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

INSTRUCTOR: Ieva Jakobsone Bellomi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 10:00-11:15 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: Junior Standing, EC 202; Recommended: MKT 301

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.

The course introduces the students with
1. the foundation concepts of international business,
2. the specific characteristics of the environments the multinational companies operate in (cultural, ethical, political, economic and government related),
2. as well as describes the company's strategies for entering and operating in international markets.

The course shall provide the students with the fundamental practical methods to assess the markets and the opportunities for companies to go global. 

The course closely follows current issues and changes in the global market place with a focus on the new economic powers in South East Asia and Far East Asia, specifically China's rising presence on the political and global business map with its One Belt One Road Initiative in Eurasia, as well as touches upon Russia, India and Africa as critical emerging markets for the global sustainability efforts.

The course is tailored as a highly interactive one (assigned readings are the must!) with discussions on case studies (as assigned per syllabus) and class deliberations on contemporary international business issues. The value of the course - the students shall learn the theoretical concepts to be used to analyze critically and intelligently the business events on the international stage.

The students are welcome to contribute to the class discussions by reading business newspapers and magazines, like Harvard Business Review, Business Week, The Economist, Wall Street Journal,and others. It is also recommended to follow the World Economic Forum on social media as this will benefit the up-to-date understanding of international business dynamics. By these activities students shall learn to follow the business events on a daily basis, making it as a habit of being on top of the dynamics of the global business. 

Attitude and interest in the subject shall be valued highly!

By the end of the course the students shall be able to:
- to understand the general international business strategy framework;
- to understand and analyze international business environment, the threats and opportunities in it,
- to understand the new global challenges of political, economic and cultural nature in doing business internationally.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
International Business: Competing in the Global MarketplaceCharles W.L.Hill, G.Tomas M.HultMcGraw-Hill Education International Edition978-1-260-08415-3  

1st written individual assignment SHORT QUIZA short quiz in the class of 10 multiple choice questions to check the general understanding of fundamental international business concepts learned and covered in the class 10 %
2nd written individual assignment MID-TERM EXAMWritten, individual exam: Part I: multiple choice questions, Part II: essay questions on the topics covered in the class20 %
Group assignment: GROUP PRESENTATIONS (end of the term)Case analysis on the chosen global company (to be approved by the professor!) and its success/failure in the international markets with a focus on the SWOT analysis of the company going global and on the CAGE framework analysis of respective environments the company is operating in 30 %
3rd written individual assignment: FINAL EXAMWritten, individual exam: Part I: multiple choice questions, Part II: essay questions on the topics covered in the class 20 %
CLASS PARTICIPATIONINDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTION (10%): students are welcome to participate in the class discussions on business case analysis as well as contemporary international business issues. Students are encouraged to share new interesting articles, findings, and opinions on international business issues with the class. This will benefit greatly to the class participation score of a student. GROUP CONTRIBUTION (10%): during the term the groups shall be assigned two group assignments: 1. on international trade theory and 2. on a case study (as per syllabus) presentation to the class 20 %

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 evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference 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.


You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.
As for the specific course - students are required to read the textbook and attend the classes to get the most and up-to-date focus on international business. More than 3 absences would result in 0% of the class attendance grade.
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 and Preliminary Dates


Assigned readings

Principal activities

Week 1 

21 January and

23 January

Part I



What is international business?

Globalization of Markets and the Internationalization of the Company

Chapter 1, Textbook


Case studies:

1. China globalizes London’s black cabs

2. Making the Apple iPhone



Week 2 

28 January and

30 January

Part II



National Differences in Political, Economic and Legal Systems


National Differences in Economic Development

Chapter 2


Chapter 3, Textbook

Case studies:

1. Revolution in Egypt

2. Ghana: An African Dynamo

Week 3 

4 February and

6 February

National Differences in Economic Development (cont.)

National Differences in Culture

Chapter 3


Chapter 4, Textbook


Article ‘Your company needs a foreign policy’ (Harvard Business Review)

Guest Speaker: Mr Glyne Michelo, 1st Secretary, Trade and Commerce, Embasy of Zambia in Italy


Case studies:

1. Improving the lives of Bangladeshi garments factory workers

2. Walmart Can’t Conquer All Countries

Week 4  

11 February and

13 February and

15 February

Theories of International Trade and Investment (Group Presentations)

Chapter 6, Textbook


Article ‘The Competitive Advantage of Nations’ (Michael Porter, Harvard Business Review)

Case studies:

1. Taobao’s rise

2. The Rise of India’s Drug Industry



Week 5 

18 February and

20 February

Short quiz on the theoretical concepts covered in the classes


Government Policy and International Trade 


Foreign Direct Investment

Chapter 7


Chapter 8, Textbook

Case studies:

1. Risks in Russia’s political and legal systems

2. Political, legal, and ethical dilemmas in the global pharmaceutical industry

3. China Limits Exports of Rare Earth Materials

Week 6 

25 February and

27 February

Regional Economic Integration: BREXIT, One Belt One Road and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


Understanding ‘emerging’ markets: special focus on South East Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa

Review class for the mid-term

Chapter 9, Textbook


Article ‘Africa’s New Generation of Innovators’ (Harvard Business Review)

Case studies:

1. Government intervention at Airbus and Boeing

2. Prowling for Success: the revival of Jaguar and Land Rover



Week 7 

4 March and

6 March

Review class (4 March)


Mid-term exam (6 March)

Written, individual exam: Part I: multiple choice questions, Part II: essay questions on the topics covered in the class

Week 9

18 March and

20 March



Strategy and Organization in the International Firm 

Chapter 13, Textbook

Case studies:

1. IKEA’s strategies for global success

2. Global strategy at Lenovo

3. Organizing Siemens for Global Competitiveness


Week 10

25 March and

27 March 

The Organization of International Business

Chapter 14, Textbook

Case study:

1. MD International and Latin America


Week 11

1 April


3 April

Market Entry Strategy and Strategic Alliances

Chapter 15, Textbook

Case study:

1. JCB Pins Hopes on the Indian Market

Week 12

8 April


10 April



Exporting, Importing and Countertrade

Chapter 16, Textbook

Case study:

1. Barret Farm Foods: a small firm’s international launch

Week 13

15 April and

17 April

Global Production and Supply Chain Management

Chapter 17, Textbook

Case studies:

1. Amazon Kindle Evolution

2. Making the Apple iPhone

Week 14

24 April 

Review Class for Final Exam


Week 15

29 April 

Final exam


Written, individual exam: Part I: multiple choice questions, Part II: essay questions on the topics covered in the class

Week 16


 Group Presentations

Groups shall be tasked to make presentations – analysis of a market entry strategy/-ies used by the multinational companies to foster their international trade. The case study should focus on emerging market company entering the Western, developed markets (focus companies: Siemens, Tata Group, Alibaba, Mittal, Gree, Huawei, or any other multinational company from China, India, Russia, Africa, Latin America)