What is Business & Society?
The BA and the Honours BA programs in Business and Society (BUSO) provide the opportunity to study the impact of business on society and society on business. Students who enroll in Business and Society will undertake this study through a multi-disciplinary approach, using texts from philosophy, history, economics, geography, sociology and political science. The program combines courses that provide the analytical tools necessary to study and research business and society with courses that focus on the political, social, and cultural context of business.
The core of the program consists of four courses:
- Introduction to Business and Society, and
- Intermediate Business and Society
and six specialized streams of study of which students are to choose two:
- The Social Economy
- Law and Governance
- Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
- The Global Economy
- The Environment
- The Firm and Organization
Within the core courses, capitalist business practices are critically examined, and a variety of responses and alternatives to these impacts are explored. The program core achieves this through four general areas of analysis.
- Modern economic history: students learn about the origins and development of capitalism and the rise to dominance of the corporation (from 1600 to the present).
- Ethics and normative philosophy: students are introduced to the main schools of thought in contemporary ethics and learn to assess the social impact of business practices according to the criteria of equity and social justice.
- Social scientific analysis: students learn to analyze from a variety of perspectives the nature of business and economic processes and their impact on society.
- Globalization: students are given a thorough overview of the ingredients of contemporary political-economic developments in the world, e.g. trade, development, labour, global governance, and resistance and alternatives to globalization.
In the streams, students specialize in the relations between and impact of business on an aspect of the social world.
In core and stream courses, students are strongly recommended to take courses in ascending level. i.e., 1000-level before 2000-level courses, 2000-level before 3000-level courses, etc.
What Business & Society is not
Unlike a traditional business school, the Business and Society undergraduate program does not equip students with the technical skills to run a conventional business or work in a large commercial corporation. Rather, Business and Society is a critical, interdisciplinary program in the Social Sciences meant to equip students with broad skill set useful in a range of future careers.
Studying Business & Society
Please note that very few of the courses required for a Business & Society degree are available online or via distance learning. Completing a Business & Society degree means taking classes during working hours on weekdays. If you think you cannot sustain this over three of four years, then Business & Society is not a good degree choice for you.