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443 - Sustainable Corporations (3 hours)*
This course considers the sustainability of the modern US corporation – that is, whether the corporation is capable of meeting current social needs while enabling future generations to meet their needs. The course looks at the corporation’s current design: its externalization of social costs, the short-termism of corporate decision-making, the “group think” culture of corporate leadership, and corporate personhood. It then considers some current responses to these non-sustainable attributes: planet (environmental liabilities), people (voluntary CSR movement), and profits (institutional shareholder activism). The course concludes by considering paradigm shifts: revamped disclosure, new business forms, the corporation as integrated system, the corporation as moral agent, and re-conceptualizations of corporate leadership. Students work in groups on weekly basis, submit reflection papers for each unit, and write a paper at the end of the term on a “corporate sustainability” topic of their choice.
* This course may be offered for 2 hours during some years.