ILRHR 4615 - Socially Responsible Business

Spring. 2 credits. Letter grades only.

Enrollment limited to: graduate, senior, and junior students. Co-meets with ILRHR 6615 .


HR leaders are now being asked to lead the CSR function, to head the company foundation, or to create programs that engage employees in the community. They are also asked to oversee compliance around corporate ethics, whistleblower provisions, and to help safeguard the company's reputation. This course will examine how corporations and non-profits are engaging in socially beneficial activities as well as how some have engaged in harmful activities. The course begins with an overview of key regulatory and voluntary compliance regimens such as the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the Sarbanes Oxley Act. The course then examines the CSR reports and practices of such companies as Boeing, JP Morgan Chase, Tata Corporation, Volkswagen, Wells Fargo, and other firms. We will discuss such diverse topics as impact investing by corporations, tying executive compensation to ESG goals, the value of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP's), the rise of B-Corporations, social stock exchanges, and ESG due-diligence during mergers and acquisitions. We will also see how companies, non-profits, and governments are working together to invest in the future of American cities. Students will be evaluated on class participation, two short papers (5-7 pages), and a final exam. 

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