International Management

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Course Number: BUSADMIN 4140
Course Name: International Management (Online)
Course Description:    This course focuses on the management of an enterprise engaged in international business. Topics include: why international business occurs, the nature and influence of the host country environment on firms conducting international business, how international strategic alternatives for these firms are identified and evaluated, the influence of culture on managers and managerial practices, and the ethical concerns and social responsibility associated with managing international business activities.
Prerequisites:    BUSADMIN 1300 and BUSADMIN 2330
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online  (This course is also offered in print.)

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • articulate the reasons why a business chooses to go international
  • examine international management from a cultural context
  • analyze current issues, trends and developments in various regions of the world and understand how they affect the managerial function
  • examine the impact of an ever-changing international business environment on management practices

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: The General Environment of a Multinational Enterprise
Every company, large or small, must understand the larger environment in which it works. In this unit we'll explore how the political, legal, economic and cultural forces impact the operations of multinational companies. We will also explore questions such as; what drives global trade? what are the external pressures in the business environment that are unique to multinational companies and how do those pressures affect its competitiveness? what are the latest trends and events that influence the external environment? how does the external environment influence how each company deals with the ethical and social responsibility questions they face?

In addition, in this unit we will also tackle the difficult concept of culture. Culture is the means by which norms and values are transmitted among a people. Cultures develop unique ways of communicating including formal language, slang, gestures, body language. In this unit, we'll explore questions such as, just what is culture? How can it be defined and described?

All of these concepts lay the groundwork for understanding the international manager's role. Without exploring the larger context of a business' atmosphere, the manager cannot effectively make decisions.

Unit 2 The Role of Strategy, Organizational Structure, and Control in a Multinational Operation
You'll recall from your basic management class that you learned about the four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading and controlling. We will revisit concepts associated with three of the four functions - planning, organizing and controlling in this unit.

Once we've decided how to organize our employees, how do we motivate and lead them? A daunting task when dealing with one culture much less an international environment! This challenge leads us to seek answers to questions such as; how do leadership and motivational techniques vary across cultures?

Don't remember any of the basic concepts from Leadership & Management class (or any basic management class)? No worries - the text is an excellent resource. You'll also find help in the Concepts area of the course. All companies need a plan of action. Strategic planning, whether done formally or informally, is crucial to the long-term survival of a firm. Organizations create strategies that reflect the vision of the enterprise. It isn't easy to create and implement a strategy. A strategy binds a company (or at least it should) to a course of action. The strategic plan outlines a basic direction for the company's future (shall we merge to gain new resources or access to a market?), a philosophy of the company's focus (shall we focus more on keeping costs low or on developing a specialized niche?), and informs the day to day operational decisions (how do we shape an ad campaign to reach a certain market niche?)

Unit 3: International Managers as Leaders
Once we understand the broader context of international business (explored in unit I) and the basics of strategy and structure (explored in unit II), we are now ready to develop an understanding of the challenges of managing our human resources including motivating and leading them in an international context. These tasks are difficult enough without adding in cultural dimensions! We’ll explore questions like: What is the best way to organize a multinational company? An organization is more than a chart depicting reporting relationships. It is made up of people who must be able to work efficiently and effectively within a structure that supports the company’s strategic objectives. What factors influence the structure of an international firm?

Closely related to the effectiveness of leadership is the management of human resources. We will also take up in this unit the key elements of international human resource management and evaluation and control of an enterprise. In addition, we’ll explore how human resource management and market entry decisions are influenced by the international scope of a company’s strategy.

Just as with the prior unit, some of the chapters in this unit will be review. We will be revisiting theories of motivation, leadership and organization structure that you first learned in your basic management class. If you need help in remembering what those theories were all about, the text is an excellent reference and the Concepts area in the course provides brief explanation.

Grading Information

This is how the activities in this course will be graded:

Activity/Possible Points
Lesson Exercises [4]:   40 points
Article Review Assignment I:   35 points
Article Review Assignment II:   25 points
Short Introductory Case Unit I:   20 points
Cases [3]:   175 points
Hofstede Article Questions [2]:   40 points
Exams [3]:   210 points total
Total Points:   545 points

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