The Business and Society Program is an interdisciplinary endeavor that prepares and supports business leaders in creating value for shareholders, stakeholders, and society. Drawing upon the best scholarship and research in law, economics, psychology, and philosophy, the faculty and staff of BSP are dedicated to furthering education, research, and public engagement in fields such as professional responsibility, human rights, law and business, social entrepreneurship, and the design of ethically effective organizations.

Business & Society Program

NYU Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street, Henry Kaufman Management Center 7th Floor
New York, New York 10012

Bruce Buchanan
Director, Business & Society Program
C.W. Nichols Professor of Business Ethics
Professor of Marketing

Rachel Kowal
Deputy Director, Business & Society Program
Clinical Professor of Business Law


Literature of Capitalism
BSPA-GB.2355 (3.0 Credits)
Thursdays, 6:00-9:00pm

This course intertwines history, economic ideas, and literature to examine two related questions: what enables success and at what cost does success come. There will be weekly reading assignments that are introduced, roughly, in chronological order. These are extensive and students would be wise to begin prior to the start of school, particularly Atlas Shrugged, which is an easy read but very long. As the course progresses, it will be apparent that the presentation styles evolve but the two questions persist. They propel the narrative and reveal tensions that are at the core of issues that individuals and societies struggle to resolve. A beneficial consequence of the material is that it collectively provides a historical and literary overview that is helpful in understanding many jarring recent events, including the global financial crisis and its unresolved, fractious, aftermath, along with much of the current political debate about the role of companies. Requirements include class participation and weekly essays of fewer than 700 words and a longer final assignment tying the semester together.