Environments (ENV)

ENV 601 Social Context     (3 credits)

Restricted to BMBA students.

In this module, students will examine the social context of decision-making environments. Failing to grasp the importance of cultures and institutions can lead to potentially disastrous errors in judgment for a firm. The subject of culture will be viewed through many different lenses. Some examples of these include discussions of local and national, organizational and transnational cultures. Understanding cultural aspects of an environment will then give insight into the institutional and political setting. Students will learn how to analyze the institutional players and stakeholders that affect the decision making environment. This will be done on a local, national and global level. Knowledge of the cultural, political and institutional factors makes it possible to understand thelegal, regulatory and economic environment on a much deeper level.

ENV 602 Law, Regulation and Economic Environment     (3 credits)

Restricted to BMBA students.

A country’s laws and other ‘rules of the game’ play a large role in whether a market economy will function smoothly and efficiently. Understanding these rules and how they affect a business from its inception to continued operation and successful strategy is a key ingredient to financial viability. This course examines economic and legal dimensions in the business environment. We view national regulatory policies in the context of the growing global marketplace, leading to questions of industry structure and its interaction with firm strategy and chances for profitability. We will also examine the ethical implications of many business strategies. The course investigates areas such as contracts, sales, e-commerce, intellectual property, negligence, product liability, employment law, securities law, competition law, privacy law and their interplay with business. We also discuss how a legal system determines the incentives those engaged in business face and thus their behavior in society.

ENV 603 Technology, Communication and Networks     (3 credits)

Restricted to BMBA students.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) create tremendous potential for growth, development and change. However, the type of change that occurs can be unanticipated. Likewise, ICTs allow for a greater frequency of communication and knowledge sharing—but this does not automatically translate into better communication and information, or better decision making. Thus, technology might be necessary for development and change, but it is by no means sufficient. This course explores the social, historical and economic aspects of technological innovation, focusing on their implications for firms, industries and geographic areas. The course also explores the effect of ICTs on networks and relationships, examining how organizations try to leverage the benefits of technology, whileavoiding the pitfalls that can impede progress.

ENV 604 Analyzing Complexity and Change     (3 credits)

Restricted to BMBA students.

This course asks you to navigate the complex terrain of rapid human or environmental change. We focus on periods of rapid change brought on by natural and human-engineered crises—hurricanes, floods and wars, but also deregulation, market volatility and technological innovation—that reveal underlying weaknesses and strengths in organizations, expose their unexamined assumptions and create opportunities as well as risks. The course presents you with ‘live cases’—scenarios of rapid change at the global, national and local levels. We ask you to engage with multiple, contradictory voices, conflicting interests and incomplete, imperfect data that approximate decision-making in real time. As we consider what it means to confront rapid and disruptive change—including risk assessment, unexamined assumptions and stakeholder responses—we will revisit topics from other modules to understand the roles played by history, culture, networks, legal orders and market structures.