Social Entrepreneurship Courses at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

As in common at most business schools, course catalogs often list classes that are not exactly about the non-profit world but are skills that a school believes you need regardless of whether you are going into the public or private sector. We’re listing all of them here, even though many of them are not specific to social entrepreneurship. On the other hand, Michigan, also offers MBAs courses at other departments and schools that also would be helpful to students interested in a career in social entrepreneurship.

Core courses:

Ethics of Corporate Management

BA 512

This course, commonly known as the “business ethics” course meets the law/ethics requirement for the MBA program. The course first provides a theoretical background of how to evaluate moral claims in business. This section draws upon classical moral theory as well as the most up-to-date contemporary business ethics thinking. Dilemmas of executives are the primary basis of the discussion. It also examines corporate compliance systems designed in accordance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Social Entrepreneurship: Business Tools for Enhanced Social Impact

BA 675

This course explores important trends in the private and social sectors, which are creating space for innovation and opportunities for individuals with business skills to drive positive change. Students will look at innovative business strategies that domestic and international nonprofits are adopting to enhance their sustainability and social impact such as launching social enterprises (revenue generating enterprises).

Urban Entrepreneurship

ES 581

This course addresses the specific challenges and opportunities to be found in urban areas, with special focus on entrepreneurship among ethinic-racial minorities and, particularly African Americans. The lectures, discussions, and presentations by urban and minority entrepreneurs will address issues of product design, marketing, access to capital and strategic targeting of business initiatives. Impacts of public and private policies, such as tax incentives and franchising methods will be considered.

Negotiation and Dispute Resolution

LHC 510

The ability to negotiate effectively is critical to the success of managers and their organizations. This course emphasizes negotiation strategies and skills that enable managers to create and claim value in a manner that enhances long-term business relationships. Among the specific topics in the course are cross-cultural negotiation, legal and ethical frameworks for negotiation, and psychological tools that enhance negotiation effectiveness. The course also includes the manager’s and consultant’s role in dispute resolution. Mediation and arbitration–dispute resolution processes that involve neutral parties–are covered, along with the design of dispute resolution systems.

Persuasive Management Communication

LHC 524

This course presents persuasive communication strategies that facilitate effective management. Specifically, the course covers fundamental persuasive frameworks (e.g. compliance-gaining, conflict management, credibility control) applied to oral and written messages. These frameworks provide a basis for exploring persuasive communication in a variety of management settings. Special emphasis is placed on differing strategies associated with cultural variation, focusing on those most critical for global business communication.

Social Marketing

MKT 614

This course explores social marketing and consumer culture from managerial and ethical perspectives. The overall thrust of the course will be on using marketing methods to benefit the public interest. Topics will include: social marketing such as anti-smoking campaigns; corporate social responsibility and cause related marketing; marketing in nonprofit organizations; green marketing; economic and sociological perspectives on consumer culture; the psychology of happiness and how personal well-being is influenced by wealth, consumption, and materialism; and public policy concerns related to marketing and advertising.

Leading Non-Profit Organizations

MO 672

This is a course intended to give students a broad overview of the leadership challenges of the non-profit sector. The course content is designed for students who not only plan to lead non-profit organizations, but who may also serve as volunteers or on non-profit boards. The core framework for this course will focus on non-profit leaders as capacity builders. This includes the leadership capability to create a mission centered non-profit organization aligned with its strategies, skills, organizational culture and a supporting infrastructure. In addition, we explore the leader as external agent building capacity through advocacy, working with businesses and collaborating with other non-profit organizations.

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