Assignments

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Study questions to guide preparation for each session’s discussion are given below. For sessions with cases due, the case write-up may address the relevant questions in addition to the requirements of the write-up.

SES # TOPICS CASES STUDY GUIDE QUESTIONS
Part I — Introduction
1 Why bother studying national economies in an era of globalization?
  • 1. Do you agree that national borders no longer matter?
  • 2. Is globalization an economic or political phenomenon? Who are the winners and losers from globalization?
2 Alternative approaches to analyzing national economies

Young, Allegra, and Debora Spar. "Gerber Products Company: Investing in the New Poland." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-793-069, March 22, 1993.

  • 1. How does one integrate the various "frameworks" used to understand business environments?
  • 2. Should Gerber go ahead with its purchase of the Alima plant? Why? Why not?
Part II — Different types of market economies
3 Liberal market economies: The United States
  • 1. What are the key features of the US political economy that shape business behavior in this country?
  • 2. What is the "paradox" at Analog Devices? What role did macro-institutions play in bringing about these unanticipated side effects?
4 State-driven development: Singapore Vietor, Richard, and Emily Thompson. "Singapore Inc." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-703-040, February 27, 2003.
  • 1. How do you account for Singapore's success? In economics? In politics?
  • 2. What were the sources of its growth?
  • 3. Do you recommend Singapore Inc. as a model for other developing countries?
5 Emerging markets/uncertain rules 1: Russia Huang, Yasheng, Kirsten O'Neil-Massaro, and Anatoli Miliukov. "Unified Energy System of Russia." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-702-068, March 13, 2002.
  • 1. Why did foreign minority shareholders oppose Chubais' proposal?
  • 2. In what ways did foreign capital help promote or hinder economic reforms?
6 Emerging markets/uncertain rules 2: Africa

Huang, Yasheng. "Note on Conflict Diamonds: Why Are Civil Wars, like Diamonds, Forever?" Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-702-027, January 9, 2002.

Alfaro, Laura, Vinati Dev, Faheen Allibhoy, and Debora Spar. "Botswana: A Diamond in the Rough." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-703-027, March 31, 2003.
  • 1. Why did Botswana succeed? How does one define success?
  • 2. Does the success of Botswana offer useful lessons for other developing countries?
Part III — Beyond the nation-state? Who is making the new rules?
7 The politics of trade Abdelal, Rawi, Laura Alfaro, and Brett Laschinger. "Bombardier: Canada vs. Brazil at the WTO." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-703-022, February 20, 2003.
  • 1. Is Embraer engaging in "unfair" competition? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • 2. Why are the governments of Brazil and Canada involved in this industry?
8 Intellectual property protection Bartlett, Nicholas, and Debora Spar. "Life, Death, and Property Rights: The Pharmaceutical Industry Faces AIDS in Africa." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-702-049, June 13, 2002.
9 Global business and human rights La Mure, Lane, and Debora Spar. "The Burma Pipeline." Harvard Business School Case. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing. Case: 9-798-078, February 25, 1998.
  • 1. Has Unocal violated any laws or norms as a result of its participation in the Yadana project?
  • 2. What responsibility, if any, do global corporations have for people in countries where human rights are not fully protected? What can companies do?
10 Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private non-market action Amazon logo Diermeier, Daniel. "Shell, Greenpeace and Brent Spar." In Business and Its Environment. Edited by David P. Baron. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005. ISBN: 9780131873551.
  • 1. Why did Shell get itself in such a mess over the Brent Spar situation?
  • 2. How should private companies engage with non-governmental stakeholders?
11 Sustainability: Is there a business case?
12 Putting the pieces together

Case Write-ups

The case write-ups should be brief, no more than 3 double-spaced pages. You may choose any 2 cases to analyze. Cases include both the traditional cases and company/industry cases discussed in some of the readings. Write-ups are due before class on the day the case is to be discussed. They are intended to be analytic discussions of some issue central to the case. Please do not write a precise of the case or repeat case facts except to bolster your argument. Based on the information provided in the case materials, please be analytically judgmental and evaluative. You should propose alternate managerial views and action plans whenever appropriate and discuss the relevance and applicability of the frameworks proposed in the readings and lectures. In short, you should write what you think of the situation in the case and not merely what the author of the case says. These case write-ups are individual assignments.

Country Report

This group project is due on Ses #12. You will need to write a 10-15 page report on the business environment in one country (other than the U.S.). This is a group assignment. You can work in teams of 3-4 people on this project.