Business School offers important windows into the functions of business and into ways of conceptualizing challenges and opportunities. It also offers valuable cross-cutting tools for analysis, decisions, and leadership. Very successful and admired business leaders think even more fundamentally and broadly about the economic, political, and social context of business decision making. They understand that the ‘corporation’ is a legal and social construct. Support for business corporations has not been and is not absolute and requires business leaders to examine the role of their business and business generally into the broader society — business and society. In contemporary language, what is the ‘purpose’ of business? For whom should the corporation be run? Answers to these questions and others shape business, business careers, and attitudes toward business.
Addressing such cross-cutting questions requires that we examine the business corporation and its role in society through multiple perspectives. In particular, we will study business and society through the lenses of the evolving business organization, finance and investors, employees, corporate governance, privacy and big data, social movements, social justice, and climate change. To accomplish these views, we will draw on leading Columbia Business School faculty and their ideas. In each case, we will complement these ideas with the experience of leading business practitioners as teaching partners. The introductory and closing sessions will feature longer conversations with a business leader on the role of business in society. Conducting the course in this way brings both ‘business and society’ and Columbia Business School’s ‘ideas, talent, and network’ to center stage.
Glenn Hubbard serves as course leader and will lead the introduction, corporate governance, and closing discussions. The faculty teaching team also includes Kent Daniel (Finance and Society), Wei Jiang (Investment and Valuation), Ann Bartel (Employees and Governance), Geoffrey Heal (Climate Change), Dan Wang (Business and Social Movements), Gita Johar (Social Justice), and Omar Besbes (Privacy, Big Data, and Technology Firms).
Dean Emeritus; Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics
Professor Hubbard is a specialist in public economics, managerial information and incentive problems in corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions. He has written more than 100 articles and books on corporate finance, investment decisions, banking, energy economics and public policy, including two textbooks, and has authored The Wall and the Bridge and coauthored Balance, The Aid Trap, and Healthy, Wealthy, and...