IIMA - Course Catalogue
Business and Corporate Accountability
Public Systems Group
Prof. Rajnish Rai
Course Description & Objectives
The challenges facing today’s business leaders are more daunting than ever. In this environment of heightened competition and transparency, executives are expected to consider the impact of every decision on their organization and community. This course introduces the participants to the basic responsibilities of business leaders and corporations.
Although a business leader’s specific responsibilities vary from situation to situation, in general, they fall into three broad categories: economic, legal, and ethical. Economic responsibilities relate to resource allocation and wealth creation; legal duties flow from formal laws and regulations, and ethical obligations and commitments have to do with basic principles and standards of conduct. This triad — economics, law, and ethics — describes the framework within which business leaders are expected to exercise the authority entrusted to them. These responsibilities are not mutually exclusive; in fact, often, these perspectives are intertwined. The business leaders and the companies they lead are expected to make decisions that simultaneously meet all three sets of responsibilities.
This course consists of four modules, one on each of the corporation’s four main constituency groups: investors, customers, employees and suppliers, and the society. Although each module focuses on a particular constituency, the cases grow more complex and involve more constituencies as the course proceeds. Through this progression, participants see that these groups are interdependent and recognize the need for strategies that meet the requirements of all.
This course helps the participants, who aspire to become business leaders, to
a.know what their role-related responsibilities are;
b.establish guidelines for making decisions that simultaneously support the organization’s financial needs, legal requirements, and ethical obligations;
c.establish guidelines for making decisions that simultaneously support the organization’s financial needs, legal requirements, and ethical obligations;
d.creating new ways in which sound leadership and corporate accountability can turn into a competitive advantage; and
e.develop the personal strength and resources needed to recognize and carry out these responsibilities in ambiguous, stressful, and fast-changing situations.
These points outline the learning agenda for Leadership and Corporate Accountability (LCA). Although no single course can cover all these aspects in full, LCA aims to give students a basic grounding in each.
Our class time together will primarily involve a case-based approach with student-led class discussions. In addition, class time will include a mix of lectures and reflections on video clips. The effort will be to provide participants a basic understanding of
(a) the economic, legal, and ethical responsibilities of companies and their leaders; and
(b) how business leaders can align their companies’ conduct with these responsibilities
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