Conceptual Foundations of Business


University of the District of Columbia

Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems

Course Plan (Addendum to Syllabus) 



Course Title:  Conceptual Foundations of Business

Course Number BGMT-305-23255


Textbook:  O. C. Ferrell, Debbie M. Thorne, and Linda Ferrell. M.  6th ed.  (2018)  Business & Society:  A Strategic Approach to Social Responsibility and Ethics. Chicago. Chicago Business Press.


Assignment in Preparation for First Class Session (1/10)


Review/Skim the textbook including the Contents and in the back the Notes, Glossary and Index.


Be able to define and discuss these concepts.  Can you give an example of each?


-private sector



-public sector




-profit making entity / business


-non-profit; not-for-profit; & charitable organizations


-publicly held company


-privately held company



Read Chapter 1, Social Responsibility Framework, and answer and be able to discuss and define the following questions:


Define social responsibility according to the textbook.


In Social Responsibility Needs a Strategic Focus what does strategic focus mean?


Review Figure 1.1 and be able to explain the Figure / model.

Assignment for Class Session 2 & 3 (1/15-17)


Answer the following questions from Chapter 1.


According to Chapter 1 what are the four stages / requirements of social responsibility?


Review Figure 1.2, Social Responsibility Continuum, in the textbook.  Explain the Continuum.  Can you give an example of where you would place some company/business on the Continuum?


Chapter 1 says that Social Responsibility requires a Stakeholder orientation.  Define Stakeholder.  Give a concrete example of a stakeholder for some business.

The Chapter discusses the 2007 and 2008 housing boom collapse that set off a financial crisis.  Were you affected by the housing collapse or financial crisis?


What is the purpose of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that Congress passed in 2010.


From Table 1.3 identify one corporation or bank that was involved in the financial crisis.


Referring to Table 1.4, Top 25 Corporations, are you a stakeholder in any of these corporations?

If so, please identify.


Review Figure 1.3, The Role of Social Responsibility in Performance and explain interpret it.


Please identify the four benefits of social responsibility Chapter 1 discusses.


What does the Chapter say about the association between social responsibility and financial performance?


Review Figure 1.4, An Overview of This Book.

Can you identify one or two chapters in which you are particularly interested?



Assignment for Class Sessions 4 & 5 (1/22-24)


Read Chapter 2, Strategic Management of Stakeholder Relationships.


Answer the following questions.


The Chapter says that some critics say there is a tradeoff between profits and social responsibility.  Can you cite credible evidence that the most ethical companies outperform the companies on the Standard and Poor’s index?


Review Table 2.1, Examples of Stakeholder Issues and Associated Measures of Corporate Impacts.


Choose one of the stakeholder groups and identify one or two potential indicators of corporate impact.


Review Figure 2.1, Stakeholder Model for Implementing Social Responsibilities.  The textbook distinguishes between primary and secondary stakeholders.  What is the difference?


Are you now or have you been a stakeholder.  Please give some information about it.  Can you identify 1 or 2 impacts you have experienced?


Define stakeholder orientation.


Read the section on Stakeholder Attributes.  What does the textbook say are some attributes of stakeholders?


Define reputation management.


Read Table 2.4, Ten Socially Responsible Companies.  Have you had experiences with any of these companies?  Do you agree with the Table?


Read Table 2.5, Ethical Misconduct Disasters.  Have you had any experience with these or other ethical misconduct situations?


Define crisis management.


Read Table 2.6, Six Steps for Utilizing a Stakeholder Framework.  Do you find any of the steps interesting?  Are there 1 (or 2) of the steps you would be interested in working on?


Define social audit.


At the end of the Chapter please read Responsible Business Debate:  Prioritizing Stakeholder Concerns.



Assignment for Class Sessions 6 & 7 (1/29-1/31)


Research paper written proposal and oral comments are due 1/31


Read Chapter 3, Corporate Governance


Answer the following questions.


Define the term governance.


Define corporate governance.


Read Table 3.1, Corporate Governance Decisions.  Can you identify 1 or 2 (or more) of the decision areas that you think are important or are interested in?  Why?


Define duty of diligence.


Read Table 3.2, Corporate Governance Issues.  Can you identify 2 or 3 of the issues that you believe are important or are interested in?  Why?


Read the section on the History of Corporate Governance.


Referring to Table 3.3, Companies with Good Corporate Governance, do you have experience with or are you knowledgeable about any of these companies?  Please explain.


Define the shareholder model of corporate governance.


Define the stakeholder model of corporate governance.


Read Figure 3.1, Stakeholder Continuum, and the discussion in the text and explain / interpret the model.


Read Table 3.4, Challenges in Corporate Governance, and the discussion in the text.  Identify  one or more of the challenges that you consider important or are interested in.  Why?


Define shareholder activism.


Read Table 3.5, Characteristics of a Successful Shareholder Activist Campaign.   If you were part of a shareholder activist effort are there any of the characteristics that you think are important or would be interested in working on?  Why?


Read Table 3.6, Attributes of a Highly Functioning Board, Please identify any attributes tht you think are important or that you would be interested in working on.  Why?


Review Table 3.8, Examples of Chief Executive Office Compensation.  Do you have any experience with or knowledge of CEO compensation?  Do you have any observations on the Table?


Review Table 3.9, OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.  Do you think the Table is useful?  Do you have any observations on it?


At the end of the Chapter please read Responsible Business Debate:  Corporate Governance at CVS.





Assignment for Class Sessions 8 & 9 (2/5 – 2/7)


Read Chapter 4, Legal, Regulatory, and Political Issues


Answer the following questions.


According to Chapter 4 the government has a profound influence on business.  _____ True.  _____ False


In the U. S. the government has the role to provide laws that are logically deduced Constitution and the Bill of Rights and to enforce these laws through the judicial / court system. ___ True ____False


Read Table 4.1, Forms of Capitalism.  Of the four forms of capitalism, which one in your view most accurately describes the U. S. today?  Which one of the four do you prefer?


According to the textbook what is one economic / competitive reasons for regulation?


Define trusts.


Define monopoly.


Give a social reasons for regulation according to the textbook.


Describe the Sherman Antitrust Act.


Briefly discuss the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914.


Choose one other Act from Table 4.2, Major Federal Legislation Regulating Business and briefly define / discuss it.


Briefly discuss the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 2010.


Review Table 4.3, Federal Regulatory Agencies, select one that you are interested in and briefly describe its Major Areas of Responsibility.


From the section on Global Regulation, briefly discuss NAFTA and the EU.


What are 3 signs of possible Antitrust violation?


Have you had an experiences in situations related to a possible antitrust violation?  Have you ever been in a situation to observe a possible antitrust violation?


Regulation results in many costs for businesses, consumers, and society at large.


Review Table, 4.5, Cost of Regulation.

One yardstick of costs is the cost of federal regulatory agencies.  What does the book say is the 2013 cost of regulatory activities?  Can you select on regulatory agency and research the cost of its budget?


In addition to the cost of federal agencies, what is another approach to measuring the cost of regulation?


What are some of the benefits of regulation that Chapter 4 gives.


Define deregulation.


The Chapter says perhaps the best known self-regulatory association is __________________.


What are special interest groups?


What are political action committees (PACs)?


Although the government has a large effect on business, especially through its regulatory activities, business has an equal influence on government according to the textbook.  Can you give any examples of this?


In the section, Corporate Approaches to Influencing Government what approaches are discussed?


Define lobbying.


In Table 4.7, Organizations that Engage in Lobbying, identify an organization in which you are interested and say something about it.


From the section, The Government’s Strategic Approach for Legal and Ethical Compliance,  give some of the steps you think are important


What are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations?


What are 3 steps to Effective Compliance and Ethics Programs from Table 4.8?


Describe the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?


Name 3 provisions of the Act.


What are 2 benefits of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?


Define/describe the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.


Define/describe the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.




BGMT 305

Part 2 of Course Plan (Addendum to Syllabus) 



Assignment for Class Sessions 10 & 11 (2/12-2/14)

Chapter 4 and

2/14 – Quiz on Chapters 1-4


Assignment for Class Sessions 12 & 13 (2/19-2/21)


Read Chapter 5, Business Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making


Answer the following questions.


Define business ethics.


Define principles.


Define values.


Define ethical issue.

From the section on Ethical Issues in Business identify 2 or 3 ethical issues that you believe are important.


Define conflict of interest.  Can you give an example?


Define fraud.


Define privacy issues.


Using Figure 5.2 and the discussion in the section on Understanding the Ethical Decision-Making Process identify the 3 factors that influence the Process.


Define individual factors.


Define organizational relationships.


Define organizational or corporate culture.


Define ethical climate.


Define opportunity.


From the section on Developing an Ethical Culture, define ethical culture.


Define normative approaches.