Consumers, Corporations, and Public Health
Course Number 1965
Professor John Quelch
Spring; Q3; 1.5 credits
Jointly-listed at Harvard School of Public Health
Enrollment: Limited to 40 students
The course will focus on the role and responsibility of corporations in addressing public health problems, both to make a profit and/or to deliver corporate social responsibility. Not all of the cases will be in the health care sector; public health issues such as workplace safety, employee wellness and environmental impact are relevant to the productivity and sustainable growth of all companies.
Four themes will pervade the course:
a. Prevention (which reduces total health care costs) is central to public health.
b. Understanding consumer behavior is central to designing effective prevention programs.
c. The opinions of regulators and public health officials are equally critical to the design and effective implementation of prevention programs.
d. Corporations have a responsibility to address their public health footprint as they do their environmental footprint.
The cases in the course will be written in a balanced way, such that MBA students will learn the public health perspective and the MPH students will learn the business perspective. The course is intended to be jointly offered at both HBS and HSPH with a balanced enrollment.