Business, Ethics, and Society (BES) Minor

Advisor: Kendy Hess
Office: Smith 523

Students applying to the Business, Ethics, and Society minor will use a faculty-designed template to design their own programs, with the help of the program advisor and subject to review and approval by the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Courses in economics and accounting (and a half-credit offering on business fundamentals) will help you learn to “speak business” and introduce you to the basic mechanics of business. Capitalism in Context will help you develop a political, historical, and philosophical perspective on the institution of business and the structures that sustain it.

As you begin to understand and analyze some of the dynamics behind today’s headlines, courses in history, psychology, sociology, political science, religious studies, and philosophy will introduce you to the broader context which has given us our particular version of the institution of business. Throughout, courses with ethical components will ask you to assess the institution that we have created: Is it right? Is it just? Does it promote flourishing, and is it sustainable? To the extent that it fails to meet any of these criteria, how do we fix it?

Together with the experiences from your internship and a capstone course that helps you draw it all together, the minor will prepare you to engage in the ongoing debate about what business should become, either from inside the institution or beyond it.

Student Testimonial

Elizabeth Caldwell '22

The Business Fundamentals Lab
"The Business Fundamentals Lab demonstrates what makes a business education at Holy Cross so special. In this lab I learned that running a business is more than a game of profit maximization and requires more than a firm knowledge of economics and finance. This lab teaches you not only how to run a business effectively, but that businesses have a profound impact on society, one that carries significant social responsibility."




Alumni Testimonial

Matthew Gallo ’13

PHIL 302: Corporate Moral Agency
“Throughout the infancy of my career, topics covered in your course were the ones that I most often reflected on as I put my skills into practice. I helped found a small advertising agency and made it a point of emphasis to animate your curriculum in all of my decision making. I was well aware that I was creating a company that would become something that existed outside of my own agency — so incentive structures would need to reward moral fortitude.”



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BES Students

Benjamin Alford '22: Political Science major
BES minor project: How the institution of business can collaborate with society to overcome environmental issues; in a phrase, “how business and society team up to help the environment.”

Katelyn Cody '22: Psychology major
BES minor project: Investigating the ethical implications on employer regulation of their employees' social media; in a phrase, “social media ethics in the workplace.” 

Jude Donabedian '22: Sociology major
BES minor project: Examine the sports industry and weigh both the costs and benefits of professional athletes using their sport to promote social justice; in a phrase, “exploring the intersection of the sports industry and social justice.”

Caroline Krumsiek '22: Economics major
BES minor project: Explore the questions of when the government is entitled to step in during an emergency such as the pandemic; in a phrase, “at what point does the health of citizens override the productivity of the economy and businesses?”

Johnna Shamley '22: Psychology major
BES minor project:  How corporations can implement effective inclusion policies and practices; in a phrase, "restoring inclusion in the workplace." 

Christina Casey ’22: Political Science major
BES minor project: Female leadership in the workplace

Paige Davis ’22: Economics major
BES minor project: What defines an ethical corporation

Michaela Faris ’22: Psychology major
BES minor project: Balancing corporate profit and employee wellbeing

Michaela Halloran ’22: Psychology major
BES minor project: Utilizing the tools of capitalism for the common good

Jacqueline McCarthy ’22: English major
BES minor project: Economic policy in the global capitalist economy

Meg O’Melveney ’22: Accounting major
BES minor project: The economics of corporate social responsibility

Molly Skoglund ’22: Economics major
BES minor project: Immoral business decisions

David Sullivan ’22: Political Science and Education double major
BES minor project: The interplay between public, governmental entities and profit-seeking actors