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MBAD 6197 U90

Managing Multinational Enterprise


Spring 2017                            Mondays, January 8 – May 02 

17:30 – 20:20                          Central City 906


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 5:30-8:10pm



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



Each team of up to four students will work on a real-world business of their choice. They will be required to prepare necessary materials, data, information of their business related to the class discussions before the class starts. In this section, the professor guides students to organize their materials and collect new information to answer a list of questions that apply the lecture to the management of their business. Each team is supposed to finalize their analysis into one to two PPT slides.



A short break


7:20-8:20pm (+10 mins)

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%)

·         Class presentation (7:20-8:10pm section) (10%)


Take-home weekly short quiz                        42% (3% x 14 quizzes)

·         Posted in Canvas after the class.

·         Submit individually before Friday 5pm (Do not leak the results/answers to other students until they submit).


“Global Managers” challenge                         38% (15% materials + 15% presentation + 8% Q&A)

[Sample presentations in previous classes: Uber into Iceland, Bank of America into Ireland, Marriott into Iran, Amazon into South Korea]

·         Each team consists of up to four members, meeting every week in class to discuss final projects. The team presentations every class (7:20-8:10pm section) accumulate to the PPTs for the final presentation. The purpose of the presentation/comments every week is to interact with the professor and the class to improve their analysis, and to simulate the real global business management. Also, the practice gathers comments and suggestions for improvements for the final presentation.



·                         Jan 22/ Jan 29: 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 5: What are the major competitive advantages (and disadvantages) of this company vis-à-vis the major domestic and global competitors?

·                         Feb 12: What are the major firm-specific advantages (and disadvantages) of this company vis-à-vis the major domestic and global competitors? What are the boundaries?

·                         Feb 19: What are the location-specific characteristics (both strengths and weaknesses) of your proposed new global market (pick one country), where you plan to expand your company into? Discuss in bulletin point each major characteristic in relations to your major firm-specific advantages (and disadvantages)? Is each one supporting or constraining your advantages? So in conclusion, is this market a good pick? If not, what else?

·                         Feb 26: In terms of the disadvantages of your market location, how many of them are due to the open-market (vs. internal control) uncertainties and risks? How many of them can be avoided by internalizing (controlling) the market inside your company?

·                         Mar 12: Finalizing your presentation PowerPoint for part 1.



·                         Mar 19: 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)?

·                         Mar 26: Analyzing the financial/economic environment differences of your picked global market from the US (or wherever your current major market is) in detail.

·                         Apr 2: Analyzing the legal/political environment differences of your picked global market from the US (or wherever your current major market is) in detail.

·                         Apr 9: Analyzing the sociocultural environment differences of your picked global market from the US (or wherever your current major market is) in detail.

·                         Apr 16: Are there any existing/potential disruptors to your industry? How would they affect your businesses?

·                         Apr 23: How do you prepare for the disruptors?



·                         Apr 30: Integrating your presentation materials/PowerPoint of both parts 1 and 2 together. Rehearsal and early feedbacks from the professor and class if needed.



·         The submission of your final PPT is due 5pm Friday May 4h, 2017.

·         The presentation and Q&A take place from 5:30-8pm on May 7th, 2017. I will invite industry experts whose daily work involve international management, global strategy planning and international risk management to help me judge the quality of your work, and give you real-time/real-world feedbacks.



·         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 8

Course introduction and orientation.

Debunking some misconceptions about international business and global management.



Jan 15

University Closed – Dr. MLK Day



Jan 22

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their governance structures. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz1 due 5pm Friday



Jan 29

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their governance structures. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz1 due 5pm Friday



Feb 5

Competitive advantages of MNEs and their global strategy. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz2 due 5pm Friday



Feb 12

Firm-specific advantages of MNEs. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz3 due 5pm Friday

Last day for finalizing your team


Econ institutions


Feb 19

Location-specific characteristics for MNEs. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz4 due 5pm Friday



Feb 26

Internalization benefits for MNEs. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz5 due 5pm Friday



Mar 5

Spring Recess – No Classes



Mar 12

Global strategy: Applying competitive advantages analysis in the industry project. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz6 due 5pm Friday



Mar 19

Comparative institutional analysis of foreign contexts. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz7 due 5pm Friday


3P Turbo NPV


Mar 26

Financial and economic environments and risks. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz8 due 5pm Friday



Apr 2

Legal and political environments and risks. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz9 due 5pm Friday


Cultural compass

JAP 2010


Apr 9

Social and cultural environments and risks. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz10 due 5pm Friday



Apr 16

Risk management across institutional environments. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz11 due 5pm Friday



Apr 23

Global risk: Applying comparative institutional analysis and risk management in the industry project. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz12 due 5pm Friday



Arp 30

Integrating global strategy and risk management in the industry project. +10 mins

Weekly Quiz13 due 5pm Friday



May 7

“Global Managers” Challenge



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