Business, Government & Public Policy

This is a course about business nonmarket strategy. Nonmarket strategy includes dealing with governments (including federal and state; legislative and executive and courts; administrative agency and traditional branches); with other businesses (e.g. antitrust concerns; IP); NGOs (such as Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace; Friends of the Earth); ad hoc organizations (community groups; Facebook or Twitter-enabled groups) whether consumers or others. All levels of response are considered (publicity; lobbying; campaign contributions; negotiations; creating and sponsoring balancing groups; suing; supporting strategic charities; reformulating products or services,; etc.). And the responses can be pondered at leisure (standard strategy) or during extreme events (crisis management). Each problem is considered for optimal strategic actions by the business. In this class examination of the "public interest" is as a background consideration. We do not focus front and center on economic efficiency, as in an antitrust class. Instead, these are considered as issues that businesses must confront in various institutional settings. The results of arguments, rooted in various notions of public interest, can be extremely powerful. Thus, businesses must master the techniques and style of analysis of public interest debate. But in this class we will not demand that business care directly about the public interest. Rather, we will assume that businesses care about the public interest because others (customers, regulators, voters) care about the public interest. This course is run like a Business School class. Students are expected to present "cases" (e.g. Toyota and quality control; Mattel and lead paint on toys; Citibank and funding ecologically destructive projects in 3rd world locations) and present a strategic analysis. The remainder of the class will question and critique the presentation. You will be graded in part on in-class participation (30%), in part on presentations of the case studies in the book (70%). Each student will participate in at least 3 in-class presentations during the course of the semester. Each in-class presentation should take approximately 15 to 20 minutes for a one-student presentation, or approximately 30 minutes for a two-student presentation. I will assign a student to present and to help lead the discussion of almost each case we cover. For at least two of your presentations you will be teamed with another student. The two of you will present the case together. We will try to assign a large number of the cases on the second class day. For most cases you will have to do some research that goes beyond the material in the statement of the case in the book. This Syllabus lists three "student presentations" in almost every class. Each student will also turn in a four-page to five-page, single spaced analysis of the strategic issues implicated by the case, and upon which her/his presentation is based. The student will likely focus on one or two aspects of the case we study. The remaining aspects of the case will be done cooperatively, with all of the students in the class contributing. (Thus, each student is expected to read the case material in the book.) The relatively small size should allow an "interactive" style of analysis. We will attempt to relate the case to the more general themes of the chapter in which it is embedded.

Catalog Number: BUSCOM 703

Course History

Fall 2013
Title: Business, Government & Public Policy
Faculty: Spitzer, Matthew L. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 24