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COURSE NAME: "International Business "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 8:30-9:45 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: Junior Standing, EC 202; Recommended: MKT 301
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

The objective of this course is to expose students to the essential elements of international business, with particular emphasis on how it differs from domestic business. An extensive use of case studies provides a basis for class discussion, allowing students to develop their analytical skills and apply their theoretical knowledge.

We live in a world in which the volume of goods, services and investments crossing national borders has expanded faster than global production for the last half century. Over the past thirty years a fundamental shift has occurred in world trade: a wave of democracy has washed over the globe, tariff barriers have fallen dramatically, markets have opened, perceived distance has shrunk, cultures are merging and nations are banding together. Today the opportunities for the international business manager are greater than ever.


This course introduces the student to the field of international business. Once a firm crosses an international border it is in a new legal, political, cultural and competitive environment. International business management is concerned with organising and developing the firm’s resources and capabilities in order to succeed in this new environment.


The course begins with an overview of the trend towards globalisation and an examination of the international political and cultural environment. The theoretical underpinning of international trade is examined as well as the motives and mechanisms nations adopt to ‘manage’ trade flows despite the recommendations of free trade theory. An analysis of the countervailing trend towards regionalisation is undertaken with an in-depth look at the most extraordinary example of this phenomenon: the European Union. In the second half of the course the focus shifts to the firm itself, beginning with corporate organisation and strategy for international companies, before moving on to evaluate market entry strategies such as strategic alliances and exporting. Major functional areas of businesses, marketing and operations, are reviewed in their international context. The final part of the course looks at how foreign exchange rates impact all companies, be they national or international. It concludes with a discussion of ethics in international business in general and more specifically on the moral and legal issues of corruption and US anti-corruption legislation.


By the end of the course students will be able to:

·         Think critically about international business
·         Discuss theoretical and practical concepts underlying international business
·         Understand the mechanisms driving competitive advantage
·         Apply an analytical framework in international business situations
·         Recognize threats and opportunities in foreign markets
·         Understand the strengths and weaknesses of major market entry strategies
·         Demonstrate awareness of the importance of culture and cultural differences
·         Formulate a foreign market entry plan
·         Apply acquired skills in research, planning, presentation and decision making to international business situations

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace (2014)Charles W.L. HillMcGraw-Hill EducationISBN-13 9780077158958; ISBN-10 0077158954  

Case study presentation(s) 5%
Case study discussions 20%
Midterm exam 20%
Team project (report) 20%
Team project (presentation) 10%
Final exam 25%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Students who miss a case study discussion will not receive credit for that day's discussion. 

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Week  Day Date Description Reading Assignments
1 Mon 21/01/19 Course introduction and overview of globalisation Ch. 1 Case: Who makes Apple iPhone?
Wed 23/01/19 Assignment: ch. 1, q. 7, p. 32
2 Mon 28/01/19 Political economy and economic development Ch. 3 Case: Revolution in Egypt (with update)
Wed 30/01/19 Assignment: ch. 3, q. 2, p. 84
3 Mon 04/02/19 Differences in culture Ch. 4 Case: The United Arab Emirates
Wed 06/02/19 Assignment: ch. 4, q. 6, p.118
4 Mon 11/02/19 Ethics in international business Ch. 5 Case: Starnes-Brenner
Wed 13/02/19 Assignment: ch. 5, q. 6, p. 145
Fri 15/02/19 International trade theory Ch. 6 Case: US balance of payments (with update)
5 Mon 18/02/19 Assignment: ch. 6, q. 6, p.187
Wed 20/02/19 Political economy of international trade Ch. 7 Case: US tariffs on tyre imports from China
6 Mon 25/02/19 Assignment: ch.7,q. 5, p. 219
Wed 27/02/19 Regional economic integration Ch. 9 Case: NAFTA and Mexican trucking (p. 290)
7 Mon 04/03/19 Assignment: ch. 9, q. 5, p. 283
Wed 06/03/19 MIDTERM EXAM                                                The foreign exchange market Ch. 10 Case: Russian ruble crisis (p. 374)
Fri 08/03/19 Assignment: ch. 10, qs. 2, 4 & 5
8 Mon 18/03/19 The strategy of international business Ch. 13 Case: IKEA (p. 477)
Wed 20/03/19 Assignment: ch. 13, q 4. p. 403
9 Mon 25/03/19 The organisation of international business Ch. 14 Case: Philips NV
Wed 27/03/19 Assignment: ch. 14, q. 7, p. 441
10 Mon 01/04/19 Market entry strategies and strategic alliances Ch. 15 Case: General Motors in China
Wed 03/04/19 Assignment: ch. 15, q. 4, p. 470
11 Mon 08/04/19 Exporting, importing and countertrade Ch.16 Case: Vellus Products
Wed 10/04/19 Assignment: ch. 16, qs. 1 & 3
12 Mon 15/04/19 Global production, outsourcing and logistics Ch. 17 Case: Making the Amazon Kindle
Wed 17/04/19 Assignment: ch. 17, qs. 1&2
13 Wed 24/04/19 Global marketing and R&D Ch. 18 Case: Levi Strauss goes local (qs. on p. 564)
14 Mon 29/04/19 Assignment: ch. 18, q. 5