​​Ethics, Society, and the Institution of Business

Ethics, Society, and the Institution of Business

Business is one of the dominant institutions in contemporary society.  It is the primary source of goods and services, of course, but it has also become a primary source of employment, opportunity, wealth, and security.  With that, the institution of business has come to play an ever-larger role in determining who will have an opportunity at living a good life, and who will not.  The Minor in Ethics, Society, and the Institution of Business (ESIB) invites you to explore and question all of this, and to draw your own conclusions about the role of business in a just, flourishing, and sustainable society. 

This is not a traditional business minor, aimed exclusively at preparing student to participate in the institution of business at is currently exists.  While it includes some practical preparation, ESIB is a liberal arts program that helps students turn a critical, hopeful eye on the institution of business, and on the related the activities of working, producing, and consuming that they have likely taken for granted.  Students will put these activities in historical context, analyze the rules and conventions that govern them, and assess the impact of those rules and conventions on specific communities and on the world as a whole.  Our animating question throughout is, “How can we make business better?”

Regardless of whether you will participate in business or simply live in a society deeply shaped by it, the minor in Ethics, Society, and the Institution of Business will help you gain a deeper understanding of what business is, what it does, and what it could — and should — become.

Program Highlights

You will: 

  • Acquire basic business literacy and relevant practical skills, and a basic understanding of economic concepts and economic decision-making.
  • Explore capitalism as the context in which most organizations operate, understanding it not simply as an economic arrangement but also as a force that shapes political institutions and human relations.
  • Use your liberal arts education to evaluate and critique the institution of business, and to develop practical proposals for positive change
  • Practice integrating ethical reasoning and concerns into discussions about business practices, laying the foundation for the habits of ethical reflection and reasoning necessary for ethical engagement and leadership in business.
  • Prepare to act as ethical participants in the institution of business, if you choose to pursue that path.
  • Prepare to act as critically engaged citizens of a society in which business touches everything we do.

Business, Ethics, and Society News

Women’s Impact on Business World Celebrated at Holy Cross Conference
The 17th annual Women in Business event encouraged alumnae, faculty, staff and students to share experiences and learn from each other.
New Ciocca Center Director Looks to Expand Student Opportunities, Business Curriculum

Former international business executive Robert Murner wants to build on the center’s foundation to position students for post-graduate success.

Holy Cross students attend the 16th annual Women in Business Conference in the Hogan Campus Center
NBA’s Kate Jhaveri ’95 Talks Leadership, Careers at 16th Annual Women in Business Conference
The conference featured energizing speakers, breakout discussions and live networking opportunities hosted virtually and on campus