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RSM2019H – Corporation 360°

General Information


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Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Business Design (r)
  • Consulting (r)
  • Leadership and Change Management (r)

Target Audience

Students with the following interests should take this course:

  • Sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social impact
  • Consulting
  • Strategic and general management
  • Sustainable finance


Fall Term 2021. Online class sessions once per week, plus private team coaching sessions with Professor Kaplan every other week.

Course Mission

“Corporation 360°” is a chance to analyze a firm from many perspectives (360 degrees). In business school, we tend to look at corporations in one facet or another by studying strategy, operations, marketing, organizational behaviour, or finance without considering the trade-offs that are created by choices in one area for impacts in other areas. What new insights emerge when we examine one company from multiple perspectives? And, further, what insights develop when we compare the corporation as an engine for creating and capturing private value (and thus providing returns to the shareholder) to that of the corporation as embedded in society and therefore affecting value creation (or destruction) at the public level?

Course Scope

This Aspen Institute award-winning course will examine the role of the corporation in society. Using Professor Kaplan’s latest book, The 360º Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation as well as a host of other videos and resources, students will learn about how to identify trade-offs in company’s business model and about creative processes for breaking trade-offs, innovating around them or thriving within them. Throughout the course, we will explore the case of Amazon, looking at it from 360 degrees, including recent controversies over labor and unions, facial recognition technologies, and relationships with suppliers. 

We will discuss the tensions that arise for the manager when attempting to manage across the different stakeholders, studying the impact of choices about labor management, globalization, location, sourcing and other issues on social welfare such as climate change and inequality. At the end of the course, we will take the perspective of the leaders of the corporation and seek to understand how they can make important strategic choices for their company in the face of the many challenges and obligations we uncover in the course.

The sessions will involve a combination of guest lectures, discussions of the readings, videos, role-playing and debates about important topics. Students will be expected to be actively engaged in debating the issues. 

The final project will be a case write up of a company with the accompanying teaching note. This will be a team project and the selection of the cases will be done through a class voting process based on student proposals.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentIndividual or TeamDue DateWeight
Class ParticipationIndividualOngoing20%
Individual Learning JournalIndividualMidterm30%
Company Case StudyTeamEnd of course40%
Company Teaching NoteTeamEnd of course10%

Required Resources

Kaplan, Sarah. The 360º Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation (Stanford University Press, 2019). The course will also draw on a wide variety of written, web-based and video resources as posted in the class portal.

Last Updated: 2021-06-16 @ 11:50 am