COMPETITIVENESS AND BUSINESS STRATEGY - QUALIFICATION - MODULE 2
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of this course students will have developed an awareness and a deeper understanding of the fact that a business serves (or ought to serve) not only shareholders but also of the interests of wide ranges of stakeholder groups in the economic process. They should be able to conduct on their own initiative an analysis of relevant stakeholder in any particular business and have some idea of how business strategy might be conducted in a manner to create shared value in a sustainable manner for all stakeholders, thereby contributing to social progress. They will also thereby have a richer understanding of the meaning of social progress and will have grasped the significance of alterative macro level indices of well-being and social progress, in particular the Social Progress Index (SPI); and they will be able to use such indices as SPI as critical practical tools for the assessment of business strategy and of government policies.
Course contents summary
HHaving understood the multidimensional character of the microeconomics of building competitiveness through clusters this course will proceed to take a critical look at strategic decision-making in business challenging in particular some of the narrower models of strategy based exclusively on shareholder wealth maximisation; instead a broader approach to firm strategy will be introduced based on creation of shared value (Michael Porter) and on considerations of sustainability and ethical business contributing to lasting social progress respecting the interests of all stakeholders.
From there the discussion will widen out to the macro level to encompass the meaning of social progress and its measurement through such indices as the Social Progress Index.
Critique of traditional business strategy models of shareholder wealth maximisation (profit maximisation); Stakeholders; basic ideas of ethical and sustainable approaches to business. Creating Shared Value as a new approach to definition of business strategy; Social Contract, Corporate Citizenship and the consequent imperative for business to contribute to social progress
Macro indices to measure creation of shared value: the Social Progress Index (SPI) other alternative indices; Comparison of country and regional performance in detail on SPI and SPI score cards.
CRANE A and MATTEN D (2010) “Business Ethics”, 3rd edition Oxford University Press. [Chapter 1 is a good introduction to basic concepts]
O’SULLIVAN P, SMITH M and ESPOSITO M (2012) “Business Ethics: a critical approach integrating ethics across the business world” Routledge, London
O’SULLVAN P (2014) Conceptual Foundations of the Social Progress Index in Social Progress Index 2014 Methodological Report, ch 2, Social Progress Imperative, Washington DC.
www.socialprogressimperative.org [This website gives free access to a whole array of data and comment on the Social Progress Index].
Lectures, class discussions and practical exercises on various indices.
Assessment methods and criteria
Final closed book Examination (100%)
It would be useful to have done the course Competitiveness, Business Strategy and Social Progress 1