Alan R. Muller
I BUS 480
Case studies in foreign operations management: planning international objectives and strategies; developing multinational company structures and executives; adapting administrative practices and operating policies to international diversities. Prerequisite: I BUS 300; may not be repeated. Offered: W.
According to the United Nations, there are over 77,000 Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) worldwide. These MNEs together control 770,000 foreign subsidiaries, employ 62 million people, and generate $4.5 trillion in value added each year. We read about high-profile MNEs like Shell, GM or Sony in the media every day, and they are clearly at the heart of the global economy. But what is their function?
At their core, MNEs are ‘market makers’: by internalizing markets through foreign direct investment (FDI), they allow cross-border markets to arise within the firm in cases where traditional arm’s length markets would otherwise fail. MNEs serve to transfer knowledge, resources, goods, people and capital across borders, redistributing these assets in accordance with their own strategic objectives. As MNEs organize their activities across borders, through societies, and around institutions, they become woven into the fabric of the global economic, political and social landscape in complex ways.
Why you should take this course: To a globally-oriented manager, understanding that landscape – and its relationship to MNE strategy – is of vital importance. In the throes of strategic renewal, MNEs reorganize their activities vertically and horizontally in response to new or changing signals from their environment. At the same time MNEs act on a number of fronts in order to proactively shape that environment to their own advantage. As the current economic crisis unfolds, it is even more salient that competitive advantage can be gained or lost in multiple arenas.
What we will cover: Through a combination of lectures, discussion, guest speakers and in-depth case analysis, we will: • explore MNEs in their complex web of relationships at the national, regional and global level • analyze how these relationships affect cross-border production and trade • flesh out the strategic implications of these relationships at the firm level
Student learning goals
What you will take away: • A keen understanding of the environment of business and the ‘globalization debate’ • Insight into how this environment shapes the strategies of MNEs, and how MNEs strategically endeavor to shape their environment • The ability to think strategically about changes in the global environment, and how to respond to them
General method of instruction
a combination of lectures, discussion, guest speakers and in-depth case analysis
Class assignments and grading