The purpose of this course is to assist students in understanding the relationships and interactions between business and government. Business leaders are more effective when they appreciate how organizations can gain strategic advantage by monitoring and working with government at all levels. This course will prepare students to meet these managerial challenges, and to participate in complex decisions involving changing laws, regulations, and other governmental factors that have significant business implications. In addition to case situations and readings on current issues, a number of exceptional leaders from business and government will add their expertise. Your interaction with them will be a highlight of the course.


The course is taught by Alan Beckenstein, a senior member of the GEM Area at Darden. His expertise is public policy analysis and process. He is joined (working together for 29 years) by alumnus Peter Prowitt (Darden MBA 81), a senior government relations executive for General Electric. Peter spent a decade in government working as a chief of staff for a Senator and as the Staff Director of a Senate Committee.


Academic course objectives:


       Appreciate how government policies and decision makers can affect strategic choices and the performance of companies

       Understand the interplay between policy, process, and politics in business-government relations

       Understand alternative modes of participation in the political process: individual company and collective action

       Examine methods of advocacy, including through media channels

       Explore political and public policy agendas and mechanisms, as well as the similarities and differences among different countries and regions


Elements of the course grade:


Class contribution             50%

Group paper/project          50%