MBA Course Descriptions

LGST6110 - Resp in Global Mgmt (Course Syllabus)

This course uses the global business context to introduce students to important legal, ethical and cultural challenges they will face as business leaders. Cases and materials will address how business leaders, constrained by law and motivated to act responsibly in a global context, should analyze relevant variables to make wise decisions. Topics will include an introduction to the basic theoretical frameworks used in the analysis of ethical issues, such as right-based, consequentialist-based, and virtue-based reasoning, and conflicting interpretations of corporate responsibility. The course will include materials that introduce students to basic legal (common law vs. civil law) and normative (human rights) regimes at work in the global economy as well as sensitize them to the role of local cultural traditions in global business activity. Topics may also include such issues as comparative forms of corporate governance, bribery and corruption in global markets, human rights issues, diverse legal compliance systems, corporate responses to global poverty, global environmental responsibilities, and challenges arising when companies face conflicting ethical demands between home and local, host country mores. The pedagogy emphasizes globalized cases, exercises, and theoretical materials from the fields of legal studies, business ethics and social responsibility.

LGST6120 - Responsibility in Bus. (Course Syllabus)

This course introduces students to important ethical and legal challenges they will face as leaders in business. The course materials will be useful to students preparing for managerial positions that are likely to place them in advisory and/or agency roles owing duties to employers, clients, suppliers, and customers. Although coverage will vary depending on instructor, the focus of the course will be on developing skills in ethical and legal analyses that can assist managers as they make both individual-level and firm-level decisions about the responsible courses of action when duties, loyalties, rules, norms, and interests are in conflict. For example, the rules of insider trading may form the basis for lessons in some sections. Group assignments, role-plays, and case studies may, at the instructor's discretion, be used to help illustrate the basic theoretical frameworks. Course materials will highlight industry codes and professional norms, as well as the importance of personal and/or religious values.

LGST6130 - Bus, Soc Resp&Environmt (Course Syllabus)

This half-credit (.5 cu) course presents students with the opportunity to explore an alternative perspective to what some might consider the traditional or standard model of business. A starting point of the course is to ask whether business firms owe a “social responsibility” that includes, but goes beyond, maximizing profits. The course begins with overarching questions including to whom a business firm owes legal and ethical duties, how to balance or trade-off obligations owed to different stakeholders when they may conflict, and how to consider the distributional and other socially important implications of business decisions. Different sections of this course will examine questions about the responsibility of business toward a number of pressing environmental and social issues, including for example, climate change, fresh water availability, green marketing claims, democratic values, racial and gender diversity, human rights, poverty reduction, and global health issues such as access to medicine. These topics will be treated primarily through the lenses of law and ethics. Please consult individual instructors’ syllabi in the Wharton syllabus repository for further details on what will be covered in each individual section, and please note that topics change over time and in response to student and faculty interests. Finally, students should expect to prepare and present in groups to colleagues in classes on selected issues of business responsibility. This course fulfills the MBA Flex Core requirement in Legal Studies and Business Ethics.

LGST6420 - Big Data, Big Responsibilities (Course Syllabus)

Artificial intelligence, and related forms of algorithmic decision-making and analytics, are already beginning to transform business, and beyond. With the immense power of these tools, however, comes tremendous responsibility. Problems of accuracy, liability, transparency, bias and discrimination, data protection, job displacement, manipulation, misinformation, and intellectual property violations are already prominent. Major government actors around the world are rapidly adopting new legislation and other obligations. This course identifies the major issues of AI accountability that organizations must consider, as well as the operational, legal compliance, ethical, and technical steps they can take to address them.

LGST6430 - Other People's Money (Course Syllabus)

We learn in introductory economics courses that money is fungible: that is, one dollar is as good as the next. Indeed, using money as a "medium of exchange" is one of its defining characteristics. But what happens when we take a big pile of money and put it in different buckets. On one bucket we might write "hedge fund"; on another, "central bank"; on still another, "payday lender." Then money starts to change in ways defined by law, history, ethics, and politics. This course will take you on a tour of these different buckets--different kinds of financial institutions, broadly defined--throughout the modern financial system. We will look at hedge funds, insurance companies, investment banks, sovereign wealth funds, central banks, consumer banks, payday lenders, state-sponsored enterprises (like the Export-Import Bank in the United States and much of the financial system in China), and the cutting edge of fintech, including crowd-funded lending, digital currencies, and more. In each case, students will be exposed to a series of specialized questions: Where did this institution come from? What problem is it trying to solve that other alternatives could not resolve? What is the basic business (or, where relevant, regulatory) model for each institution? How is each institution regulated, and by whom? What are the ethical considerations in each context? What are the political considerations that each market participant faces?

LGST6440 - Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies (Course Syllabus)

Blockchain technology is a form of decentralized database that allows for the secure exchange of value without reliance on trusted intermediaries. Blockchain is the foundation for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, as well as for distributed ledger platforms used by enterprise consortia in various industries. Many believe that blockchain solutions have revolutionary potential. They promise to replace legal enforcement with technical mechanisms of cryptographic consensus as the means of generating trust. The technology has generated significant excitement, investment, and entrepreneurial activity in recent years. However, the business value of blockchain-based solutions is uncertain, cryptocurrency valuations are speculative, and there are serious legal, regulatory, and governance challenges to be addressed. This course is designed to give students the tools for critical assessment of ongoing developments in this evolving area.

LGST6450 - Bus, Law, and Democracy (Course Syllabus)

What is the relationship between business and democracy? Do institutions of free enterprise depend on democratic government-and vice versa? Do more democratic decision-making structure enhance efficient outcomes? What priniciples inform shareholder democracy? What is the relationship of business, democracy, and the rule of law? This course explores various dimensions of the relationship between business and democracy. Particular attention is given to legal structures that govern the relationship, but ethical considerations are examined as well.

LGST6460 - Corp Distress&Reorg Law (Course Syllabus)

This course will introduce students to the law of corporate financial distress and its resolution. This course aims to do three things: (1) to acquaint students with the conceptual and historical foundations of American law's response to financial distress; (2) to build knowledge of workout and bankruptcy law as they commonly apply in modern corporate settings, with special attention to how common patterns of resolution impact investors across the capital structure; and (3) to introduce cutting-edge legal issues at the forefront of distressed investing and restructuring today.

LGST6470 - Bus and Governance of Water (Course Syllabus)

Virtually every business imaginable–from oil refining to semiconductor manufacturing to cloud computing—requires copious supplies of fresh water. However, there is a fixed amount of water on earth. As climate change makes many parts of the world hotter and drier, it is increasingly important for today’s business leaders to be able to understand water challenges and to implement solutions that will enable businesses to thrive in the future. In addition to understanding and navigating water quality and quantity challenges, business leaders thinking about water operate in a highly regulated environment at the local, national, and global levels. It is therefore important to understand who the key external stakeholders—both public and private—are and how to engage with them productively. Students are not expected to have any previous experience with the water industry. This course will begin by focusing on global water risks and global, national, and local water governance. It will introduce students to how governments at many levels make and implement water policy and how business leaders need to navigate managing water risks and opportunities within that environment. It will also cover private governance and water— considering how to engage with NGOs like the World Resources Institute and the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) that operate on behalf of multiple stakeholders, including investors in this space. The course will examine the duties of corporate officers and directors in developing and implementing a firm’s water sustainability program, how major water projects are financed, and the business ethics issues surrounding “doing the right thing” in a module on water and ESG (environmental, social and governance factors). It will conclude with an “H2O Shark Tank” exercise where student groups pitch their best ideas for sustainable water solutions to a panel of potential funders, including investment banks, corporate executives, and foundation leaders.

LGST6920 - Advanced Negotiation (Course Syllabus)

This is a course the builds on the basic Negotiation course. In this course, we explore a wide range of negotiation topics from crisis and hostage negotiations, to the role of emotions including anxiety, envy and anger in negotiations, to backlash effects for women in negotiations, and the role of alcohol in negotiations. We will survey many aspects of current negotiation research, discuss historic negotiation cases, and students will participate in role-play exercises. Many of the role play exercises will involve multi-party negotiations and afford opportunities to hone skills in team-based negotiations.

LGST6930 - Influence (Course Syllabus)

Building, protecting and using influence is critical for achieving your goals. This requires good personal decision making as well as understanding others' decision-making, proficiency at the negotiation table as well as with the tacit negotiations before and after sitting at the table. In this course, we focus on building your facility with a wide range of influence tools to help with these efforts. Topics include power and status, informal networks, coalitions and persuasion.

LGST7290 - Intel Property Strategy (Course Syllabus)

Announcing the first iPhone at Macworld 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously boasted: "And boy, have we patented it!" How, and to what extent, do patents and intellectual property really provide competitive advantage for innovative technology companies? What makes an IP asset strategically powerful? How do patents impact, and even drive, major corporate decisions including M&A, venture funding and exits, and entry into new markets? In this course, students will learn to critically analyze and answer these questions, gaining insights they can leverage in their future roles as innovation industry executives, entrepreneurs, strategist and investors. The course includes three major units. In Unit 1, Patents and Innovation Value, we examine closely the relationship between competitive advantage, value proposition, and intellectual property (particularly patents). We will apply our understanding of that relationship to critique and sharpen patent strategy to protect examples of cutting-edge technologies. In Unit 2, Patent Leverage and the Corporate Playbook, we study theory and examples of how intellectual property leverage strategically informs corporate transactions and decisions, for established companies as well as for start-ups. In unit 3, Limits and Alternatives to Patents, we confront the recent legal trend toward reigning in the power and scope of patents. We also consider the growing importance of data as a proprietary technology asset, and discuss options for adapting intellectual property strategy appropriately. Throughout, students will learn and practice applying the concepts we learn to decision-making in examples based on innovative real-world technologies and businesses.

LGST7620 - Envrnmtl Sus&Val Crtn (Course Syllabus)

This course provides an overview of topics related to corporate sustainability with a focus on how environmentally sustainable approaches can create value for the firm. The course explores trends in corporate practices and students consider specific examples of such practices to examine the interactions between the firm and the environment. This course has three objectives: to increase students' knowledge of sustainability practices and their impact on firm performance; to teach students to think strategically and act entrepreneurially on environmental issues; and to help students design business approaches to improve environmental outcomes, while simultaneously creating value.

LGST7850 - Business Strategy & Corp (Course Syllabus)

This course explores strategic, business and legal decision making in a fluid real world corporate context. Classes will cover a series of timely financial and legal subjects as well as case studies that deal with topical problems in corporate governance, investment strategy, finance, private equity, executive compensation, and potential corporate and criminal behavior. Press, public market reaction, and governmental/political considerations will be integrated into the discussion. All students will be required to participate in one major and two minor team projects. An equal number of graduate law and business students will be enrolled in this class.

Prerequisites: FNCE 6110

LGST7990 - Seminar in Law & Society (Course Syllabus)

A study of the nature, functions, and limits of law as an agency of societal policy. Each semester an area of substantive law is studied for the purpose of examining the relationship between legal norms developed and developing in the area and societal problems and needs.

LGST8020 - Global Corp Law & Mgmt (Course Syllabus)

This course provides an introduction to the law of corporate management and finance. The course covers the roles of directors and managers under state corporate law and the federal securities laws. It also considers the rights and responsibilities of other major stakeholders, including shareholders, creditors, and employees. Particular attention is given to the law of mergers and acquisitions. Focus is on public corporations, but application of the law to venture firms is also discussed. Alternative organizational forms, such as LLCs, partnerships, and DAOs, are considered. Format: Socratic conversation and some lecture.

LGST8040 - Real Estate Law (Course Syllabus)

This course examines the fundamentals of real estate finance and development from a legal and managerial perspective. The course serves as a foundation course for real estate majors and provides an introduction to real estate for other students. It attempts to develop skills in using legal concepts in a real estate transactional setting. The course will be of interest to students contemplating careers in accounting, real estate development, real estate finance, city planning, or banking. The main topics covered may include the following: land acquisition, finance; choice of entity; tax aspects; management (leasing, environmental); disposition of real property (sale of mortgaged property, foreclosures, wraparound mortgages, sale-leasebacks); and recent legal developments. Lectures and class discussion required.

LGST8050 - Antitrust and Big Tech (Course Syllabus)

This course considers the role of antitrust law in facilitating and policing the business strategies of dominant firms and joint enterprises. We will examine technology-driven firms such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Uber, and Microsoft, as well as disrupted industries such as the digital music industry. In each case, we will consider how firms adapted their strategies to rapidly changing technological environments and ask whether antitrust law served to promote or to hinder innovation and competitive development. Course coverage will range over all portions of the business economy in which competition and innovation are important, but emphasizing markets that have a significant technological component. We will also study a series of classic business cases in technology rich markets, including the American Can Company, Standard Oil, and DuPont. We will pay special attention to the role of intellectual property rights in fostering both individual and collaborative innovation.

LGST8060 - Negotiations (Course Syllabus)

This course examines the art and science of negotiation, with additional emphasis on conflict resolution. Students will engage in a number of simulated negotiations ranging from simple one-issue transactions to multi-party joint ventures. Through these exercises and associated readings, students explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining and have an opportunity to test and improve their negotiation skills. Cross-listed with MGMT 6910/OIDD 6910/LGST 8060. Format: Lecture, class discussion, simulation/role play, and video demonstrations. Materials: Textbook and course pack.

LGST8070 - Securities Regulation (Course Syllabus)

The course examines the federal securities law and the operation of the Securities Exchange Commission. The legal responsibilities of corporate managers, accountants, underwriters, and broker-dealers, occasioned by the securities regulatory scheme, will be investigated. Students will be encouraged to evaluate, from a managerial perspective, the various aspects of securities regulation studied. The course will discuss the recent financial crisis and ask the question whether enhanced securities regulation will prevent such a crisis in the future. The material covered in the course will provide familiarity with the basic legal structure of securities regulation and will assist in understanding the current policy issues in securities law. The course should help students to develop the ability to read and learn further in the field and to improve their effectiveness of communication with attorneys. It will also suggest ways of detecting instances in which an attorney should be consulted. The course is particularly useful for those students pursuing careers in corporate finance, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, sales and trading, venture capital, private equity, entrepreneurship, accounting, corporate management and real estate. Requirements: Midterm and final exam. Materials: Text, pamphlet of statutes and rules, and study guide.

LGST8080 - Employment Law (Course Syllabus)

This course is based on the principle that knowledge and understanding of employment law facilitate (1) promotion of a workforce with a high degree of commitment to reaching business goals, (2) the development of practical business solutions to problems arising in the workplace, (3) effective human resources policy and procedures that comply with applicable laws, and (4) justice for workers. The course provides students with an introduction to the law of the workforce and examines the balance between business goals and employment law compliance. The course examines the various employment laws with which businesses must comply and the legal rights and responsibilities of employees and employers. The emphasis is on laws concerning equal employment opportunity with respect to discrimination and harassment because of sex, race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability and other characteristics protected by workforce laws; constitutional -- and especially free speech -- rights at work; work-related privacy including investigations, electronic communication and social media; classifying workers in the gig economy; diversity and affirmative action; and the legal and regulatory environment regarding immigration, wage and hour, leaves of absence, hiring, termination and afterwards; and labor/management relations and collective bargaining.

LGST8090 - Sports Business Mgmt (Course Syllabus)

This course examines various business disciplines as they apply to the sports industry. The course provides the student with an overview of the business of the intercollegiate, Olympic and professional sports enterprises. In addition, the course investigates the business related issues encountered by managers of sports organizations and covers how business principles can be applied to effectively address these issues. This course is crosslisted with MGMT8150.

LGST8130 - Leg Asp Entreprenrshp (Course Syllabus)

Legal and Transactional Aspects of Entrepreneurship is a practical and intensive course that examines the critical legal and transactional issues confronting start-up and emerging growth companies. Although the context of the course is early stage companies, many of the concepts studied are equally applicable to more mature, established companies. The course provides perspective on how to use the law strategically to manage risk, deploy resources and maximize shareholder value. Topics include the enforceability of confidentiality, non-competition and other restrictive covenants in employment agreements; choice of business form including the legal, financial and tax advantages and disadvantages of general partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies; tax and securities law; legal aspects of raising capital including structuring venture capital and private equity financing; entrepreneurial acquisition structures, employment law, and intellectual property law including trade secrets, copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Format: Lecture and discussion with coverage of legal cases and materials. Requirements: Class participation, midterm and final exam. Materials: Course pack.

LGST8140 - Int'l Bus Transactions (Course Syllabus)

This course aims to familiarize students with and prepare students for the conduct of international transactions. Students will work their way through a series of hypothetical trade transactions, placed against a background of concepts and general theories. Students will take a hypothetical firm through a series of possible transnational investments, again after discussion of concepts and general theories. Throughout, the course will discuss issues of importance to emerging economies. Students should be able to make thoughtful choices rather than simply reciting bullet points about international business transactions.

LGST8150 - Envt'l Mgmt Law & Pol (Course Syllabus)

This course provides an introduction to environmental management with a focus on law and policy as a basic framework. The primary aim of the course is to give students a deeper practical sense of the important relationship between business and the natural environment and to think critically about how best to manage this relationship.

LGST8200 - Int'l Business Ethics (Course Syllabus)

This course is a multidisciplinary, interactive study of business ethics within a global economy. A central aim of the course is to enable students to develop a framework to address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries. Alternative theories about acting ethically in global environments are presented, and critical current issues are introduced and analyzed. Examples include bribery, global sourcing, environmental sustainability, social reports, intellectual property, e-commerce, and dealing with conflicting standards and values across cultures. As part of this study, the course considers non-Western ethical traditions and practices as they relate to business.

LGST8300 - Soc Imp & Responsibility (Course Syllabus)

What role can business play in helping to meet global societal needs, whether it involves the environment, improving health, expanding education or eradicating poverty? Is there any responsibility on the part of business to help meet those needs? What are models of successful business engagement in this area? How should success be measured? Are there limits to what businesses can and should do, and what institutional changes will enable businesses and entrepreneurs to better succeed? This survey course provides students the opportunity to engage in the critical analysis of these and other questions that lie at the foundation of social impact and responsibility as an area of study. The course involves case studies, conceptual issues, and talks by practitioners. The course is designed to help students develop a framework to address the question: "How should business enterprises and business thinking be engaged to improve society in areas not always associated with business?"