The Autodidact Course Catalog
August 27, 2009 |  by Dale Keiger

How These Things Work: Business Management Writ Large

Phillip Phan, professor and vice dean of faculty and research, Carey Business School

Nearly 80 years of collective wisdom on the nature of corporations, management, capitalism, and entrepreneurial creativity. In the present economy, wisdom can seem like a scarce commodity.

  • The Modern Corporation and Private Property, by Adolph A. Berle and Gardiner C. Means. In 1932, Berle and Means laid out their argument that in most U.S. corporations, the owners play little role in managing the company and the managers have little ownership at stake. Maybe not the best idea.
  • The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress, by Joel Mokyr. “What is required for technological creativity is the right blend of accumulated knowledge of past generations and the ability to shed the stifling burden of past institutions.” Where does technological creativity come from, and why do some nations have it in abundance while others do not?
  • The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek. Hayek’s thesis was summarized pungently by George Orwell: “Collectivism is not inherently democratic, but, on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of.”
  • Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise, by Alfred D. Chandler. How large corporations manage burgeoning business. The secret, says Chandler, is that structure follows strategy.

Nursing As It’s Been Done, As It’s Done Now

Sarah J. Shaefer, assistant professor of community public health nursing, and Sharon Olsen, assistant professor of acute and chronic care, School of Nursing

Nursing as a discipline has been anything but static, as this course will make clear. The historical scope of the readings is vast—back to ancient Egypt—and they cover many aspects of contemporary practice.

Affairs of an International Nature: Global Finances, Economic Development, and Leadership

Jessica Einhorn, dean of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies

Readings about players on the biggest stage—mistaken bankers, failed states, a shaky dragon, and mediocre presidents. The instructor, who is not only a dean but chair of SAIS’ Foreign Policy Institute and an expert on the international political economy, has hit four areas of international affairs: finance, global poverty, China, and U.S. foreign policy.

Next: Readings on race, the art of teaching and a deep journey into what has made you into you.