INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PROJECT
Become an international “expert” in the country chosen. Instructor must approve country choice and that choice should be submitted by the end of Week 2. Research the country and prepare a written report (15-20 pages) covering all of the five forces listed in the project outline.
The course covers eight forces that affect international trade:
1. Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability
2. Sociocultural Forces
3. Economic and Socioeconomic
8. Competitive and Distributive Forces
The Project Report requires investigating five forces. The four forces in the outline below are required; the fifth is your choice of those listed beside #7 in the outline below.
The final report must cover all of the five forces. The outline identifies suggested topics of information to include. All of the information or data for the topics may not be easily accessible within the scope of reference material and time constraints, but include as many of the topics as possible. The final grade will reflect the quality and depth of your research.
Outside class time for research is required. Be creative in sources; use the Sullivan Library, other libraries, or contact banks or other agencies for information. The supplementary readings at the end of each chapter in your text list excellent periodicals which may be of value.
1. Cover Page Course number; date; your name; title, including country studied.
2. Table of Contents Include page number for each major topic or subject heading, etc.
3. Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability
4. Sociocultural Forces
5. Economic and Socioeconomic Forces
6. Competitive & Distributive Forces
7. Optional Force – Political, Financial, Labor, Legal
8. Appendix Charts, maps, tables, etc. DO NOT include copies of articles from periodicals, etc.
9. Bibliography Sources of reference material in standard bibliographic format.
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
The physical characteristics of a nation are a strong determinant of its society and the means undertaken to supply its needs.
1. Describe the four elements of geography: location, topography, climate, and natural resources. 2. Discuss the importance of the country’s location in political and trade relationships. 3. Do surface features of the country contribute to economic, cultural, political, and social differences among different regions of the country? 4. What are the influences of inland waterways and outlets to the sea? 5. Does the climate influence business and/or the marketing mix? 6. What has been the influence of discovery and use of mineral resources and energy sources? 7. Discuss changes in the country’s infrastructure and its potential influence on business. 8. What has been the impact, if any, from industrial disasters, or what is being done to protect against such events?
Culture is the sum total of the beliefs, rules, instructions, and artifacts that characterize human populations.
1. Cultural aspects: Describe the cultural aspects in regard to art, drama, music, folklore, dance, and architecture. 2. Attitudes and Beliefs: Describe this in relation to work, family, self, and change. 3. Religion: What are the dominant religions and practices in the country or a region within the country? 4. Material Culture: This refers to man-made objects. Reflects the degree of economic (material) development and the standard of living. For example, a rich country with high per capital gross national product (GNP) is likely to enjoy a high level of technology. 5. Education: What are the attitudes, literacy rate, educational system, and achievements? 6. Communication: What is the dominant language or dialect spoken in the country? What are the characteristics and meaning and unspoken language, i.e., expressions, gestures, etc., of which the MNC manager must be aware? 7. Business Protocol: Identify or give examples of the nature of business conduct or expectations. 8. Attitudes and Beliefs: Identify social status, gender, race, or minorities as these characteristics apply to jobs, promotions, etc. 9. Implications for International Business: Based on your research, summarize barriers and opportunities for locating business opportunities. Of what factors should MNC managers be aware?
ECONOMIC AND SOCIOECONOMIC FORCES
Of all the uncontrollable forces with which business people must contend, economic forces are the most essential. The concept of how scarce resources are allocated and consumed is of great importance to international managers. To remain competitive, managers need to keep abreast of all changes, particularly those in economic areas.
The analysis will provide economic data on both the firm’s actual and potential markets, and at the same time track the firm’s competitors, wherever they are located.
1. Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Indicate the last 3-5 year history and rate of growth. Indicate the GNP or GDP per capita. 2. Income (Business International, Monthly Bulletin of Statistics: World Development Indicators published by the World Bank ): What is the income distribution, disposable income, personal consumption distribution of income, and discretionary income? 3. Labor: What is the average hourly rate in U.S. dollars? What is the per capital income in the country of study? Describe the education level. Any known mobility of the population or work force? 4. Population by demographics: Total population of the country, age distribution and birth rate, population per square mile. 5. Investment: Indicate the amount and type of investment in the country, i.e., land development, education, and building (by the host country). 6. National Economic Plans (Business International, Business America, Overseas American Chambers of Commerce): Plans prepared by a government that generally state their economic goals for periods up to five years. 7. Inflation Patterns: Describe the past 3-5 year history. 8. Balance of Payment History: Is it a deficit? If so, what actions are the government taking, or going to take, to correct. 9. Exchange Rates: What is the currency called in your country of study? What is the most recent value of the currency in U.S. dollars? Chart the last 6 month history of the exchange rate converted to U.S. dollars. 10. Implications for International Business: Based upon your research, summarize barriers and opportunities for locating business opportunities. Of what factors should MNC managers be aware?
COMPETITIVE AND DISTRIBUTIVE FORCES
World competition has intensified and there are five nations and groups of nations whose firms are in worldwide competition with each other: the United States, Japan, the European Union, North American Trade Alliances (Mexico and Canada) and newly industrialized countries. Although nations do not compete with each other, their firms do, but most economic and social conditions as well as political actions affect the ability of all of a nation’s firms to compete. Channels of distribution are both controllable and uncontrollable variables. When selecting channels of distribution, management must consider the characteristics of the market, the product, the company, and the intermediaries available.
1. Identify any trade barriers that may exist in your country of study, i.e., restrictions on imports/exports. a. Tax (Ad Valorem, VAT) b. Wage Controls c. Price Controls d. Tariffs e. Quotas f. Product Liability g. Attitude toward labor unions: Are labor unions strong in your country of study? Do workers abide by labor agreements, and what can the employer do if they do not? Are strikes common (wildcat or advanced warning)? 2. Identify any typical government restrictions against foreign MNCs, i.e. Hit List, Keiretsu, Industrial Targeting. 3. Are there any counterfeit products that may impact competition?
4. Identify any strong industries (steel, computers, etc.) that will present challenges to other MNCs that desire to locate or compete in your country of study. 5. Identify a typical distribution network (as a way of doing business in your country of study), i.e., layers of wholesalers, distributors, or agencies as it affects imports/exports. 6. Are there any other restrictions impacting competition or marketing, i.e., antitrust laws, currency exchange controls, or contract enforcements? 7. Implications for International Business: Based upon your research, summarize barriers and opportunities for locating business opportunities. Of what factors should MNC managers be aware?
Rules for Picking Country
Each student must choose a different country, so choices are on a first come, first served basis. Discussion 2.3 is updated with the list of countries already taken. Your instructor will try to keep this list as updated as possible. Obviously it is NOT a real time list, so there may be a delay in my receiving submissions and posting a country that has already been taken. With that said, please submit your top 3 choices. You will receive a response in Discussion 2.3 from your instructor stating the approval of your country. If you have any questions, please let your instructor know. Don’t forget to post your choice of country in Discussion 2.3 as soon as you decide.
Project Due Date – Midnight Sunday of WEEK 10.
Important notes for the writer:
- Before you start writing anything, you must suggest a country of your choice so I can get it approved by the instructor. Once the selected country approved, we can move forward with the project.
- Please include a comprehensive executive summery.
- Please make sure that the length of each paragraph should be between 5 to 8 sentences (try your best).
- Minimum of 10 sources must be used. (You may use more of you prefer!).
- If you decided to use electronic sources, then all electronic sources must come from Ebscohost, Proquest, or Opposing Viewpoint. So, please stick with those three databases only.
- You may use sources from books, but avoid using old books.
- As well, you may use ONLY trusted websites (i.e. governments website).
- Please use headings for each key point so I can understand them.
- The textbook that we use for this course is:
Ball, Donald A.; Geringer, J. Michael; Minor, Michael S.; and McNett, Jeanne M. (2013). International Business: The Challenge of Global Competition, 13th Edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. ISBN-10: 007811263X, ISBN-13: 978-0077606121.
If you need to look at the book, I do have an electronic copy (eBook) so just let me know and will share the username and password to access the book.
- Please check the attached “sample projects” to help you building your own project.
- If you think that any of the above notice is not achievable, please let me know.
International Business Research Project
The objective of this project is to assist you in becoming an internal “expert” in the country of your choice. In order to investigate the business opportunities in a foreign country, you must complete extensive research and analysis. (Topic (country) must be approved by instructor – submit country of interest for approval by end of week 2.) During this quarter, you study and learn forces that affect international trade. This report essentially covers all forces. The outline identifies suggested topics of information to include in your report. It is understood that all of the information or data for the topics in the outline may not be easily accessible within the scope of reference material and time constraints available, but give it your best effort. Your grade will reflect the quality and depth of your research and analysis.
Aspects must be covered in this project
- Executive summery
- Country Description
- Physical Forces
- Sociocultural Forces
- Economic and Socioeconomic Forces
- Competitive and Distributive Forces
- Marketing and Management Assessment