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Unit title: International Business
Unit code: MGT505
Credit points: 8cp
Unit description: There are substantive strategic and organisational challenges
experienced by firms as a result of global market integration. This
course examines the international dimensions of managerial decision
making in business. The several environments, cultures, and other
factors which, naturally, continue to affect the firms engaged in
international business, compel us to study the interaction between
people and firms in international work settings.

Unit objectives: This unit is designed to enable students to:

1. Understand the current trends in international business
2. Examine alternative modes for participating in international markets
as well as variables associated with the selection and
implementation of these market participation modes.
3. Have a recognition for the environmental factors, which shape
international strategy and operations, including the political,
economic, technological, and behavioural factors
4. Characterise the “what”, “why” and “how” of international business
5. Understand how international involvement influences management
in the functional areas

1. Have increased effective managerial functionality in the dynamic
milieu of international business
2. Sharpen their ability to analyse international environments, choose,
and implement appropriate strategies for entry
3. Evidence fluency in the theories and concepts that align firms with
their systems in the international arena
4. Develop criteria and evaluate new opportunities for
5. Model the ethics of social responsibility in corporate practise
1. Value strategic foresight for macro and micro international business
2. Value creative and critical evaluation of multiculturalism
3. Value the need for a tolerance of ambiguity by developing a global
4. Value ethical practice in the international arena

Unit outcomes: 1. Formulate and manage the process of internationalisation
2. Demonstrate the ability to “continue learning” in the field of
international business
3. Display a sensitivity to the unique risks and opportunities in
international business
4. Show sensitivity to the unique ethical issues that arise in the conduct
of international business

Readings: Recommended texts
1. Deresky, H. (2002), International management: Managing across
borders and cultures, 4th edn., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-
2. Hodgetts, R. M. & Luthans, F. (2002), International management:
Culture, strategy, and behavior with world map, 5
edn., New York:

Supplementary readings
1. Thomas, D.C. (2002), Essentials of International Management: A
cross-cultural perspective, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
2. Lane, H.W., Distefano, J.J., & Maznevski, M.L. (2000),
International management behaviour, 4
edn. Oxford: Blackwell.
3. Academy of Management Journal
4. Asia Pacific Journal of Management
5. Business Week
6. Far Eastern Economic Review
7. Forbes
8. Fortune
9. Harvard Business Review
10. Journal of Cross-cultural Management
11. Journal of International Business Studies
12. Journal of Marketing
13. Newsweek
14. Sloan Management Review
15. The Economist
16. The Financial Times
17. Time

Unit contents: TOPICS

1. The global business environment—political, economic, legal, and
technological assessment
This is the introductory module and it focuses on the peculiarities of
the environment of international business. It assesses the political,
legal, economic and technological environments including an
understanding of the tools necessary for their assessment.
Breakout session/discussion
Doing business in the People’s Republic of China
Comparative country risk rankings and their usefulness
Case application / mini case
Footwear international by Gordon Blake.
Short assignments/Tests
Do a political risk assessment of Malaysia/Singapore/Indonesia
Deresky (chapter 1)
Kobrin, S. (1979), Political risk: A review and reconsideration,
Journal of International Business Studies, Spring-Summer
Toyne, B. & Nigh, D. (1997), Foundations of an emerging
paradigm, In: B. Toyne and D. Nigh (eds.), International Business:
An Emerging Vision. Columbia, SC: USC Press.

2. Comparative management—Dialectics of differentiation
This module looks at the strategic concept of interdependence in
international business in terms of its inevitability and the choices
firms have regarding its application.
Group discussion/Breakout sessions
Case applications / mini cases
George Burgess by Gary Ferraro
Parris-Rogers International (PRI) by Hough and Neuland (2000).
Short assignments/Tests
Doing stakeholder analysis
Deresky (chapter 2)
Adler, G. (1995), The case of the floundering expatriate, Harvard
Business Review, July, 24-40
Zaheer, S. (2000), Time-zone economies and managerial work in a
global world in P. C. Earley and H. Singh (eds.), Innovations in
International and Cross-Cultural Management, Thousand Oaks, CA:

3. Managing interdependence: Social responsibility in the
international business environment
As firms operate across different social and economic
circumstances, they are often called to be social responsive and
ethical to their environments. This module looks at the issues of
social responsibility as they uniquely affect international business
and their practices.
Experiential exercise/discussion
Rigged bids and bribery, based on Delaney, J., & Sockell, (1991),
“Ethics in trenches,” Across the Board. 10, 17.
Aids: Nestle’s New Moral Dilemma in Africa
Case applications / mini cases
Aung Sein: An entrepreneur in Myanmar, by Robert W. Hornaday
Short assignments/Tests
Using the Carroll’s three-dimensional model of corporate social
Deresky (chapter 2)


4. The role of culture in international business
This module examines the meaning and relevance of culture to
international business. The module also discusses the measurements
and tools of analysis available to international business managers
and their records of culturally sensitive management overseas as
documented by research.
Personal experience overseas
Case applications / mini cases
Short assignments/Tests
Critical incidents selected from Singelis, T. M. (ed.). (1998).
Teaching about culture, ethnicity & diversity: Exercises and planned
activities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Deresky (chapter 3)
Triandis, H. (1989), The self and social behavior in differing cultural
contexts. Psychological Review, 96 (3): 506-520.
Adler, N. (1983), Cross-cultural management research: The Ostrich
and the trend. Academy of Management Review, 8: 226-232.


5. Communicating across cultures
The module examines the communication process and the
importance of cultural noise in the process. The module also
discusses the technology-communication link as well as the
management of cross-cultural communication.
Action learning
Negotiation simulation—Setting: Malaysia/Japan
Case applications / mini cases
Selected mini cases from Chaney & Martin (2000)
Snippets and vignettes
Group discussions
Oriental poker face: Eastern deception or Western inscrutability In
Deresky (2002)
Deresky (chapter 4)
Chaney, L. H. & Martin, J. S. (2000), Intercultural business
communication. Upper-Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
Ruben, B.D. & Kealey, D.J. (1979), Behavioral assessment of
communication competency and the prediction of cross-cultural
adaptation International Journal of Intercultural Relations,
3: 15-47.

6. Comparative management—Profiling cultures
This module looks at the process, methods and analytic methods of
culture profiling and the effects it has on the business and
management strategy of firms. Managerial styles around the world
are studied as expressions of their cultures.
Experiential exercise
Measuring culture: Individualism and collectivism
Script for Juan Perillo and Jean Moore In Deresky (2002)
Case applications / mini cases
Rough Times at Nomura
Trouble at Computex Corporation In Deresky (2002)
Deresky (Chapters 3 & 4)
Bhagat, R. S. and McQuaid, S. J. (1982), Role of subjective culture
in organizations: A review and directions for future research,"
Journal of Applied Psychology Monograph, 67(5) :653-685. (For
emic versus etic approaches)
Bartlett, C.A., & Ghoshal, S. (1992), Transnational management:
Text, cases, and readings in cross-border management. Homewood,
IL: Irwin.

7. Cross-Cultural negotiation
Since firms operate in conditions in which their resources are not
unlimited, they sometimes need to triage their resources, be it
human capital, capital assets, or technological know-how.
Negotiation is discussed in a cultural context with a focus on the
techniques and patterns often adopted by different cultural elements.
Case applications / mini cases
Guanxi in Jeopardy: Joint Venture Negotiation in China
Mr Chan and Mrs Robertson
Simulation exercise
Multicultural Negotiations
Deresky (Chapter 7)
Fagre, N. & Wells, L. (1982), Bargaining power of multinationals
and host governments, Journal of International Business Studies.
Lecraw, D. (1984), Bargaining power, ownership, and profitability
of subsidiaries of transnational corporations in developing countries,
Journal of International Business Studies, Spring-Summer
Contractor, F. (1985), A generalized theorem for joint venture and
licensing negotiations, Journal of International Business Studies.

8. Comparative management—Decision making
Decision making being one of the cardinal functions of management
is examined in the international arena. Focus is directed at the
processes and models of decision making that help managers in the
important skills they need to negotiate
Case applications / mini cases
Moto: Coming to America
TelSys International: A marriage of two cultures in Deresky
Deresky (Chapter 7)
Black, J. S., & Porter, L. W. (1991), Managerial performance and
job performance: A successful manager in Los Angeles may not
succeed in Hong Kong, Journal of International Business Studies,
First Quarter: 99-113.
Zaheer, S. (1999), Time-zone economies and managerial work in a
global world in P. C. Earley and H. Singh (eds.), Innovations in
International and Cross-Cultural Management, Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage.

9. Strategy formulation for international and global operations
Decisions are important for strategy formulation. In this module, the
pull and push reasons that compel firms to go international are
examined. The processes involved in formulating strategies as well
as the strategic initiatives in practise are discussed. The module will
allow the learning of the skills that managers would need to
formulate and implement strategic initiatives.
Breakout Session
Examine the “pull” and “push” reasons why your company may
want to go to Nigeria/Russia/Brazil/Indonesia
Mini case
Cola Wars: The Venezuelan Coup
Experiential exercise
Present a strategic analysis report to the class justifying the
internationalisation plans of your company to
Deresky (Chapter 6)
Schneider, S. C. (1989), Strategy formulation: The impact of
national culture, Organization Studies (10) 2, 157-176.
Kohn, M. (1987), Cross-national research as an analytic strategy,
American Sociologigal Review, 52:713-731
Hamel, G. & Prahalad C. K. (1985), Do you really have a global
strategy? Harvard Business Review, July/August.

10. Implementing strategy in international business
The specific types of strategic alliances firms enter into are
discussed in this module. Global alliances including joint ventures
and unusual alliance practises are discussed.
Wal-Mart’s Implementation Problems in North America In Deresky
Case application
Ben & Jerrys and Iceverks: Alliance Meltdown in Russia In Deresky
Experiential exercise
Partner Selection in an International Context In Deresky
Deresky (Chapters 6 & 7)
Habib, M.M. & Victor, B. (1991), Strategy, structure, and
performance of U.S. manufacturing and service MNCs: A
comparative analysis, Strategic Management Journal, 12: 589-606.
Ghoshal, S. (1987), Global Strategy: An Organizing Framework,
Strategic Management Journal, 8, 425-440.
Kobrin, S. J. (1991), An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of
Global Integration, Strategic Management Journal, 12, Summer.
Yip, G. S. (1989). Global strategy in a world of nations? Sloan
Management Review, 31(1): 29-41.


11. Structuring and controlling international business firms
This module examines how to plan the structure and control systems
in international business. The important issues regarding centralising
control and decentralising control, the role of information systems,
reporting systems and monitoring systems are examined and
Breakout session
How can an international company structure itself for global
operations, yet retain the local flavour in its various spheres of
Case applications / mini cases
Flexit International In Deresky
Short assignments
Do some research on likely reporting issues facing a Malaysian
multinational with subsidiaries in Haiti and the U.S.A.
Deresky (Chapter 8)
Habib, M. M. & Victor, B. (1991), Strategy, structure, and
performance of U.S. manufacturing and service MNCs: A
comparative analysis. Strategic Management Journal, 12: 589-606.
Gupta, A. & Govindarajan, V. (1991), Knowledge flows and the
structure of control within the multinational corporation, Academy
of Management Review, 16(4): 768-792.
Doz, Y. & Prahalad, C. K. (1984), “atterns of strategic control
within multinational corporations, Journal of International Business
Studies, Fall: 151-167.
Gomes-Casseres, B. (1989), Ownership structures of foreign
subsidiaries: Theory and evidence, Journal of Economic Behavior
and Organization 11.
Nohria, N. & Garcia-Pont, C. (1991), Global strategic linkages and
industry structure, Strategic Management Journal, 12:105-124

12. Recruiting and training global managers
International human resource management is a peculiar area in
which international business managers are very concerned. Because
of the many nations, cultures, practices, beliefs, and values through
which international business managers must operate, it is a
challenge to attract, motivate and retain international talent. Issues
relating to staffing and training are discussed here exhaustively
Breakout session
Why is the human resource role of selection so complex, yet,
intricate in international assignments
Case application
Fred Bailey in Japan: An Innocent Abroad In Deresky
Deresky (Chapter 9)
Hannigan, T. P. (1990), Traits, attitudes, and skills that are related to
intercultural effectiveness and their implications for cross-cultural
training: A review of the literature, International Journal of
Intercultural Relations, 14:89-111.
Mendenhall, M., Dunbar, E., & Oddou, G. (1987), Expatriate
selection, training, and career pathing: A review and critique,
Human Resource Management, 26: 331-345.
Earley, P.C. (1987), Intercultural training for managers: A
comparison of documentary and interpersonal methods, Academy of
Management Journal, 30: 685-698.
Mendenhall, M., Punnett, B., & Ricks, D. (1995), Global
management, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK.

13. Developing a global managerial cadre
This module examines the preparation, adaptation, and repatriation
of expatriate staff. The new developments in the international arena
are also considered, for example, the role of women, diversity, in
general terms, and union management relations.
What are some of the reasons why there are so few women
expatriates around the globe compared to their male counterparts
Case application
A First-Time Expatriate’s Experience in a Joint Venture in China in
Short assignments
Make a list of reasons why a would-be expatriate would choose to
accept a foreign posting and a list of reasons he or she would opt not
to; assuming he or she were given a choice.
Deresky (Chapter 10)
Bennett, M.J. (1986), A developmental approach to training for
intercultural sensitivity, International Journal of Intercultural
Relations, 10, 179-196.
Dunbar, E., & Katcher, A. (1990), Preparing managers for foreign
assigments. Training and Development Journal, September, 45-47.
Harrison, J.K. (1994), Developing successful expatriate managers: A
framework for the structural design and strategic alignment of cross-
cultural training programs. Human Resource Planning, 17: 17-35.
Mendenhall, M., Punnett, B., Ricks, D. (1995), Global management,
Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, UK.
Black, J.S., & Mendenhall, M. (1990) Cross-cultural training
effectiveness: A review and a theoretical framework for future
research. Academy of Management Review, 15, 113-136.

14. Cross-cultural leadership and motivation
This module looks at how to develop an international managerial
cadre. However, it is obvious that work has different meanings to
different individuals. Other considerations include the intrinsic
versus extrinsic dichotomy of motivating workers, the reward
systems, and the contingency driven perspective of the need for
leadership in the international context.
Group discussion
Leadership experience in Malaysian companies.
Biographies of accomplished leaders, e.g., Welch, Ghoshal, Reagan,
Ghandi, etc.
Case applications
AT & T consumer products
Toyota’s Tough Boss in Deresky
Deresky (Chapter 11)
Derr, C. B., Roussilon, S., & Bournois, F. (eds.) (2002), Cross-
cultural approaches to leadership development. Westport, CT:
Dorfman, P.W., Howell, J.P., Hibino. S., Lee, J.K., Tate, U., &
Bautista, A. (1997), Leadership in Western and Asian countries:
Commonalities and differences in effective leadership processes
across cultures, Leadership Quarterly, 8: 233-274.
Gerstner, C.R. (1994), Cross cultural comparisons of leadership
prototypes, Leadership Quarterly. 5(2): 121-134.
Black, J.S., & Gregersen, H.B. (1990), Expectations, satisfaction,
and intention to leave of American expatriate managers in Japan.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 14: 485-506.