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ACE Introduction to Business (3 Semester Credits) - Course Syllabus


The Introduction to Business provides detailed explanations in the context of core themes such as customer satisfaction, ethics, entrepreneurship, global business, and managing change. Introduction to Business includes hundreds of current business examples from a range of industries and geographic locations, which feature a variety of individuals. The outcome is a balanced approach to the theory and application of business concepts, with attention to the knowledge and skills necessary for student success in this course and beyond.

Textbook: Introduction to Business – OpenStax – Gitman et al., ISBN-10: 1-947172-55-7

(This text is provided to students as part of their enrollment.)

Prerequisites: No prerequisites

Course objectives:

Throughout the course, you will meet the following goals:

  • Explain the sectors of the business environment and their importance.
  • Discuss ethical business behavior and corporate social responsibility.
  • Describe international trade and its importance to the United States.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of the basic forms of business ownership.
  • Explain the four types of planning that effective business managers use.
  • Compare and contrast traditional forms of organizational structure with contemporary.
  • Describe basic concepts of managing human resources and motivating employees.
  • Discuss using finances and technology to promote and distribute products and services.


Course Evaluation Criteria

A passing percentage is 70% or higher.

Grading Scale                                                                                   

A = 95-100%

B = 88-94.9%

C = 80-87.9%

D = 70-79.9%

F = Below 70%

ACE Course Retake Policy

2 (two) attempts are allowed on every quiz, and 2 (two) attempts are allowed on every final exam.

Proctorio – Video Proctoring          

All Final Exams are video proctored with Proctorio. ( 

ADA Policy

Excel Education Systems is committed to maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment to all students, across all of its schools, in accordance with the 1990 Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

There is a total of 305 points in this course:

Grade Weighting

Chapter Quizzes          70%

Final Exam                  30%


Assessment Points Available Percentage of Final Grade
Chapter 1 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 2 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 3 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 4 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 5 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 6 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 7 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 8 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 9 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 10 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 11 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 12 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 13 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 14 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 15 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 16 Quiz 15 4.12
Chapter 17 Quiz 15 4.12
Final Exam 50 30
Total 305 100


Course Contents and Objectives


Module 1 – Understanding Economic Systems and Business
Lessons 1.1 The Nature of Business

1.2 Understanding the Business Environment

1.3 How Business and Economics Work

1.4 Macroeconomics: The Big Picture

1.5 Achieving Macroeconomic Goals

1.6 Microeconomics: Zeroing in on Businesses and Consumers

1.7 Competing in a Free Market

1.8 Trends in the Business Environment and Competition

  • How do businesses and not-for-profit organizations help create our standard of living?
  • What are the sectors of the business environment, and how do changes in them influence business decisions?
  • What are the primary features of the world’s economic systems, and how are the three sectors of the U.S. economy linked?
  • How do economic growth, full employment, price stability, and inflation indicate a nation’s economic health?
  • How does the government use monetary policy and fiscal policy to achieve its macroeconomic goals?
  • What are the basic microeconomic concepts of demand and supply, and how do they establish prices?
  • What are the four types of market structure?
  • Which trends are reshaping the business, microeconomic, and macroeconomic environments and competitive arena?


Module 2 – Making Ethical Decisions and Managing a Socially Responsible Business
Lessons 2.1 Understanding Business Ethics

2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct

2.3 Managing a Socially Responsible Business

2.4 Responsibilities to Stakeholders

2.5 Trends in Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • What philosophies and concepts shape personal ethical standards?
  • How can organizations encourage ethical business behavior?
  • What is corporate social responsibility?
  • How do businesses meet their social responsibilities to various stakeholders?
  • What are the trends in ethics and corporate social responsibility?


Module 3 – Competing in the Global Marketplace
Lessons 3.1 Global Trade in the United States

3.2 Why Nations Trade

3.3 Barriers to Trade

3.4 Fostering Global Trade

3.5 International Economic Communities

3.6 Participating in the Global Marketplace

3.7 Threats and Opportunities in the Global Marketplace

3.8 The Impact of Multinational Corporations

3.9 Trends in Global Competition

  • Why is global trade important to the United States, and how is it measured?
  • Why do nations trade?
  • What are the barriers to international trade?
  • How do governments and institutions foster world trade?
  • What are international economic communities?
  • How do companies enter the global marketplace?
  • What threats and opportunities exist in the global marketplace?
  • What are the advantages of multinational corporations?
  • What are the trends in the global marketplace?


Module 4 – Forms of Business Ownership
Lessons 4.1 Going It Alone: Sole Proprietorships

4.2 Partnerships: Sharing the Load

4.3 Corporations: Limiting Your Liability

4.4 Specialized Forms of Business Organization

4.5 Franchising: A Popular Trend

4.6 Mergers and Acquisitions

4.7 Trends in Business Ownership

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the sole proprietorship form of business organization?
  • What are the advantages of operating as a partnership, and what downside risks should partners consider?
  • How does the corporate structure provide advantages and disadvantages to a company, and what are the major types of corporations?
  • What other options for business organization does a company have in addition to sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations?
  • What makes franchising an appropriate form of organization for some types of business, and why does it continue to grow in importance?
  • Why are mergers and acquisitions important to a company’s overall growth?
  • What current trends will affect the business organizations of the future?


Module 5 – Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing Your Own Business
Lessons 5.1 Entrepreneurship Today

5.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth

5.4 Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business

5.5 Managing a Small Business

5.6 Small Business, Large Impact

5.7 The Small Business Administration

5.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership

  • Why do people become entrepreneurs, and what are the different types of entrepreneurs?
  • What characteristics do successful entrepreneurs share?
  • How do small businesses contribute to the U.S. economy?
  • What are the first steps to take if you are starting your own business?
  • Why does managing a small business present special challenges for the owner?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages facing owners of small businesses?
  • How does the Small Business Administration help small businesses?
  • What trends are shaping entrepreneurship and small-business ownership?


Module 6 – Management and Leadership in Today's Organizations
Lessons 6.1 The Role of Management

6.2 Planning

6.3 Organizing

6.4 Leading, Guiding, and Motivating Others

6.5 Controlling

6.6 Managerial Roles

6.7 Managerial Skills

6.8 Trends in Management and Leadership

  • What is the role of management?
  • What are the four types of planning?
  • What are the primary functions of managers in organizing activities?
  • How do leadership styles influence a corporate culture?
  • How do organizations control activities?
  • What roles do managers take on in different organizational settings?
  • What set of managerial skills is necessary for managerial success?
  • What trends will affect management in the future?


Module 7 – Designing Organizational Structures
Lessons 7.1 Building Organizational Structures

7.2 Contemporary Structures

7.3 Using Teams to Enhance Motivation and Performance

7.4 Authority—Establishing Organizational Relationships

7.5 Degree of Centralization

7.6 Organizational Design Considerations

7.7 The Informal Organization

7.8 Trends in Organizational Structure

  • What are the traditional forms of organizational structure?
  • What contemporary organizational structures are companies using?
  • Why are companies using team-based organizational structures?
  • What tools do companies use to establish relationships within their organizations?
  • How can the degree of centralization/decentralization be altered to make an organization more successful?
  • How do mechanistic and organic organizations differ?
  • How does the informal organization affect the performance of the company?
  • What trends are influencing the way businesses organize?


Module 8 - Managing Human Resources and Labor Relations
Lessons 8.1 Achieving High Performance through Human Resources Management

8.2 Employee Recruitment

8.3 Employee Selection

8.4 Employee Training and Development

8.5 Performance Planning and Evaluation

8.6 Employee Compensation and Benefits

8.7 The Labor Relations Process

8.8 Managing Grievances and Conflicts

8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations

8.10 Trends in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations

  • What is the human resource management process, and how are human resource needs determined?
  • How do firms recruit applicants?
  • How do firms select qualified applicants?
  • What types of training and development do organizations offer their employees?
  • How are performance appraisals used to evaluate employee performance?
  • What are the types of compensation and methods for paying workers?
  • What is a labor union and how is it organized, what is collective bargaining, and what are some of the key negotiation issues?
  • How are grievances between management and labor resolved, and what tactics are used to force a contract settlement?
  • What are the key laws and federal agencies affecting human resource management and labor relations?
  • What trends and issues are affecting human resource management and labor relations?


Module 9 – Motivating Employees
Lessons 9.1 Early Theories of Motivation

9.2 The Hawthorne Studies

9.3 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

9.4 McGregor's Theories X and Y

9.5 Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory

9.6 Contemporary Views on Motivation

9.7 From Motivation Theory to Application

9.8 Trends in Employee Motivation

  • What are the basic principles of Frederick Taylor’s concept of scientific management?
  • What did Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies reveal about worker motivation?
  • What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how do these needs relate to employee motivation?
  • How are McGregor’s Theories X and Y and Ouchi’s Theory Z used to explain worker motivation?
  • What are the basic components of Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory?
  • What four contemporary theories on employee motivation offer insights into improving employee performance?
  • How can managers redesign existing jobs to increase employee motivation and performance?
  • What initiatives are organizations using today to motivate and retain employees?


Module 10 – Achieving World-Class Operations Management
Lessons 10.1 Production and Operations Management—An Overview

10.2 The Production Process: How Do We Make It?

10.3 Location, Location, Location: Where Do We Make It?

10.4 Pulling It Together: Resource Planning

10.5 Production and Operations Control

10.6 Looking for a Better Way: Improving Production and Operations

10.7 Transforming the Factory Floor with Technology

10.8 Trends in Production and Operations Management

  • Why is production and operations management important in both manufacturing and service firms?
  • What types of production processes do manufacturers and service firms use?
  • How do organizations decide where to put their production facilities? What choices must be made in designing the facility?
  • Why are resource-planning tasks such as inventory management and supplier relations critical to production?
  • How do operations managers schedule and control production?
  • How can quality-management and lean-manufacturing techniques help firms improve production and operations management?
  • What roles do technology and automation play in manufacturing and service-industry operations management?
  • What key trends are affecting the way companies manage production and operations?


Module 11 – Creating Products and Pricing Strategies to Meet Customers' Needs
Lessons 11.1 The Marketing Concept

11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy

11.3 Developing a Marketing Mix

11.4 Buyer Behavior

11.5 Market Segmentation

11.6 What Is a Product?

11.7 Creating Products That Deliver Value

11.8 The Product Life Cycle

11.9 Pricing Strategies and Future Trends

11.10 Trends in Developing Products and Pricing

  • What is the marketing concept and relationship-building?
  • How do managers create a marketing strategy?
  • What is the marketing mix?
  • How do consumers and organizations make buying decisions?
  • What are the five basic forms of consumer and business market segmentation?
  • What is a product, and how is it classified?
  • How do organizations create new products?
  • What are the stages of the product life cycle?
  • What strategies are used for pricing products, and what are the future trends?
  • What trends are occurring in products and pricing?


Module 12 – Distributing and Promoting Products and Services
Lessons 12.1 The Nature and Functions of Distribution (Place)

12.2 Wholesaling

12.3 The Competitive World of Retailing

12.4 Using Supply Chain Management to Increase Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction

12.5 Promotion Strategy

12.6 The Huge Impact of Advertising

12.7 The Importance of Personal Selling

12.8 Sales Promotion

12.9 Public Relations Helps Build Goodwill

12.10 Trends in Social Media

12.11 Trends in E-Commerce

  • What is the nature and function of distribution (place)?
  • What is wholesaling, and what are the types of wholesalers?
  • What are the different kinds of retail operations?
  • How can supply-chain management increase efficiency and customer satisfaction?
  • What is promotion, and what are the key elements of a promotional mix?
  • How are advertising media selected?
  • What is personal selling?
  • What are the goals of a sales promotion, and what are several types of sales promotion?
  • How does public relations fit into the promotional mix?
  • What is social media, and how has it changed promotion?
  • What is e-commerce, and how does it affect promotion?


Module 13 – Using Technology to Manage Information
Lessons 13.1 Transforming Businesses through Information

13.2 Linking Up: Computer Networks

13.3 Management Information Systems

13.4 Technology Management and Planning

13.5 Protecting Computers and Information

13.6 Trends in Information Technology

  • How has information technology transformed business and managerial decision-making?
  • Why are computer networks an important part of today’s information technology systems?
  • What types of systems make up a typical company’s management information system?
  • How can technology management and planning help companies optimize their information technology systems?
  • What are the best ways to protect computers and the information they contain?
  • What are the leading trends in information technology?


Module 14 – Using Financial Information and Accounting
Lessons 14.1 Accounting: More than Numbers

14.2 The Accounting Profession

14.3 Basic Accounting Procedures

14.4 The Balance Sheet

14.5 The Income Statement

14.6 The Statement of Cash Flows

14.7 Analyzing Financial Statements

14.8 Trends in Accounting

  • Why are financial reports and accounting information important, and who uses them?
  • What are the differences between public and private accountants, and how has federal legislation affected their work?
  • What are the six steps in the accounting cycle?
  • In what terms does the balance sheet describe the financial condition of an organization?
  • How does the income statement report a firm’s profitability?
  • Why is the statement of cash flows an important source of information?
  • How can ratio analysis be used to identify a firm’s financial strengths and weaknesses?
  • What major trends affect the accounting industry today?


Module 15 - Understanding Money and Financial Institutions
Lessons 15.1 Show Me the Money

15.2 The Federal Reserve System

15.3 U.S. Financial Institutions

15.4 Insuring Bank Deposits

15.5 International Banking

15.6 Trends in Financial Institutions

  • What is money, what are its characteristics and functions, and what are the three parts of the U.S. money supply?
  • How does the Federal Reserve manage the money supply?
  • What are the key financial institutions, and what role do they play in the process of financial intermediation?
  • How does the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) protect depositors’ funds?
  • What roles do U.S. banks play in the international marketplace?
  • What trends are reshaping financial institutions?


Module 16 - Understanding Financial Management and Securities Markets
Lessons 16.1 The Role of Finance and the Financial Manager

16.2 How Organizations Use Funds

16.3 Obtaining Short-Term Financing

16.4 Raising Long-Term Financing

16.5 Equity Financing

16.6 Securities Markets

16.7 Buying and Selling at Securities Exchanges

16.8 Trends in Financial Management and Securities Markets

  • How do finance and the financial manager affect a firm’s overall strategy?
  • What types of short-term and long-term expenditures does a firm make?
  • What are the main sources and costs of unsecured and secured short-term financing?
  • What are the key differences between debt and equity, and what are the major types and features of long-term debt?
  • When and how do firms issue equity, and what are the costs?
  • How do securities markets help firms raise funding, and what securities trade in the capital markets?
  • Where can investors buy and sell securities, and how are securities markets regulated?
  • What are the current developments in financial management and the securities markets?


Module 17 – Your Career in Business
Lessons 17.1 Learn the Basics of Business

17.2 Developing Interpersonal Skills Is Key to Your Success

17.3 Make Your Future Happen: Learn to Plan

17.4 Going to College Is an Opportunity of a Lifetime—Never Drop Out

17.5 Get Your Career Off on the Right Track

17.6 Self-Test Scoring Guidelines

  • How can you enhance your interpersonal skills?
  • Why is learning to plan so important in school and in the real world?
  • What skills should you develop in school that can transfer easily to your professional life and make it a success?
  • What are some strategies that will help you find, keep, and advance in your dream job?
  • What key attributes do employers look for when interviewing job candidates?

ACE Introduction to Business (3 Semester Credits)