Dr. Tina Das Eco 301
Off Hrs: MWF 10:00-12:00; TTh By Appointment
'The modern firm is an entity worthy of detailed study...after all, some firms control more economic activity than occurs in some national economies..' Sheard
‘There is something different in the air these days - call it ‘in-your-face’ capitalism..You lose your job, your ex employer’s stock price rises, the CEO gets a fat raise....’ Newsweek
‘Hardly a competent worker can be found who does not devote a considerable amount of time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace..’ Taylor
I. Course Description:
The objective of this course is to provide a broad overview of the Economics of Organization and Business decision making. Our goal is to understand when markets are able to solve problems and why sometimes they fail to do so - and how institutions such as business organizations emerge and evolve in an attempt to solve these problems. In other words, the objective here is to help you understand and critically analyze the dynamic changes and the evolutionary management practices affecting corporate America today!
All economic activities organized by firms involve exchange, and traditional theory dictates profit motivated outcomes in a world of perfect information and rational decision making. But we are aware of a world where information is less than perfect, behavior is often opportunistic and decisions are guided by a broader concept called efficiency and value maximization. In such an environment, providing the right incentive, communicating, motivating as well as coordinating transactions becomes a challenging task. In addressing some of these topics, we review the traditional theories of demand/supply, cost and production, while developing the national as well as the global dynamics of the modern firm. We study important issues such as strategic alliances, ownership and control, contracts and compensations, human-resource management, corporate finance, and learn the meaning of corporate governance, core competencies, virtual corporations and total quality management!
II. Required Textbooks:
Managerial Economics & Organizational Architecture, Brickley, Smith & Zimmerman [Irwin,1997]
*Keep in touch with Economic and Managerial Issues by reading the New York Times, the Economist, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and by surfing the Internet, etc.
III. Course Requirements:
Exams: During the course there will 2 exams, including the final exam. Each exam will concentrate on the material presented prior to the exam. In other words, they are not comprehensive.The exams will have short as well as some descriptive answer type questions. Some of the questions will be definitional in nature, while other analytical questions will require a fundamental understanding of the material discussed in class!
Homework/Participation: This involves doing the assignments given to you, coming to class, doing the readings, and engaging in class discussions by asking questions and trying to answer some! You will also be asked to turn in homework assignments during the semester.The INDIVIDUAL homework assignments must be typed or word processed, double spaced with proper margins, free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes -You could use the Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers as a reference!
IV. Attendance & Academic Conduct:
You are expected to attend all classes. No makeup exams or extensions on the homework assignments and Cases will be allowed or accepted. If you are unable to fulfil some of the course requirements on time, please make sure that you have received prior permission. Remember that in order to do well you need to take all the exams, do the homework, participate in class - just by fulfilling either one or two of the requirements ...will not get you the desired grade, even if you think that what you have left out or not turned in...is worth only a small percentage of the total grade! You can always contact me via email, phone or leave a message outside my office. Excused absences and unforeseen emergencies will be given consideration. However, unexcused absences will result in a grade penalty at the end of the semester.
Your final course grade will be based on the following weighting scheme:
Homework (5) 30%
The grading scale is
Less than 60 F
VI. General Guidelines & Suggestions:
In class, I will highlight the important aspects of each chapter and topic being discussed, but you will be ultimately responsible for the details in each chapter. I will be giving you handouts. However, my handouts should serve just as a guide or a reference. Read the chapters thoroughly - you should be able to understand all the ‘real life’ examples and inserts while being able to answer the review questions at the end of each chapter. You are encouraged to form study groups and discuss material presented in class and work on homework problems together, but each of you must submit his or her original work. Students are expected to follow the academic honor code set forth in the Student handbook. If you find the discussion in class and/or the text difficult to understand, please contact me individually or as a group - do not wait till the night before the exam....!
VII. Tentative Course Outline
Sept 2nd Introduction & Review of Course
*Read Ch 1
Week 1 Ch 3 & 4 (DD & SS) *HW 1
Week 2 Ch 2 & 3 & 15 (Basic concepts & Transaction Cost)
Week 3 Ch 5 & 6 (Market structure & game theory) *HW 2
Week 4 Contd
Week 5 Ch 7 & 8 (Conflict & Architecture)
Oct 12th Midsemester Exam
Oct 14th Contd with Ch 7 &
Week 7 Ch 9 & 10 (Decision making)
Week 8 Contd * HW 3
Week 9 Ch 11 & 12 (Human resource management
Week 10 Contd *HW 4
Week 11 Ch 13
Nov 23rd Contd
Nov 25th Thanksgiving Holidays
Week 13 Ch 14
Dec 7th Review
Dec 9th-14th Final Exam
*Note that we will try and follow the course
outline indicated above, but dates of homeworks and some of the chapters
may change as we progress…we will try and cover all the material depending
on YOUR progress ! Relax and enjoy and always ask questions whenever in
doubt…also do not hesitate to drop by my office ANY TIME