Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society

Eva Paus, Chair

Dawn Larder, Academic Program Coodinator

115 Skinner Hall

Overview and Contact Information

The interdisciplinary minor in Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Sociey builds entrepreneurial competence for students of all majors. By combining critical analysis with firsthand experiences, students gain the entrepreneurial competence to succeed in different career contexts and to contribute solutions to today’s most vexing problems.

Entrepreneurial competence requires an entrepreneurial mindset of creativity, humility, resilience, and stakeholder understanding, plus the ability to take risks and tolerate ambiguity. It also demands a critical understanding of the global, social, cultural, and regulatory aspects that shape the workings of organizations and the contexts in which they operate. The mindset needed to bring about positive change requires self-reflectivity; the ability to work in diverse teams and to communicate effectively across multiple cultural boundaries; and an understanding of the global economy and of structures of inequality, gendered relations of power, and intersecting identities.

The curriculum consists of five subject areas:

  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. Organizations, Law, and Power
  3. Global Economy
  4. Global and Cultural Intersections
  5. Data and Technical Analysis

Students minoring in EOS choose one approved course from each of the five areas, with one course at the 300 level. We strongly encourage students to integrate their course work with applied learning experiences and to interact with practitioners in their field. Student should select a coherent set of courses and applied learning experiences that fit their specific interests and aspirations. We urge students to seek advice from the member of the EOS committee who best matches their interest.

This minor replaces the former Complex Organizations minor, starting in Fall 2016.

See Also:

Nexus in Global Business

Nexus in Nonprofit Organizations


This area of study is administered by an interdisciplinary committee:

Eva Paus, Professor of Economics; Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives

Michael Robinson, Professor of Economics

Eleanor Townsley, Professor of Sociology, Teaching Spring Only

Patricia Banks, Associate Professor of Sociology

Catherine Corson, Miller Worley Associate Professor of Environmental Studies; Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Center for the Environment

Steven Schmeiser, Assistant Professor of Economics and Complex Organizations

Tian Hui Ng, Assistant Professor of Music; Orchestra Director

Rick Feldman, Entrepreneurship Coordinator and Visiting Lecturer in Economics

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

One course in Area One: Entrepreneurship4
One course in Area Two: Organizations, Law, and Power4
One course in Area Three: Global Economy4
One course in Area Four: Global and Cultural Intersections4
One course in Area Five: Data and Technical Analysis4
Of the five courses, one must be at the 300 level
Total Credits20

Additional Specifications

  • Students minoring in Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society (EOS) are strongly encouraged to integrate their course work with applied learning experiences and to interact with practitioners in their field.
  • Each student should select a coherent set of courses and applied learning experiences that fit their specific interests and aspirations. Students are urged to seek advice from the member of the EOS committee who best matches their interests.

Course Advice

Each course approved to count towards the Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society minor is listed below, either on our Course Offerings list or on the list of courses within or beyond our program that count towards the minor. The lists are annotated to show which courses count toward each of the five subject area requirements within the EOS minor.

Course Offerings in EOS

EOS-205 Financial Accounting

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

The course, while using traditional accounting techniques and methodology, will focus on the needs of external users of financial information. The emphasis is on learning how to read, interpret, and analyze financial information as a tool to guide investment decisions. Concepts rather than procedures are stressed and class time will be largely devoted to problem solutions and case discussions. A basic knowledge of arithmetic (+,-,*,/) and a familiarity with a spreadsheet program is suggested.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Non-Liberal Arts
S. Schmeiser
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

EOS-210 Entrepreneurship: Opportunity and Impact

Fall. Credits: 4

In this foundation course, the class will select and confront four major problems from a list of possible subjects such as aging, health care, education, food and housing security, employment, poverty, sustainability and environmental health, and crime. Students will then gain ability to analyze those problems, assess the opportunities for solutions that emerge, design initial solutions, and configure organizations that allow for the implementation of those solutions. The course will utilize texts, short lectures and discussions, video, guest presentations, in-class ideation exercises, and development of analytical skills.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
R. Feldman

EOS-218 Perspectives in Global Business

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We will study the behavior of consumers, producers, and their interactions in markets. How do consumer, producer, and social welfare depend on market organization and regulatory institutions? How do competition and international trade affect consumers and firms? How do the decisions that businesses make affect employees, customers, suppliers, the community, and the environment? How do businesses make decisions about advertising and pricing? We will use case studies and microeconomic theory to explore these and other questions.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
S. Schmeiser

EOS-220 Non-Profit Business Practice

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to the issues and challenges of leading a non-profit organization. Covered topics include dealing with boards, workers and volunteers and external agencies. We will consider funding and revenue sources as well as cost management. Finally, the course will explore strategic planning and program evaluation. The course will feature an embedded practitioner with substantial leadership experience in higher education.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
M. Robinson
Notes: The course will be a case study based course and students will be required to do a substantial project on a non-profit of their choosing.

EOS-229 Social Impact Enterprise and Innovation

Spring. Credits: 4

Project-based course in which students working in teams will create, from idea to start-up, social impact ventures (not-for-profit or for-profit), while learning applied design thinking and lean startup methods, market planning, customer and stakeholder development, finances, organization configurations, social impact analysis, business development, collaboration building, and team-building and leadership. Literature covering entrepreneurship, women in business, social impact, economic impact, and opportunity analysis will be introduced and applied. Course is particularly useful for students involved in CGI-U, Davis Projects for Peace, and their own ventures.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
R. Feldman

EOS-239 Organizations and Finance

Spring. Credits: 4

Engaging directly with all forms of non-governmental organizations including L3C, LLC, B-Corporations, not-for-profits, and the classic "C" and "S" corporations, students will learn about the various organizational structures, their financing, and their financial management. This will be an experiential and project-based class: students will have hands-on learning through real organizations, cases and projects, with short classroom lectures. Students will work in in teams, and teams will present analysis and reflections. Topics covered will also include requirements and regulations, economic and social impacts of organization types on markets, labor, public policy, and social good.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive
R. Feldman

EOS-249 Ethics in Entrepreneurship and Business

Spring. Credits: 4

What are the special challenges of obligation and responsibility that individuals, businesses and other organizations face in a complex global environment? We explore these questions using applied philosophical ethics from the traditional approaches to moral philosophy (studying the ethical character of both actions themselves and the results of those actions) and the more recent ethics of care. We apply these ethical considerations in different cases and contexts of individual decision-making and the choices and dilemmas that businesses and other organizations face.

Crosslisted as: PHIL-260EB
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
T. White

EOS-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

Instructor permission required.

EOS-299 Topic

EOS-299BU Topic: 'Is Business Moral?'

Spring. Credits: 4

Is engaging in business a moral activity? Is virtuous business activity that which is inherently virtuous or that which benefits society? Are there moral obligations surrounding how workers are treated? Is the ability of business to elevate our material standard of living a good thing? Through reading the Great Books of Western Civilization, we will look at what philosophers and novelists argued about business ethics starting with Athens and Jerusalem, proceeding through the English Financial Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and into contemporary society. Authors will include Aquinas, Mandeville, Dickens, Thoreau, Dreiser, Shaw, and Wolfe.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
J. Hartley

EOS-299MK Topic: 'International Marketing'

Fall. Credits: 4

The course introduces students to international marketing. The students will be able to understand, research, evaluate and implement international marketing and sales concepts. In particular they will be able to develop an holistic perspective on international marketing, master the marketing management process in an international context, use strategic instruments in an international environment and develop and implement international marketing strategies and marketing instruments. In class, case studies will be explored alone and in groups.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
B. Dietz

EOS-299ND Topic: 'Individuals and Organizations'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course focuses on individual and small-group behavior in the organizational setting. The basic objective is to increase knowledge and understanding of human behavior in organizations - especially each individual's own behavior. Three types of knowledge are stressed: (1) intellectual information regarding human behavior in an organizational context; (2) understanding of oneself as a person and as a leader; and (3) behavioral skills in dealing with people.

Crosslisted as: PSYCH-212
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
T. Butterfield
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

EOS-310 Entrepreneurship: Social and Economic Impact in Practice

Fall. Credits: 4

Students will develop problem-solving opportunities by fully designing and creating real-world solutions and organizations for implementing those solutions. Students will learn by applying the Lean Launchpad methodology developed at Stanford University and adapted by hundreds of organizations. Students will shape entrepreneurial (including social impact) opportunities and assess financial feasibility, while living an entrepreneurial experience. This experience includes forming teams, creating business models, talking with partners and customers, assessing feasibility, while launching a new venture or initiative.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
R. Feldman
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

EOS-349 Topic

EOS-349GE Topic: 'International Management and Gender'

Fall. Credits: 4

In a globalized world with increasing gender diversity and a shortage of a talented working force, business leaders have to manage cultural, ethical and gender difference. The course will look at the construction of social roles and stereotypes, as well as the barriers, obstacles, and biases that hinder women to make it to the top, and the instruments to manage gender diversity. The class will also discuss the competitive advantages and the downsides of diversity for an organization. There will be readings of pivotal articles, individual and group work as well as discussions in class.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
B. Dietz
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

EOS-349RG Topic: 'Sociology of Organizations'

Spring. Credits: 4

Sociology of Organizations introduces concepts of institution, organization, network, role and system. These ideas are at the heart of the classical sociological enterprise. They open up questions of social scale and social context by drawing attention to the level of action between individuals and abstract global systems. Using case studies, students will engage the question of ethical action in a complex world marked by competing rationalities. Using resources from class readings, students will be asked to research an organization of which they are a member to develop their own case study.

Crosslisted as: SOCI-316RG
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
E. Townsley
Prereq: SOCI-123.

EOS-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

Instructor permission required.

Related Courses Counting toward the Minor in Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society

Area One: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship elevates current resources to higher levels of performance, creating social and economic value that provides new solutions to problems and delivers benefits to those with needs. To accomplish this transformation of resources, students need to analyze critically the issue they want to address and to develop core capabilities in generating ideas, recognizing and analyzing opportunities, identifying the motivation of key stakeholders, acquiring and utilizing resources, and translating an idea into a sustainable initiative.

In these courses, students will shape entrepreneurial opportunities to solve problems and to impact social needs. They will think critically, assess financial feasibility and scalability, and launch a new venture or initiative. Such ventures may occur in any field and across a spectrum of organizational forms.

Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-210Entrepreneurship: Opportunity and Impact 4
EOS-229Social Impact Enterprise and Innovation 4
EOS-249Ethics in Entrepreneurship and Business 4
EOS-310Entrepreneurship: Social and Economic Impact in Practice 4

Area Two: Organizations, Law, and Power

Organizations are central structures of society. Nonprofits, public institutions, and private businesses are all shaped by the particular histories, legal traditions, and relationships of power in different societies. In today’s rapidly changing global world, the lines between organization— for-profit and nonprofit, and public and private sector — are blurring. Private and nonprofit organizations implement and evaluate public policy. Public agencies facilitate private enterprise. Nonprofit organizations partner with for-profit businesses. Business practices are becoming more common in nonprofit organizations (e.g., impact assessment), and ethical imperatives and social purpose are becoming more important in some for-profit organizations. 

In these courses, students analyze the roles of different kinds of organizations, hierarchies of power, regulatory frameworks, social impacts, and ethical decision making in different organizational contexts.

ECON-205Women in Business 4
ECON-307Seminar in Industrial Organization 4
ECON-345Corporate Governance 4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-341Science and Power in Environmental Governance 4
Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-218Perspectives in Global Business 4
EOS-220Non-Profit Business Practice 4
EOS-239Organizations and Finance 4
EOS-299BUTopic: 'Is Business Moral?' 4
EOS-299MKTopic: 'International Marketing' 4
EOS-299NDTopic: 'Individuals and Organizations' 4
EOS-349GETopic: 'International Management and Gender' 4
EOS-349RGTopic: 'Sociology of Organizations' 4
POLIT-247International Law and Organization 4
SOCI-316RGSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'Sociology of Organizations' 4
SOCI-316SYSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'The Business of Culture: Marketing & Selling Symbolic Goods' 4

Area Three: Global Economy

Over the last thirty years, economic interdependence among countries around the globe has grown rapidly. As countries export and import more, financial managers move trillions of dollars across virtual borders every day, and transnational corporations drive the vertical disintegration of production chains around the world. At the same time, it is small enterprises that increasingly generate most new jobs, acting mainly at the local and regional level.

Using conceptual approaches that engage the global economy, these courses foster students’ understanding of the historical and contemporary drivers behind the dynamics of the global economy, the economic manifestation of globalization in different areas of the world, and the opportunities and challenges that the current globalization process offers.

ECON-213Economic Development: A Survey 4
ECON-218International Economics 4
ECON-314Economic Development in the Age of Contested Globalization 4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-337Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Environment and Development 4
HIST-214History of Global Inequality 4

Area Four: Global and Cultural Intersections

In these courses we inspire students to reflect critically on the dynamic relationship between social context and individual agency in social change. Courses address at least two of the following three goals: advancing cross-cultural communication, cultivating global awareness, and promoting understanding of structures of inequality and difference. Courses foster an ability to discern the analogies, differences, and interrelationships among challenges faced by communities across the globe. They also bring critical attention to the intersections of class, race, ability, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, as well as to how social constructions and institutions shape social location.

Environmental Studies
ENVST-210Political Ecology 4
GEOG-208Global Movements: Migrations, Refugees and Diasporas 4
GEOG-313Third World Development 4
Gender Studies
GNDST-101Introduction to Gender Studies 4
GNDST-221QFFeminist and Queer Theory: 'Feminist and Queer Theory' 4
Latina/o Studies
LATST-201Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Structural Inequalities 4
POLIT-302Urban Policy 4
SPAN-250MGConcepts and Practices of Power: 'Spanish Migrations' 4

Area Five: Data and Technical Analysis

Many organizational decisions are informed by data and technical analysis. From the evaluation of new markets to the final impact assessment, organizations of all types are continuously confronted with challenges that benefit from quantitative and technical analysis. In these courses, students will use empirical and/or mathematical analysis to create models that address questions of importance to different organizations. Students also critically examine the benefits and limitations of particular methods in specific contexts. Courses in this area use quantitative and/or technical analysis with applications in decision making across different types of organizations.

ECON-215Economics of Corporate Finance 4
ECON-220Introduction to Econometrics 4
ECON-301Advanced Game Theory 4
ECON-320Econometrics 4
Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-205Financial Accounting 4
MATH-339PTTopics in Applied Mathematics: 'Optimization' 4
MATH-339SPTopics in Applied Mathematics: 'Stochastic Processes' 4
PSYCH-201Statistics 4
STAT-240Elementary Data Analysis and Experimental Design 4
STAT-241Methods in Data Science 4
STAT-340Applied Regression Methods 4