The Core Purpose of the University of Texas at Austin is “to transform lives for the benefit of society.” One way in which I try my best to enact this mission is through my course at McCombs called The Science of Good Business.
Here’s a brief description of the class:
Ask any fly on the wall during a corporate luncheon, boardroom meeting, or phone conversation between colleagues and she’ll tell you that one of the most common phrases that’s overheard is “that’s just good business!” What, exactly, is meant by the term “good business?” This class is built on the premise that the word “good” has multiple meanings: People want to do well (or be successful and productive), people want to be good (or act ethically and morally), and people want to feel good (or live happy and satisfying lives). Using insights from the social sciences—consumer-oriented marketing, behavioral economics, decision-making, psychology, and other related fields—the course will examine how individuals and organizations can achieve all three in a business context. A primary focus will be on using theory and data to guide practical applications; empirical evidence can result in actions that can actually be implemented in the workplace. We’ll emphasize how one’s environment can be designed in such a way that the good in one’s career can be maximized. Further, we will explore and discuss how the different definitions of what “good” is are inherently related to each other. Doing good can lead to both feeling good and doing well.