A New Co-concentration: Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good
The Carroll School of Management and the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences last month launched Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good, an interdisciplinary studies program that represents the first wide-ranging curricular partnership between two Boston College schools.
Co-directed by Carroll School Professor of Information Systems Mary Cronin and Professor of Theology Kenneth Himes, O.F.M., the program is offered in the Carroll School as a co-concentration that students can pursue along with a primary concentration such as accounting, finance, information systems, management and leadership, marketing, or operations management. In the Morrissey College, it is an interdisciplinary minor.
The co-concentration in the Carroll School, jointly sponsored by the business law and society, information systems, and marketing departments, is designed to give undergraduates a broad understanding of corporations’ global power and social and environmental influence, and provide them with the theoretical framework and practical skills necessary to manage sustainable organizations for the public good.
The program is open to all Carroll School undergraduates who will graduate in 2018 or later. Students are required to take a foundational course, Managing for Social Impact, and a research-based senior seminar. They must also choose at least two Morrissey College electives that are approved for the program, such as Economics of Inequality (in the economics department), Law and American Society (history), and Studies in Crime and Social Justice (sociology).
“The structure of the program is that it encourages students to take courses across departments,” says Cronin. The two Carroll School courses, she notes, are themselves interdisciplinary: “We try to look at issues of corporate social responsibility through a wide range of lenses—economics, political science, social justice, environmental science, psychology, and religion, to name a few.”
The program’s interdisciplinary approach and focus on public service is “very close to Boston College’s Jesuit mission,” Cronin observes. It is also timely: “Today, there’s much more accountability expected of corporations in terms of environmental impact and social impact,” she explains. “Increasingly, successful companies see a positive value in being socially responsible, both because the expectations and requirements are there and because millennials want to work for companies that have good social impact policies. The virtue of our students also contributes to the value that companies see in doing good to attract the best and brightest young college graduates.”