CSR Information Per Organizational Behavior Course
(Browse the responses for each course below)
In this course, I talk about sustainable innovation, and how it differs from traditional models and discussions of innovation. A discussion of business ethics is included in a lecture on the role of power and politics in innovation.
There are a series of individual and group projects around innovation, which require problem-definition, problem-solving, team work, prototyping and presentation.
In this course, CEOs are brought in as guest lecturers and discuss real issues of social responsibility. The course includes discussion of selected companies’ business issues around the world and examples are used of conflicts and business issues related to business ethics in multi-cultures. We also discuss diversity in selection and hiring practices.
In the 2011 course, the big research project and final keyed on fracking, which has a tremendous environmental impact but yields very considerable benefits. It will be used again. A Harvard Business Review classic article, “Is Business Bluffing Ethical? (Albert Carr),” had a strong corporate social responsibility vein, and will be reused. Numerous assignments touch on both CSR and and environmental sustainability, such as students’ choices of healthcare and national policy issues.
Students choose their speaking topics under broad umbrellas, and work with at least one other student on a buddy basis. They develop and give five talks, most of which involve critical thinking. They work in twosomes developing an insightful talk, including PowerPoints.
I spend an entire three-hour class on business ethics and corporate social responsibility. I use a video case on Goldman for ethics and the Harvard Business School IKEA case for corporate social responsibility. All of the cases I teach are about global firms and 4 of the 8 cases are non-US firms, or pertain specifically to multi-national business.
The course includes several in-class exercises, and a final group project.
One session in this course is dedicated to managing diversity in the workplace. Part of another session focusing on work/life balance, with a good deal of consideration of the unique challenges facing female employees.
The course includes in-classes exercises and a group project analyzing a real-life organization that group members need to conduct interviews with.
This course examines the factors that lead managers at all levels to engage in illegal, socially irresponsible, and unethical behavior. I begin the course with a brief characterization of the main ethical perspectives. I try to include cases that involve non-North American organizations. Diversity is addressed in connection with behavior that is unethical because it discriminates on the basis of sex/gender. The course includes case discussion.
About a third of the course is about the impact of technology on team and organizational process – ultimately we focus on managing virtual teams, which empirically are typically global. To the degree that teams are about managing in a more democratic and participative fashion, this course touches on ethics.
Teams tend to work better when they are heterogeneous – we touch on issues of diversity and how it affects decision making, conflict, creativity, leadership, and design. It comes up in almost every class session.
The course is based on practical skill application, so it focuses on projects (there are three team-based assignments including a final project). Moreover, the students engage in hands-on skill development through team exercises/simulations and role plays during every class session.
Energy efficiency is about reducing the waste of energy resources. This has a financial impact, an environmental impact, and a global strategic impact. We discuss the global nature of carbon, the growing demand for energy by developing nations and how to support energy efficient technologies in places with low income and high per capita carbon use. We don’t cover business ethics directly, but wasting a scarce resource is an ethical as well as financial issue. There is also a limited discussion of diversity. For example, in developing nations girls who must gather wood and water are less likely to go to school.
Hands-on learning approaches are incorporated into the course. Each student must present to the class and there are group projects.
I spend one week (3 hours) discussing the main ethical frameworks and how power can cause people to participate in unethical behavior. Two of the ten weeks of the course focus on cases in which women are the primary actors and we consider how the fact that they are women, rather than men, might have impacted the action described. The course includes case discussion.
Regarding global issues, there is a session devoted to cross-cultural negotiations which includes relevant readings, and we talk about negotiations with members of other cultures, do a cross-cultural negotiation exercise, and have a debate about a case of cross-cultural misunderstandings.
There is a session devoted to ethics in negotiating which includes readings relevant to the topic, a self-assessment, a discussion of frameworks of negotiation ethics and how students would handle cases of ethical dilemmas, and a negotiations exercise.
We discuss issues of diversity in the cross-cultural negotiations session, the session on biases (some of which are related to similarity in people), and diversity tends to come up in debriefs about how to negotiate with people who are different from oneself.
Students participate in a negotiation simulation in every class session, both one-on-one, with pairs, with agents, and as groups.
Although a Business History class, all three of the books I chose are related to sustainability over time. One is an examination of the impact of humans over the last 10,000 years and the impact of over-consumption on four societies; the other two deal with industrial agriculture and cradle-to-cradle manufacturing practices. The topics are mostly global, though the agriculture book deals with the U.S. Implicit in the works is the role of individual and corporate choices.