/duties, and justice considerations into making decisions.

The stakeholder model, ethics matrix, normative ethics theories, and Giving Voice to Values curriculum are used as theoretical foundations for the course. Students are also encouraged to reflect on their own ethical beliefs and how those beliefs may guide business decision-making.

Instructor: Joe Cote

The resource-based-view of the firm and stakeholder theory are used to identify the sources of sustainable competitive advantage. We examine how direct and indirect stakeholder effects influence the resources available to an organization and how these resources create competitive advantage. Ultimately students should be able determine the relative importance of stakeholders to the organization's strategy and allocate organizational assets among stakeholders to enhance long-term performance. Specifically, students should be able to:

1. Describe an organization’s strategy and competitive advantage.

2. Explain the interrelationship between the organization’s resources (competencies) and its strategy (business model).

3. Identify the role stakeholders play in providing the resources needed by the organization.

4. Create a plan for how to engage stakeholders and assess stakeholder relationships

A more detailed breakdown of the learning goals, associated readings, relevant theory, and assessment of learning goals is presented in the syllabus.