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UoPeople Online Syllabus Repository (OSR)

Business Administration

BUS 3306 Business & Society

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BUS 3306  - BUSINESS & SOCIETY


Syllabus


Prerequisites: BUS 1101 Principles of Business Management


Course Description:
In this course, we will be exploring the inter-relationships between business and society, including the tensions between various stakeholders and the growing pressures to approach business with corporate responsibility and sustainability as primary underlying influences. With rapidly changing technology and globalization, we must strategize our business decisions with far greater insight and conscientiousness than ever before. This course takes a look at business and society relationships from various global perspectives, including developing countries and societies, and different cultural norms and beliefs. It provides students with insights into the issues surrounding business from both macro and micro level perspectives.


Required Textbook and Materials:


All readings are found through weblinks provided within each unit.


Software Requirements/Installation


No special requirements.


Learning Objectives and Outcomes:


By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. describe why ethical behaviors benefit a company.
  2. identify the major stakeholder groups which interact with business organizations and the kinds of expectations they may hold with respect to their role in the business enterprise and society.
  3. define the areas of corporate social responsibilities of business: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic and be able to explain their tensions with one another.
  4. analyze the types of decisions that managers must face and dilemmas which they may experience in their professional leadership roles, and will apply their knowledge to making ethical business decisions.
  5. describe the important considerations for business leaders in terms of organizing and managing a diverse workforce.


Course Schedule and Topics


This course will cover the following topics in eight learning sessions, one unit per week.


Unit 1 – Introduction to Business and Society
Unit 2 – Corporate Social Responsibility
Unit 3 – The Social Contract: Time to Redefine?
Unit 4 – Social Business Enterprise
Unit 5 – Sustainability
Unit 6 – Going “Green”
Unit 7 – Managing Diversity in the Workplace
Unit 8 – Managing Ethics
Unit 9 – Final Reflections and Examination


Learning Guide


This course does not have an assigned textbook. The reading assignments are found through links in the classroom. Each week includes a reading assignment, and then one or more of the following: learning journal writing; discussion board dialogue; and unit assignments. Some units also include an ungraded “self-quiz.” Others include graded quizzes. Week 9 includes a final exam.
When posting on the discussion board, you should write posts that are at least 100 words in length. You should also respond to at least 3 of your classmates in each of the discussion boards. These responses should be thoughtful and demonstrative of your understanding of the topics being discussed. You can share examples, stories, or additional information to advance the discussion further.


Unit 1: Introduction to Business and Society

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Respond to the Discussion Post. Respond to at least three Discussion
  • Forum posts written by your fellow students. These replies must be of high quality, and they are rated and a part of your weekly discussion grade.
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the Self-Quiz

Reading Assignment

Thoroughly read the Syllabus for this course available in the General Information Section on the course home page.

Next, read: “Intro Presentation, Unit One.”

Next, read the following document on Stakeholder Management: http://www.themanager.org/pdf/Stakeholder%20Management.PDF 

Next, read the following article on Stakeholder Analysis: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_07.htm

As you read through these resources, consider any parts that are unclear to you, and make note of them in your learning journal. A brief summary:

Macroenvironment = the complete societal context within which the business organization exists, consisting of four parts :

  1. Social Environment – demographics, lifestyles and social values of the society

  2. Economic Environment – nature and direction of the economy within which the business operates

  3. Political Environment – processes by which laws get passed and officials get elected and all other aspects of the interaction between the firm, political processes, and the government.

  4. Technological Environment – total set of technology based advancements taking place in society.

Pluralism = a distribution of power among society’s many different groups and organizations (Multiple Stakeholders and their interrelationships)

Special-Interest society - one in which pluralism is pursued to an extreme: society is created and influenced by tens of thousands of groups, each with their own agendas (again, many stakeholders)

What is a stake, and who are stakeholders? A stake is an interest or share in an undertaking. A stakeholder is the person who has this interest or share. This interest may include a legal right, a moral right, or simply a strong concern for what they consider ethical or fair.

Business criticism has led to business change and innovation.

Unit 2: Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Complete and Submit Unit Assignment
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal

Reading Assignment


This week you will be reading the following essay that describes and explains the who, what, why, and how of “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR): https://instituteforpr.org/corporate-social-responsibility/

And the following: http://www.ioe-emp.org/fileadmin/ioe_documents/publications/Policy%20Areas/csr/EN/(2005)%20The%20Role%20of%20Business%20in%20Society.pdf

You will also read the following definition of “triple bottom line,” which is at the core of Corporate Social Responsibility: http://www.economist.com/node/14301663 as well as an article highlighting several companies usages of CSR: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/1710-businesses-that-give-back.html

Unit 3: The Social Contract: Time to Redefine?

  • Assess Unit 2 assignments
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum. Respond to the Discussion Post. Respond to at least three Discussion Forum posts written by your fellow students. These replies must be of high quality, and they are rated and a part of your weekly discussion grade
  • Complete and submit unit assignment.
  • Take the Self-Quiz.

Reading Assignment


Read the following article entitled, “Is it Time to Rewrite the Social Contract?: http://www.tellus.org/pub/Is%20It%20Time%20to%20Rewrite%20the%20Social%20Contract.pdf

As you read through the article, consider any terms that are unfamiliar to you and note them in your learning journal.

And then read: https://web.archive.org/web/20170620022135/http://www.thecro.com/topics/business-ethics/the-corporate-social-contract/

This week’s reading will bring you through the historical shifts in the social contract, and will describe the pervasive influences that have made it look the way that it does today. Further, it will give you some ideas for how the social contract could be shifted and rewritten to be brought up to date for the current decade and beyond.

Unit 4: Social Business Enterprise

  • Assess Unit 3 assignments
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum. Respond to the Discussion Post. Respond to at least three Discussion Forum posts written by your fellow students. These replies must be of high quality, and they are rated and a part of your weekly discussion grade
  • Take the Quiz

Reading Assignment


First, read this article, which describes social entrepreneurship and social business enterprise.

Next, you will read the article entitled, Social Business Enterprises - Maximising Social Benefits or Maximising Profits? The Case of Grameen-Danone Foods Limited Asad at - https://my.uopeople.edu/pluginfile.php/85076/mod_book/chapter/60826/MaxSocBen.pdf 

This article describes the work of Muhammad Yunus in establishing the concept of "Social Business Enterprise,” which redefines the enterprise as an entity that not only operates to maximize profits, but also works towards a righteous cause. The goal of redefining the business enterprise in this manner, is to work toward alleviating global poverty, while continuing to deliver necessary products and services.

The article closely examines the case of Grameen-Danone Foods Limited (GDFL), a social business enterprise. It carries a detailed analysis of its rationale, incorporation, product, operations, and the challenges it currently faces.

You shall also visit the following website to read more about Muhammad Yunus and his Nobel Peace Prize: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2006/yunus-bio.html

Unit 5: Sustainability

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum. Respond to the Discussion Post. Respond to at least three Discussion Forum posts written by your fellow students. These replies must be of high quality, and they are rated and a part of your weekly discussion grade
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Take the self-quiz

Reading Assignment

You will read the following article that defines sustainability and describes how CEOs have begun to embed these principles into the policies and operations of their corporations. Further, it explains some of the challenges that have arisen, and what the new era of sustainability should begin to look like: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/news_events/8.1/UNGC_Accenture_CEO_Study_2010.pdf

The article above refers to a study being published soon by The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB). This study has been published and can be found at  http://www.teebweb.org

Also, visit the United Nations Global Compact website to learn more about their purpose and their work: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/

Unit 6: Going “Green”

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Complete and Submit Unit Assignment
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum. Respond to the Discussion Post. Respond to at least three Discussion Forum posts written by your fellow students. These replies must be of high quality, and they are rated and a part of your weekly discussion

Reading Assignment


Visit the following weblink: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/how-use-green-marketing-effectively-your-business

Here you will read about the importance of “green marketing” and how it can benefit your business. While this information is from the US Small Business Administration, it is part of a larger context in which global companies are applying the same principles to their sustainability plans.

Also read about how to get your products certified as “green:” http://green.wikia.com/wiki/Certification_of_Green_Products
Next, explore the following weblinks that exemplify specific companies and how they report out on their sustainability practices:
http://www.benjerry.com 
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/green-mission.php
http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com 
http://www.unilever.com/sustainability/introduction/timeline/index.aspx

Unit 7: Managing Diversity in the Workplace

  • Assess Unit 6 assignments
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Complete and Submit Unit Assignment
  • Take the Quiz

Reading Assignment


Read this article on managing diversity in the workplace.

Next, visit the website of the large U.S. corporation, Sodexo, and learn how they effectively invest in diversity management and use it to their advantage: http://sodexousa.com/usen/corporate_responsibility/responsible_employer/diversity_inclusion/diversity_inclusion.aspx

Two important general points can be made about the relationship between diversity and business success.

  1. The effects of workforce diversity are conditioned by other organizational and contextual factors.
  2. Diversity can’t be used as a competitive organizational strength unless it’s managed effectively.

The Balanced Scorecard is one effective tool to measure and quantify the impact of diversity at different levels and functions of business. By using this method, it may become possible to predict the economic value added by assessing the level of workforce diversity, inclusive organizational cultures and good diversity management.

Unit 8: Managing Ethics

  • Assess Unit 7 assignments
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Forum. Respond to the Discussion Post. Respond to at least three Discussion Forum posts written by your fellow students. These replies must be of high quality, and they are rated and a part of your weekly discussion grade
  • Make entries to the Learning Journal
  • Complete the self- quiz

Reading Assignment


You will read the following Complete Guide to Ethics Management: An Ethics Toolkit for Managers at the following website: http://managementhelp.org/businessethics/ethics-guide.htm#anchor26548
Read all of the included highlighted documents, which can be read by simply scrolling down through the entire document, or by clicking on each highlighted topic, which will bring you directly to that section.

Unit 9: Final Reflections and Examination

  • Read the Learning Guide
  • Respond to the discussion forum
  • Take the Review-quiz
  • Take the Final Exam


Course Requirements


Assignments
There is an Assignment to be completed for some units in this course. You will be required to upload your assignments by the indicated deadline and in addition, to assess three of your classmates’ assignments according to the instructions provided. Failure to submit assignments may result in failure of the course. You are also expected to provide details in the feedback section of the assignment assessment forms as to why you awarded the grade that you did to your peer.

Discussion Forum
Some units include a discussion question that will be posted in the Discussion Forum. In each unit, you are required to post a substantive response to the question. A substantive response is one that fully answers the question that has been posed by the instructor.

In addition, you must extend the conversation by responding to at least three of your peers’ postings.

Discussion Forums are only active for the relevant learning week and it is not possible to contribute to a discussion forum once the learning week has come to an end. Failure to participate in the Discussion Forums may result in failure of the course

Course Forum
The Course Forum is the place to raise issues and questions relating to the course. It is monitored by the instructors. It is a good place to meet fellow students taking the same course. While it is not required to participate in this forum, it is highly recommended.

Learning Journal
The Learning Journal is a tool for self-reflection on the learning process. In addition to completing directed tasks, you should use the Learning Journal to document your activities, record problems you may have encountered and to draft answers for Discussion Forums and Assignments. The Learning Journal should be updated regularly (on a weekly basis), as the learning journals will be assessed by your instructor as part of your Final Grade.

Quizzes
The course has are two types of quizzes, Self-Quiz and graded Quiz. The results of the Quiz form a part of the final grade while the results of the Self-Quiz do not count towards your grade.
You will have multiple attempts to take the Self-Quiz and improve your results, it is recommended you take the Self-Quiz to insure adequate understanding of the learning materials.


Final Exam

The Final Exam will take place during the Thursday and Sunday of Week/Unit 9, following the completion of eight units of work. The format of the Final Exam is similar to that of the quizzes, and may contain a combination of different question types. You will have one attempt to take the exam, and it will be graded electronically. Specific instructions on how to prepare for and take the Final Exam will be provided during Week 8 (located inside the Unit 9 Learning Guide). Final Exams must be taken without the use of course learning materials (both those inside and outside the course). If particular materials are allowed for use during the exam, these will be noted in the exam’s instructions.



Classroom Forum
The Classroom Forum is available only to students in the same classroom or group. The Classroom Forum is only activated when there are many groups of students taking the course at the same time. Participation in this forum is an excellent way to get to know your classmates and is also a platform for raising issues and questions relating to the course. While it is not required to participate in this forum, it is highly recommended.


Policies


Grading
The University has established the following grading scale. All faculty members are expected to comply with this scale:

Grade Scale Grade Points
A+ 98-100 4.00
A 93-97 4.00
A- 90-92 3.67
B+ 88-89 3.33
B 83-87 3.0
B- 80-82 2.67
C+ 78-79 2.33
C 73-77 2.00
C- 70-72 1.67
D+ 68-69 1.33
D 63-67 1.00
D- 60-62 0.67
F Under 60 0.00


Grades will be based on a standard 100-point scale with the following values and ranges:

Grading Components and Weights

Written Assignments 16%
Discussion Forums 16%
Learning Journal 8%
Quizzes 40%
Final Exam 20%


Grade Appeal
If you believe that the grade you have received for a course is erroneous, please contact your course instructor. This must be done within seven days of the grade posting, for more information on the Grade appeal procedure please refers to the UoPeople Catalog.

Participation
Non-participation is characterized by lack of assignment submission and/or inadequate contribution in discussion forum postings.

  • Assignments must be submitted on or before the deadline. A course timeline is provided in the course schedule. The instructor will specify the deadline for each assignment.
  • Occasionally there may be a legitimate reason for submitting an assignment late. Most of the time late assignments will not be accepted, and there will be no make-up assignments.

Any student showing non-participation for 2 weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) is likely to automatically fail the course.
All students are obligated to inform their instructor in advance of any known absences which may result in their non-participation.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

When you submit any work that requires research and writing, it is essential to cite and reference all source material. Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is known as “plagiarism” – which is effectively passing off an individual’s words or ideas as your own. University of the People adheres to a strict policy of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in sanctions by the University, including dismissal from the University or course failure. For more information on this topic, please review the Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog.

Unless otherwise stated, any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA format is widely used in colleges and universities across the world and is one of several style and citation formats required for publication in professional and academic journals. Purdue University’s Online Writing LAB (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html


Code of Conduct
University of the People expects that students conduct themselves in a respectful, collaborative and honest manner at all times. Harassment, threatening behavior, or deliberate embarrassment of others will not be permitted.
Any conduct that interferes with the quality of the educational experience is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action, such as course failure, probation, suspension, or dismissal.