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Panel discussion to probe role of U.S. corporations

November 3, 2013

Panel discussion to probe role of U.S. corporations

Nov. 1, 2013

“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Multiple Faces of U.S. Corporations” will be the topic of a panel discussion on Monday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Payne Room at the Tang Museum.

The panelists will discuss the complex relationship between major U.S. corporations and American society from managerial, historical, economic, and political perspectives.

The presenters will include four Skidmore faculty members— Jim Kennelly, (Management and Business) Jennifer Delton (History), Mehmet Odekon, (Economics), and Pushkala Prasad, (Management and Business). Also on the panel will be Maureen Scully, Dean of the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

“Public disapproval of U.S. corporations has reached an all-time high, prompting calls for tightened regulations to restrict their power, size, and influence,” said Prasad, the Zankel Professor in Management at Skidmore. “Is the growing apprehension over corporate greed and power justified? Do U.S. corporations indeed do more harm than good?”

To help answer these questions, the panelists will cover such topics as ownership structures of corporations, the business case for corporate philanthropy, corporations’ relationship to labor unions, American corporate and U.S. government activity in Latin America, and the overarching framework of “supercapitalism” within which corporations operate. 

“In different ways, panelists will consider corporations as a distinct category of social actors who play vital roles in shaping class relations in the U.S. and elsewhere,” said Prasad.

President Philip Glotzbach will make opening remarks, and Prasad will introduce the speakers and moderate the discussion. The event is sponsored by the Tang Museum and the Zankel Chair in Management.

The theme of the panel relates to the current Tang exhibition Classless Society, which explores the way we think about class in the current social and economic context, including the prospects for class mobility and the different ways that class is signaled and understood. The show presents contemporary artworks and materials drawn from popular culture that examine the nature of class, the viability of the American Dream, and the reasons why the myth of a classless society persist.



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