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MBAD 6197 U90

Managing Multinational Enterprise


Spring 2019                            Mondays, January 14 – May 02 

17:30 – 20:15                          Central City 905


Dr. Victor Zitian Chen

(Faculty website:


Friday Building, Room 240C

704-687-7645 (or 77645 in campus)

By appointment.


Please format your email subject in the following way: “MBAD6197#-brief question”.

For example, if you want to ask a question about the final, your email title is suggested to be “MBAD6197 – Final”.


Alan M. Rugman and Simon Collinson, International Business, 6th Edition, Prentice Hall.

Mike W. Peng, Global Strategy, 3rd Edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.

John H. Dunning and Sarianna M. Lundan, Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy, 2nd Edition, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

All the course materials (e.g., lecture slides and assigned readings) will be uploaded to this website.



Course Description

This course is designed as an advanced graduate study for management professionals in the changing and diverse international business environment. It covers both macro- and micro aspects of international management and global business strategy. The class consists of two sets of topics. The first is global expansion strategy, with special attention being paid to the competitive advantages of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and finding global locations for these advantages. The second is global risk analysis and management. Built on the MNE-location analysis, the focus of this section is on the misfit between a target location and a firm’s competitive advantages. It also involves discussions on strategic responses to hedge or manage the risks associated to the misfits.


Each lecture takes three sections during 5:30-8:15pm



Lecture and Discussion

In the first section, the professor gives a lecture on fundamentals, concepts, theories, and short simulation cases. The lecture is in a seminar format, in which students are free to join the discussion and share their experiences and thoughts.



Short break



Group Roundtable

Each team of up to four students will work on a real-world business of their choice. You will pick a real company to which you have access to a strategic decision office in charge of global operations. Students will need to collect necessary research materials of their business related to the class discussions. Inside information needs to get this company’s consent before it’s shared with the class. In this section, the professor guides students to analyze the business to answer a predefined list of questions. Each team is supposed to finalize their analysis into: (1) up to two slides (graphs and bulletin points only) to be presented in the next section of the class, and (2) a two-page report by 5pm Friday (single space, Times New Roman, 11 pt).


You need to spend on average 30 minutes weekly with the strategic office of the business you are researching, and get their timely feedback. The contact person at the strategic office will need to assess the value of your research twice – one in the half of the semester, and the other in the end of the semester. The professor will send out a survey link directly to the contact person. Here is the assessment form.



A short break



Team Weekly Presentation & Feedback

Each team will present their analysis in front of the class to the class for others to comment.


Course Style

This is an open source class. Students are encouraged to bring electronic devices (e.g., laptops, notebooks, pad books, and smartphones) to access internet for information related to class discussions.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should learn how to manage an MNE’s expansion opportunities and risks in the global competitive environment. Specifically, students should:

1.        Be able to analyze an MNE’s competitive advantages in international business.

2.        Be able to identify global opportunities given these competitive advantages.

3.        Be able to design strategic location choice and entry mode based on the MNE-location fit.

4.        Be able to conduct competitive environment analysis between MNEs and potential local competitors.

5.        Be able to identify the MNE-location misfits and related risks.

6.        Be able to design strategic responses to hedge and manage these risks.


Grading Policies


Course participation                                          20% (Full name plates are important)

·         Attendance (10%)

·         Group work contribution – peer reviewed (10%)

Canvas weekly short quizzes                           36%

·         Posted in Canvas after the class          (3% x 12 weekly quizzes)

·         Submit individually by Friday 5pm on Canvas

Global project report                                         44%

·         Worked as a team but submitted individually by Friday 5pm on Canvas

·         Professor’s assessment                         34% (2% x 11 weekly reports + 6% for first half report + 6% for full report)

·         Business practitioner’s assessment      10% (5% first half semester + 5% second half semester)



·                         Jan 14/ Jan 28: What is the company about? What is its main business? Where are its major customers, domestically or globally? Who is it competing with domestically and globally?



·                         Feb 4: What are the major firm-specific advantages (and disadvantages) of this company vis-à-vis the major domestic and global competitors?

·                         Feb 11: What are the ideal location factors (i.e., boundaries) to enable your firm-specific advantages? 1 of 2

·                         Feb 18: What are the ideal location factors (i.e., boundaries) to enable your firm-specific advantages? 2 of 2

·                         Feb 25: What are the largest economies (pick 5 based on 2018 real GDP) where your company has no operations yet? Please compare these economies’ location characteristics with the ideal location factors you have identified earlier. Which economy is overall the best fit?

·                         Mar 11: To compensate this final market’s gaps with your ideal location factors, is it possible to find a local partner? What are the relative strengths and weaknesses between you and this partner to complement each other.



·                         Mar 18: Finalizing your report part 1.

·                         Mar 25: Analyzing the institutional environments of your picked global market in dimensions. What are the major differences in financial/economic, legal/political, and sociocultural dimensions from the US market (or wherever your current major market is)?

·                         Apr 1: Analyzing the financial/economic environment differences of your picked global market from the US (or wherever your current major market is) in detail.

·                         Apr 8: Analyzing the legal/political environment differences of your picked global market from the US (or wherever your current major market is) in detail.

·                         Apr 15: Analyzing the sociocultural environment differences of your picked global market from the US (or wherever your current major market is) in detail.

·                         Apr 22: Are there any existing/potential disruptors to your industry? How would they affect your businesses? How do you prepare for the disruptors?



·                         Apr 29: Finalizing your full report.



·         In the final submission, please also submit how many weekly discussions each member has missed, and your individual perception of the other members’ % of contribution.

·         In case of anyone missing weekly discussion: (i) make up by providing more materials such as company data, research materials, preparation for presentation power points, and others.


Letter grades and numeric grades equate as follows for this course:

A          90-100

B          80-89.5

C          70-79.5

U          <70 or violations of the University Policy 407, The Code of Student Academic Integrity


*If the lower range of grades is significantly lower than the previous cohort, grades will be curved upward accordingly in order to make class grades comparable between different year cohorts of classes.


All members of the course are expected to adhere to the University Policy 407, The Code of Student Academic Integrity. Violations of this code include but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism, falsification and fabrication, multiple submissions, abuse of academic materials, and complicity in academic dishonesty. Violators will receive a failing grade and may risk suspension from the University. Additional details on the Code of Student Academic Integrity are available at


The Belk College of Business strives to create an inclusive academic climate in which the dignity of all individuals is respected and maintained. Therefore, we celebrate diversity that includes, but is not limited to ability/disability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, language, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.


Course Outline and Schedule

(Please check the outline on the course website weekly, because there might be some adjustments prior to each class.)







Jan 14

Course introduction and orientation.

Debunking some misconceptions about international business and global management.



Jan 21

University Closed – Dr. MLK Day



Jan 28

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their governance structures.

Weekly Quiz1 and Report1 due 5pm Friday



Feb 4

Competitive advantages of MNEs and their global strategy.

Weekly Quiz2 and Report2 due 5pm Friday

Deadline to confirm the business practitioner who is willing to discuss with you on the team project and will assess your project. Connect the professor with him/her through email.

Last day for finalizing your team



Feb 11

Firm-specific advantages of MNEs.

Weekly Quiz3 and Report3 due 5pm Friday



Feb 18

Location-specific characteristics for MNEs.

Weekly Quiz4 and Report4 due 5pm Friday


Econ institutions


Feb 25

Internalization benefits for MNEs.

Weekly Quiz5 and Report5 due 5pm Friday



Mar 4

Spring Recess – No Classes



Mar 11

Internalization benefits for MNEs (cont’d).

Weekly Quiz6 and Report6 due 5pm Friday



Mar 18

A Synthesis.

Weekly Quiz7 and Report7 (First half report) due 5pm Friday



Mar 25

Comparative institutional analysis of foreign contexts.

Weekly Quiz8 and Report8 due 5pm Friday

First survey sent out to business practitioner’s assessment, due 5pm Friday



Apr 1

Financial and economic environments and risks.

Weekly Quiz9 and Report9 due 5pm Friday


NPV projection


Apr 8

Legal and political environments and risks.

Weekly Quiz10 and Report10 due 5pm Friday



Apr 15

Social and cultural environments and risks.

Weekly Quiz11 and Report11 due 5pm Friday


Cultural compass

JAP 2010


Apr 22

Risk management across institutional environments.

Weekly Quiz12 and Report12 due 5pm Friday



Apr 29

Global risk: Applying comparative institutional analysis and risk management in the industry project.

Full project report due 5pm Friday



May 6

Second survey sent out to business practitioner’s assessment, due 5pm Friday


For more information of the university’s academic calendar, see