This course is a one-semester introduction to the fundamentals of managerial economics, focusing on microeconomics, and with a backdrop of ecological economics. It has three primary objectives: provide an understanding of the standard or neoclassical microeconomic model and how this model relates to, and is useful for, business decision-making; provide a critique of this model and present a more heterodox view of economics; and provide an overview of microeconomics and how this relates to business practice and policy making. This course will cover basic economic relationships, decision analysis at the margin, supply and demand theory, production theory, profit maximization and cost minimization, firm structure, and types of markets. The critical aspect of the class will both consider how the neoclassical model is unrealistic, and therefore of limited value, and how this model is problematic in terms of sustainability (and challenges individuals who support this kind of thinking with many challenges in making changes).
Economics plays a central role in business decision making since it provides the bridge between human behavior and engineering/production. It links marketing decisions on the one side with production decisions on the other. This course provides a foundation for future courses both by 1) introducing and developing quantitative tools useful for managerial decision making, 2) providing an overview of the market philosophy and some of the problems with this conceptualization of the world, and 3) providing an overview of the macroeconomic components of the economy.
The topics introduced in this course will be further developed in Accounting, Operations and Production, Managerial Finance, Sustainable Products and Services, and Capital Markets. The conceptual framework developed and critiqued in here will be further explored in Managerial Marketing; and Capital Markets. In terms of horizontal integration, concepts introduced in this course will also be covered from other angles in Principles of Sustainable Management.