This course is designed to address an empirical reality: the modern American corporation is, of necessity, a political entity, and that ? consequently - senior...More >>
This course is designed to address an empirical reality: the modern American corporation is, of necessity, a political entity, and that ? consequently - senior corporate executives are political actors whose decisions in the service of their shareholders have far reaching effects for society. The purpose of this course is to explore the political tools that the American legal system has put in the hands of the executive, with serious consideration given to their appropriate use. The goal of the course is to build on these tools to sketch out a model of executive statesmanship, designed to guide corporations to more effective political engagement by balancing the unavoidable tensions between shareholder returns and stakeholder outcomes.
The course will consider five functional domains in which the corporation can engage as a political entity: Campaigns & Elections, Legislation, Regulation, Commonwealth (Public Resources) and Taxation. While these domains can and do apply globally, the focus of the course is the United States, and the functional domains will be considered across the federal, state and municipal levels of government. The course's purpose is to educate, not advocate, but it will consider the legal and ethical principles that can develop the effective corporate leader into an executive statesman ? one who guides the corporation to achieve high shareholder returns while appropriately mindful of the corporation's effect on other stakeholders.
The course will be taught through a combination of lecture, outside speakers, and, most importantly, in-class discussion of topics and cases. In addition to classroom lecture and discussion, there will be three short written assignments or presentations and one major paper.