Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society

Overview and Contact Information

Every one of us must ask what can I do and what we can we do as a community to frame the vexing problems of our time, find collaborators and together explore and discover solutions.

The interdisciplinary minor in Entrepreneurship, Organizations, and Society (EOS) offers students a knowledge framework and practical competencies to make a positive contribution to communities, locally and globally.

Envisioning socially impactful action requires an understanding of problems from multiple perspectives, of difference along multiple axes, of the dynamics of organizations, and of individual and collective agency in social context. And advancing solutions demands creative thinking, resilience and risk-taking, collaboration with multiple stakeholders, and command of basic business practices.

In EOS, students learn to develop such understandings and competencies through engagement in four subject areas, applied learning experiences, and connections with practitioners in the field.

The curriculum consists of four subject areas:

  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. Organizations and Power
  3. Structures of Inequality
  4. Financial Analysis

Students minoring in EOS choose one approved course from each of the four 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 replaced the former Complex Organizations minor, starting in Fall 2016. The current requirements apply to students entering in Fall 2017 and after. Students who entered prior to Fall 2017 must follow the previous set of requirements or consult with the chair if interested in switching to the above set of requirements.

See Also:

Faculty

This area of study is administered by an interdisciplinary committee:

Becky Packard, Professor of Psychology and Education; Director of the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center, Teaching Fall Only

Eva Paus, Professor of Economics, Teaching Spring Only

Michael Robinson, Professor of Economics

Eleanor Townsley, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Sociology and Director of Nexus

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, Teaching Fall Only

Tian Hui Ng, Assistant Professor of Music; Orchestra Director

Rick Feldman, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Organizations and Society; Entrepreneurship Coordinator

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 16 credits:

One course in Area One: Entrepreneurship4
One course in Area Two: Organizations and Power4
One course in Area Three: Structures of Inequality4
One course in Area Four: Financial Analysis4
Of the four courses, one must be at the 300 level
Total Credits16

Additional Specifications

  • These requirements apply to students entering in fall 2017 and after. Students who entered prior to fall 2017 must follow the previous set of requirements or consult with the chair if interested in switching to the above set of requirements.

EOS Course Offerings

EOS-210 Opportunities and Impacts

Fall. Credits: 4

In this foundation course, the class will select and confront four major global problems having local instances 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 working in teams will then learn to analyze those problems, assess the opportunities for solutions that emerge, design initial solutions, and configure projects that allow for the implementation of those solutions. Students work in teams, developing and learning about solutions with local organizations engaged in addressing similar global/local problems. The course will utilize texts, short lectures and discussions, video, guest presentations, in-class ideation exercises, and team presentations.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
R. Feldman
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

EOS-229 Enterprise Startups and Social Entrepreneurship

Fall. Credits: 4

This is a project-based experiential learning course teaching entrepreneurial teams to rapidly build, test, and cycle through models on the way to discovering and implementing an organization, designing and providing a product or service, and offering a solution to a global-to-local problem. Students will learn about and engage in the creation and building process, while exploring and discovering key issues in social impact, organizations and groups, creative solutions, economics, and finance. The course will adapt the Lean LaunchPad methodology, involve case-studies, and provide research and analytical articles.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
R. Feldman
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

EOS-239 Fundamentals of Business Organizations and Finance

Spring. Credits: 4

Students will create and manage organizations, learn from topical lectures, readings and case studies, and hear from guest speakers. The course will cover core organizations: not-for-profits, "C" corporations, "S" corporations, partnerships, and the LLC (limited liability company) plus special variations like workers cooperatives and social venture variations known as benefit corporations and L3C companies. Students will also learn how to analyze and present financial information and gain competency with basic spreadsheets and analytical tools. Finally, students will consider organizations in their social contexts, discussing the relationship of organization types to social issues at global and local scales.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
R. Feldman
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

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

The department
Instructor permission required.

EOS-299 Topic

EOS-299ND Topic: 'Individuals and Organizations'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course focuses on individual and small-group behavior in the organizational setting. The class will focus on: (1) understanding human behavior in an organizational context; (2) understanding of oneself as an individual contributor and/or leader within an organization, and ways to contribute to organizational change; (3) intergroup communication and conflict management; and (4) diversity and organizational climate.

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

EOS-310 Social Entrepreneurship Capstone

Spring. Credits: 4

This course is for students and teams ready to prepare for and enter the round of entrepreneurship competitions in the spring (Draper Competition, Valley Venture Mentors, MHC Pitch, Grinspoon, and the MHC Innovation Impact Grants). It will provide a more focused and intense opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship from research, case studies, and project-based experience, taking students' ideas closer to full realization and implementation. This course covers greater detail of every component: market analysis, customer and stakeholder development, problem analysis and solution design, financial planning and monitoring, pricing, and organization, all focused on creating social enterprises.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
R. Feldman
Prereq: EOS-210 or EOS-229.

EOS-349 Topic

EOS-349NQ Topic: 'Organizations and Inequality'

Spring. Credits: 4

In Organizations and Inequality, we analyze how organizations create, reproduce, and also potentially challenge social inequalities. Drawing on different organizational perspectives, students will engage the challenges of ethical action in a complex world marked by competing rationalities and deep inequalities. Students will also research an organization of which they are a member and develop their own case study.

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

EOS-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

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

A student minoring in EOS must take one course from each subject area, with at least one course at the 300 level. 

Area One: Entrepreneurship

Being an entrepreneur in today’s rapidly changing world requires the ability to apply critical, analytical and creative thinking to the global and local problems at hand, process large amounts of information from a range of knowledge areas, work in teams, assess financial resource requirements and feasibility, and communicate effectively. In these courses, students start to develop these capabilities.

Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-210Opportunities and Impacts4
EOS-229Enterprise Startups and Social Entrepreneurship4
EOS-310Social Entrepreneurship Capstone4

Area Two: Organizations 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. To function well in organizations and leverage them to affect social needs, students need to understand the roles of different types of organizations, hierarchies of power, regulatory frameworks, social impacts, and ethical decision-making in organizational structures. These courses provide students with such understandings.

Economics
ECON-280Non-Profit Business Practice4
ECON-345Corporate Governance4
Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-249Ethics in Entrepreneurship and Business4
EOS-299NDTopic: 'Individuals and Organizations'4
EOS-349NQTopic: 'Organizations and Inequality'4
Sociology
SOCI-316NQSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'Organizations and Inequality'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: Structures of Inequality

To effect positive change, students need to understand the structures of inequality underlying many of the problems they aim to address. In these courses, students learn how systemic forces shape inequality along different axes (e.g., race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, and nationality), and how individual, collective and government actions interact with these dynamics in pursuit of greater social justice.

Economics
ECON-314Economic Development in the Age of Contested Globalization4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-210Political Ecology4
ENVST-242Global-Local Inequality and the Environment4
Geography
GEOG-208Global Movements: Migrations, Refugees and Diasporas4
GEOG-313Third World Development4
History
HIST-214History of Global Inequality4
Latina/o Studies
LATST-201Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Structural Inequalities4
Politics
POLIT-254Social Housing4
POLIT-302Urban Policy4
Spanish
SPAN-250MGConcepts and Practices of Power: 'Spanish Migrations'4

Area Four: Financial Analysis

Assessing, accessing and effectively employing resources to address social needs are important elements of entrepreneurship. In these courses students learn and gain practice in understanding, analyzing and using financial resource information and processes.

Economics
ECON-270Accounting4
Entrepreneurship, Orgs & Soc
EOS-239Fundamentals of Business Organizations and Finance4