Business, Society and the Economy
- Last Updated on Monday June 08, 2015
Introduction to Business and Management
This course provides a framework for understanding what businesspeople do. We will explore the challenges that businesspeople must understand and face, including the global business environment, ethics and social responsibility, and the implications for fulfilling the fundamental business purpose of creating value for various stakeholders. We will address how businesspeople establish strategies to cope with these business challenges and succeed in the marketplace. In this introductory survey course, we will specifically explore marketing, accounting, finance, information systems, management, and entrepreneurship.
How do innovators think?
Innovation skills are increasingly being recognized as the skills that separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in the 21st century, and those who are not. A focus on creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration is essential to prepare students for the future.
This course addresses the challenges and opportunities of managing innovation by primarily focusing on three areas. First, understanding innovation: What is innovation? Why is innovation so critical to America’s future? Second, managing innovation: How do companies create effective innovation strategies and find the right environments for pursuing them? Third, developing your creative potential and your ability to innovate: What are the skills of innovators? How can you increase the likelihood of seeing new opportunities, coming up with good ideas, and seeing them through to implementation? The ability to innovate, adapt and grow is crucial to keeping a career progressing.
As part of the course students participate in three unique experiences. The first is a team learning adventures which is an action-oriented experiential exercise that enhances innovation, creativity, build team effectiveness, enhance leadership skills, reinvent learning and achieve greater collaboration. At the core of this exercise is a simple and energizing exploration of businesses, museums, neighborhoods, schools, restaurants, and artistic performances to rediscover our creativity and the value of being open to new people, places, ideas, and perspectives. After the team adventure exercise, students return to the classroom to think more deeply and critically about innovation, people, creativity, technology and the keys to life and business success. As part of the reflection each team brings back ideas, insights and evidence they collected throughout the day.
The second exercise is an assessment center where students will receive objective and behavioral feedback about their innovation and entrepreneurial skills, which serves as a starting point for your development in college and beyond.
The third exercise is a design thinking exercise where teams flex their creativity to solve a realistic and complex design challenge. In so doing, they engage with the terms, techniques, and thought patterns of successful innovators. The exercise involves applying processes, methods and tools that make up a designer’s toolkit. Students will learn how to apply this approach to organizational challenges and find innovative ways to create impact.
As part of the class students complete a personal creativity reflection. Examples of past reflections are below.
Communication plays a critical role in almost every aspect of business – getting a job, managing employees, developing relationships with suppliers, presenting financial results, persuading providers of capital, etc. Business leaders need to understand how to use communication strategies to build their teams to achieve organizational objectives. This course provides the communication principles that are so critical for today's managerial leader. With this in mind, the intent of this course is to help you be a more effective communicator.
A series of four one-credit courses comprise the colloquia in BSE. In the first semester, the weekly meetings complement the objectives of the Introduction to Business course, help students adapt to campus life, explore career objectives, and master the undergraduate academic requirements so that they can graduate on time. In the second semester, we explore business history and business ethics, using experiential methods such as issue debates and discussing movie documentaries. The third semester covers the linkages of business, law, and economics on such current issues as antitrust and technology policy. In the fourth semester, students have a choice of an internship, a service learning project, or a directed research project.
Interesting Colloquium and Lecture Topics
- Seeing the Invisible: Ted Turner, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs
- Company Transformation
- Building a Brand
- Managing Risk