Foundations of Business Thought, Ninth Edition

by Boardman, Sandomir, Sondak

ISBN: 978-0-9971171-8-9 | Copyright 2016


Since 1993, many thousands of students across the United States have been introduced to the world of commerce and business through a process that makes business concepts at once understandable and intimately personal.  Business is presented as a series of human connections designed to address the personal needs and wants of individuals based on sets of values and codes of ethics that guide our thoughts and actions in a market setting.  Business techniques and tools may change over time but the essential goals and concepts of commercial activity remain unchanged across both geography and time.  

Inspired by a four volume set of books produced by the Harvard Business School in 1962, entitled The World of Business, this course and the book upon which it rests present the writings of great contemporary and historical thinkers in order to develop the conceptual foundation for commercial activity in general and the ideals of accounting, finance, management, marketing and operations/production in particular.   This unique approach of using classical works of authorship reinforces the importance of clear, critical and integrative thinking.  These works first outline the motivations for the development of commercial activity and, then, present the fundamental elements important to the foundation of a commercial society.  These foundational concepts are followed by sections devoted to the various functional areas of business, again introduced by classical works that have both passed the test of time and provide unique insights into each of the areas.

Faculty are provided with detailed instructions on methods of relating the material to contemporary business concepts and practice.  While this roadmap provides structure for the material, faculty are encouraged to take advantage of their individual specialization and creativity. This could end up being one of the most enjoyable courses a faculty member will teach.

Students are encouraged to be critical of the readings, of the concepts and, most particularly, their own notions about business and, at the same time, open to new ideas, the thoughts of others and the opportunities for personal growth.  Through careful reading of the text, participating in classroom discussions, expanding knowledge through individual research and by writing position papers on contemporary business topics, this course has the potential to be one of the most impactful undergraduate or graduate courses students will take in their college career.

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