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People, Planet and Profit

Should it matter if my oriental rugs or running shoes are made in a factory that employs 14 year old children? Should I buy only fair trade coffee?  If I do, does it really improve the quality of life for coffee farmers?  Do environmentally friendly buildings cost more?  If yes, should I build "green" buildings anyway? Should a drug company give away medication free to AIDS patients in Africa who cannot afford even a few dollars a day for medicine?  These are real questions facing many large global companies today.

The primary objective of the course is to assess the effects of corporate social responsibility, that is, its cost and its benefits.  In this course we will describe how effective business social performance requires that business expand its concern to include economic performance, social responsibility, and ethical behavior.  We will also learn how to analyze ethical dilemmas faced by individuals in the context of business decision making and identify the foundations upon which resolution might be possible.  During this process, you will contrast your own value system with those of others, and describe the value systems behind your opinions, decisions, and action.