​​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 Holy Cross 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. 

Please note:  Business, Ethics, and Society minor is available only to students in the class of 2023. Beginning with the Class of 2024, Ethics, Society, and the Institution of Business will replace the current minor. 

This is not a traditional business minor.  It is a liberal arts program that begins by introducing our students to some of the practical foundations of contemporary business practice but moves beyond that to explore the intellectual foundations as well.  Continuing through a self-designed curriculum, students select courses from a broad range of disciplines to learn about the social issue of their choice, and conclude by developing a practical, detailed argument for how business can and should act to address that issue.  Regardless of whether you will participate in business or simply live in a society deeply shaped by it, the interdisciplinary 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.
  • Develop an interdisciplinary perspective on capitalism as the context in which most businesses operate, understanding it not simply as an economic arrangement but also as a force that shapes political institutions and human relations.
  • Practice integrating ethical reasoning and concerns into discussions about business practices.
  • Learn how your liberal arts education relates to the world of business, and how to explain that to others. 
  • Lay 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.
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
Ja-Na? Duane works with students in Stein Hall in 2018.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program Teaches Ethical Leadership
When Ja-Naé Duane introduces entrepreneurship to students at the College of the Holy Cross, she doesn’t start by talking about business ideas, product development or marketing strategy. Rather, she tells students: “Pick a problem.”