Business law in business education 1 joseph l frascona
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BUSINESS LAW IN BUSINESS EDUCATION1 Joseph L. Frascona
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illustrated the necessity for proper communication between people, particularly between employer and employee. The film ended with the criterion of business conduct, "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." I highly recommend this film to you for your students.
This film is but another example of the definite recent trend in business, undoubtedly observed by you, emphasizing that proper concern for one's fellowman, a form of love, is necessary for better productivity in terms of material goods and human relationships. Man's place and happiness in society, as well as his work, is increasingly recognized as a part of business ethics and business object in a more intimate America with its abundance of blessings. A brief look about the world offers convincing evidence that we should count our blessings. The search for truth on the part of business is now in the direction of human happiness and dignity as well as technological advancement. Human values as well as material things are increasingly the object of sound business policy and practice. In modern business, therefore, truth is beginning to be understood as not only fact but also its best use for good. The great expansion in the complex field of labor law, encompassing employer-employee relations, is dynamic evidence of this. Business J;'e,search presently is pointed at factual research and proper management for good~ Management involves people and their educational experience, and as educators you are expected to understand and disseminate this truth.
A state, country, or any other organized society is only as good as its in-
terested citizenry, and the attitude of each citizen is a direct reflection of
his educational experience. His educational experience is a formal one in terms
of academic institutions. You are educators and, therefore, you are a part of
educational experience also have contact with
of student members of society, and, to the extent that the business world, you are a part of the educational
experience of businessmen. Therefore, your search of truth in all that you do, is not only a part of
truth, your educational
living proof experience of
others but, and living
more importantly, exponents of truth-
because of your very statu -you will have a profound
s as leaders--educators influence on the edu-.
cational at large
experience of many people and institutions, in fact and its governments throughout our land. Could you
of the have a
entire public more challeng?
ing expansive opportunity to do good? I doubt it. Then to you must our society
primarily look for truth. This awesome thought in a world seething with differ-
ing ideologies should humble you as it does me; should keep you in teaching and
attract others to teaching; should cause you to do research continually and, if
possible, make a contribution to written knowledge; should the face and mind of each individual student as a precious
cause you to search trust; and should mo-
tivate you to do your very best to provide the all-important catalytic, stimu- ?
lating spark awakening man's mind and igniting his potentiality for good so that
man will discipline my opinion, only as
himself each of
to live his precious truth you continually strives to
throughout his do this, alone
life. as you
feel at times, are you worthy of your trust as an educator in the process of dis-
covering and disseminating truth. This is not easy to accomplish, but worth our
Thus far we have found that truth is the object of education, involving the ascertainment of fact, the best use of fact for good, and the dissemination of truth by educators--primarily in an academic environment. In short, it is living one's best for good.
The Place of Business in Education
If we so understand the goal of education as the discovery and dissemination of truth through the best use of fact for good, our immediate academic task is the formulation and establishment of a sound curriculum which, within an alltoo-limited period of time, will provide maximum opportunity for student educational experience in truth. Fundamentally and simply, I believe this involves three things: first, the acquisition of information and its concomitant of learning how to acquire information; second, the development of analytical mental power so as to increase acumen and capacity for sound judgment and sound decision in the use of information, which also means capacity to digest and to convert raw information into knowledge; and finally, the development of good character and high ideals along with self-discipline, so that man may acquire a sense of wisdom and justice in his use of information for good and thereby courageously and happily live a good life among his fellowmen.
Business then definitely is an intrinsic part of this educational process and goal. Commercial or mercantile interchange is the means by which man earns his material daily bread; it has existed ever since man first learned to satisfy his physical wants by an exchange of services or things, and it constitutes the principal human activity and source of human effort in the world today. Such commercial activity generally is called "business," although it may have more limited meanings in the complexities of specific business areas, such as the nature of a business carried on by a partnership or by a foreign corporation. Surely man's greatest area of activity, namely business, merits cognizance and examination by educators and students both as an expression and as a source of man's educational experience in truth. Business seeks to discover and disseminate truth through its best use of fact for good. Therefore, academic provision for the study of business and for preparation for participation in business is not only justified but is an educational necessity today.
It is on this matter of academic provision for business study and preparation that there is often a strong difference of view between faculties of colleges of arts and sciences and faculties of schools of business. I believe that this difference of view is the result of a misunderstanding with respect to the purpose and place of business education in an academic curriculum. A willingness objectively to discuss business education would resolve this difference, I feel certain.
Let us examine the--shall we say--"liberal arts" view. Many teachers in liberal arts are justly concerned with any attempt to dilute?the educational process. As I understand their view, the study of business is not warranted at the college level because: first, the study of business reduces the number of arts and science courses in a student's study program and thereby dilutes the student's educational experience; second, business is a vocational specialization in technical skills and should not compete with a liberal education predicated on the arts and sciences; and finally, a study of economics to the extent provided in a liberal arts and science program should be sufficient study of this new Usurper of education called "business." I believe that this view deserves forthright and objective analysis and discussion. For convenience of reference, I Shall call this "the opposing view," with no intent thereby to malign or to cast aspersion by such term.
With the over-all reason for the concern of those holding the opposing view, namely, opposition to dilution of the educational process, I feel certain that we 1n business education are sympathetically in accord. We have a similar regard
for the integrity of the educational process and we, also, would oppose its dilution. With respect to the various reasons for this view, let us examine them separately.
The first point asserted is that reduction in the number of arts and science courses in a student's study program thereby dilutes the student's educational experience. Education is not esoteric to arts and science courses~~? If we understand education as meaning guided growth in truth within the academic framework and environment established to achieve such growth, then arts and science courses and all other courses teaching truth have a just place in a college curriculum. The problem then becomes a matter of selectivity among courses so as to produce the best educated graduate under all the circumstances.
It is precisely in the phrase "under all the circumstances" that the difference of opinion arises. At one time, arts and science courses were sufficieDt to provide adequately the academic educational experience required by society; but the circumstances have changed over the years. Today, the increase in human knowledge of a specialized character with its unprecedented application for human good in the United States, and the resulting social demand for such new knowledge, have profoundly influenced the educational academic experience required of student s. For instance, baccalaureate de grees in engineering refl ect curricula repr e senting a bas ic grounding in art s .and s c ience courses together with an extensive major or specialization in a given s cientific field or area. Academically, this is no different from an arts and science major in "Anthropology, botany, chemistry, economics, education, English l anguage, English literature, fine arts, French, geography, geology, German, Greek, history, Latin, mathematics, mineralogy, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, Spanish, speech," to quote from the University of Colorado Bulletin of the College of Arts
and Science s as an example. This Bulletin further state s, "Not more than 45 se-
mester hours in the maj or subje ct may be counted t oward the 124 semester hours required for graduation." It i s a matter, e s sentially, of a new subject matter area for the purpose of an academic major wit h required adjustment in the number of hours to be allocated between basic and major groups of courses.
The experience of Engineering as a new major with its own degree is also that of Bus iness. An examination of the Standards for Membership in the American Asso ciation of Collegiate Schools of Bus ines s discloses the followi ng:
"( 3) The curricula shall approximate, quantitatively and quali -
tatively, the st andards in ef fe ct in recognized collegiate schools of bus ines s , due allowance being made f or the meeting of regional or other special ob j ectives. A portion of the four years of college work for the undergraduate degree may be taken in some other college, such as a liberal arts or engineering college of approved standards. At lea st for ty per cent of the 120 s emester hours or it s equi valent r e quired f or the ba chelor' s degree must be taken i n bus ine ss and e conomic s sub ject s ; the major portion of t he courses in t hi s group shall be i n bus iness administration. At least forty per cent of the 120 s emest er hours or it s equival ent r equired f or the bachel or' s degree must be taken in subjects other than business and e conomics provided that economic principles and economic history may be counted in either the business or nonbus iness groups . With respect to the latter, breadth not specialization i s the obj ective ."
On the bas i s of what has j ust been sai d, it is clear t hat t he addition new maj or in bus iness , often accompanied by a new de gree in business, i s an
addition to specialized fields of academic education and, as a truth , is not a dilution of educational experience.
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The cat ional
conclusion that bus iness is a necessary proce ss and goal is irre futable. It i s
and intrinsic part of the an area of truth requi r ed
demanded by society .
The Place of Bus ine ss Law in Bus iness Educati on
With the the matter
e s t a b l i s hment of a business
of business in educat ion, education curriculum and,
our concern is now narrowed more specificall y, to the
place of business law in t hat curriculum.
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In order to det ermine intelligently t he be included i n a colle ge bus i ne s s cur riculum, tent of business l aw and i ts f unction in t he which bus ine ss l aw shoul d just ifiably be incl
extent t o which business we fir st should consi der curriculum, and then the uded i n the curr i culum .
law t he ext e
The Content of Bus iness Law
You t ile
Bus iness l aw i s that portion of ecall that, general ly speaking, interchange of ser vi ce s and t hi
t he law concerned primarily wi t h bu s iness . by busine ss we meant commer cial or mercanngs. Law i s soci ety' s expr ession, t hrough
legislation and through judicial and administrative decision, recogn1z1ng interests, providing rights and duties with respect to such interests, and providing just relief for invasion or threatened invasion of such interest s . Conflicting or overlapping individual, public, or social desires must be resolved by society, which recognizes and protects various such desires. Desires so recognized and protected are called "interests." Each owner of an interest has a right to its observance and respect by other persons, and other persons have a duty not to interfere with another's interest. Simply stated, these are rules of civil conduct sanctioned by society. Inasmuch as the primary function of the courts is to declare and apply the law, it is usual to define law as rules of civil conduct sanctioned by society through its courts.
The process of creating business law mirrors business activi ty sanctioned by society. Most people know that state and f ederal constitutions, statute s , and administrative rule making; federal treaties; the charters and ordinances of political subdivisions; and judicial and administrative decisions, all are sources and forms of law. However, few people are aware that society has left to the courts the function of making law in many areas without the benefit of legislative help,
"That portion of the law concerned with public interest and public policy tends to be expressed in statutory form because society prefers to have its r epresentatives , r ather than the court s , formulate law in this field. Accordingly, it i s not surprising to observe t hat as representative government develops so does the amount of legi slation increase. However, that portion of the law concerned with private rights tends to remain largely in nonlegislative form and to be expounded and developed by the courts. Illustrations are contracts, agency, property, and torts. People prefer to regulate their own private relationships with as little governmental interference as possible. The courts appear to be a better agency for the r egulation of these relationshi p s. "2
The body of busines s law cons i st s of a tremendous amount of l egislation and of judicial and administrative decisions, patiently developed over a long period of time in a continuing sequence of socially recognized and sanctioned business conduct. This then is truth, for it is society living its best for public and individual good. This concept of truth is caught in the noble word "justice" which, simply stated, means the maintenance of that ideal relationship among men a s e stabli shed by society. Justice i s equal for all men and it i s the end and object of law. It i s precisely this qua l i ty of justice for a l l men whi ch r ea ches into all parts of bus ines s organization and into all human a nd j uri stic bus iness relationships , down even to the most menial of jobs , with t he l egal function of causing all business to be integratively just and orderly. It is this very function of justice through law which is the Key to the function of business law in a college curriculum.
The Function of Bus iness Law in the Curriculum
Since bus iness law r eaches into a ll busines s a ctivity, bus inessmen shoul d be informed of the legal signif i cance of business transactions , l ogically appl y this information in bus iness, and be just i n t he ir application of such business information. The integrative function of business law in the curriculum then appears quite obvious, namely: to teach the law of business to students so that they will l earn and underst and the legal s ignificance of bus iness transactions ; to develop mental powe r and capacity for sound de cis ion; and t o learn selfdis cipline in the use of bus i ness f or good. In brief, the f unction of bus ine ss
2Fras cona, Bus iness Law, p . 10 (Irwi n, 1954).