"Business, Public Policy, and Politics"

UCLA Anderson School of Management

MGMT 298D-17

Spring Quarter March 29-June 11, 2021

Wednesdays, 7:10 pm - 10 pm



Course Description

This course aims to play a pioneering role in shaping the merging field of business and public policy practices. Although they often have competing agendas, business and policy are mutually complementary forces that balance one another to make the world holistically better. Without policy, businesses run rampant and operate unchecked. Without business, there is less innovation and services. This class will examine the development and implementation of public policy choices that affect businesses and communities.

Three public policy frameworks will be used to analyze how government policy-making impacts strategic choices of firms: (1) the Stages Model (Laswell, 1956) examines the six phases of the public policy formulation and implementation process, (2) the Multiple Streams Model (Kingdon, 1984) assesses how issues find their way onto a political agenda over others, and (3) integrating both frameworks, together with other social behavioral theories, provides a comprehensive approach to influence the political levers that shape policy making.


Business organizations need civic-minded leaders to integrate beneficial policy and harness it to do good for the world. More than ever, citizens and leaders from for-profit and non-profit industries must understand how to influence policy decisions at all stages of the political process and measure the impact of intended legislations to make the best decisions for their communities and firms.


Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to integrate public policy theories and business practices with relevant, experiential opportunities to drive real-world impact at the municipal level of government. This course equips students with a keen understanding of public policy decision-making and governance in the public sector. Throughout the quarter, students will draw on relevant policy topics to illustrate theses points. The primary objectives are to: (1) familiarize students with the public policy making process in government, (2) introduce the appropriate theories, frameworks, and relevant case studies for students to evaluate public policy decisions; and (3) provide a platform for students to apply these concepts to real-world policy challenges that would directly impact policy outcomes. This course analyzes the often overlooked, smaller cities and communities outside of the microscope of the general public where the policy process often goes unchecked and awry. My hope as a professor is to move students from informed observers of the policymaking process to proactive members of society. By the end of the course, students will have accumulated enough knowledge and experience to embark on a career in political consulting or business affairs. 

Overview of Class Sessions (10)


Session 1

Introduction and Overview of the Public Policy Process


Session 2

Public Policy Frameworks for Analyzing Complex Problems

Case Study: Badge of Honor-the City of Bell Scandal (Institute of Local Government)

Guest Speaker: TBD


Session 3

Policy Evaluation: Measuring Performance and Outcomes

Case Study: Unlocking Social and Economic Growth: The Delivery Approach to Government Performance (HBR, Andrade and Atun, December 6, 2016).


Session 4

Key Drivers of Change on Markets and Government

Case Study: Autonomous Vehicles: Technological Changes and Ethical Challenges (HBR, Orr, Abbas, and Dann, July 15, 2018).

Guest Speaker: TBD

Session 5

Business Management and Public Policy Integration: A Strategic Imperative for Organizational and Government Leaders

Case Study: Electric Car Wars (HBR, Wells and Weinstock, February 4, 2019).

Guest Speaker: TBD


Session 6

Technological Advancements: The Public Policy Challenge of the 21st Century


Session 7

Municipal Innovation and Public Policy: Smart Cities and Urban Innovation Centers

Case Study: Goldman Sachs: The 10,000 Small Business Program (HBR, Schlesinger and Sesia, November 26, 2018).

Guest Speaker: TBD


Session 8

The Media’s Influence on Public Policy

Case Study: Brand Storytelling (HBR, Avery, January 6, 2019).

Guest Speaker: TBD

Session 9

Positive Change: The Convergence of Performance and Purpose

Session 10

Client Deliverables

*Final Consulting Group Presentations