|During the 2008 Spring Quarter, Mr. Chodos taught a course in the Executive MBA Program at the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.|
The title of the course, which he designed, was "Law, Ethics, and the Enterprise" and here is a short description of it:
Some of the central problems that have occupied humanity since the dawn of civilization involve the tension between our status as individuals and our status as members of groups or collectives. During the first half of the 20th century these problems played themselves out mainly in the political arena. But in North America today, where we have relative political stability, these same problems are making themselves felt in the legal arena.
After taking a survey of our existing attitudes and preconceptions about the three topics in the course title, we will move to a consideration of the most conspicuous ways law makes its impact felt on the enterprise: both inside the enterprise (in relations with and among employees, managers, executives, board members, and owners), and in dealings between the enterprise and its outside stakeholders (suppliers, partners, customers, even competitors, communities, markets, and governments). But our study will be imbedded in a much deeper discussion of the nature of law, and of the ways the law relates to ethical issues and to considerations of the enterprise as a human social construct. The enterprise will be considered both as an ethical actor itself, and as an influence or set of constraints on the ethical behavior of all the people who are involved in it.
Because executives need to have a feel for the way the law works this course will include role-playing elements in which the students will play all the roles involved in the legal system: client, attorney, witness, jury, judge, and even legislator/law-giver. The course also includes a segment on legal procedures so that the students can gain some sense of what the "life-history" of a contemporary lawsuit feels like.
The law's effort to resolve the tensions described here - tensions which arise naturally as part of the human condition - can be seen as a centuries-long search for integrity in interpersonal affairs. This course will look at the law in that light, and will invite the students into an exploration of what this kind of "integrity" means.