International business

In the first class session, the project scope will discussed in the class and you will be assigned into groups. In the second class session, each group will be assigned (or groups will choose) a country to conduct a 360-degree country analysis with the purpose of exploring the business environment and business opportunities. In this session, you will be introduced to pertinent library databases, meta-sites and other resources that you will use to conduct your research. The recommended library resources for the project are the following:

· A to Z World Business (Country Macro Data/Country Reports)

· EIU The Economist Intelligence Unit (Country Macro Data; Political Risk/Country Reports)

· Culturegrams (Cultural Insights into a wide range of countries)

· Going Global (GoingGlobal contains country-specific career and employment resources for more than 80 locations)

· Hoover Online (Industry and Company Analysis/Industry Overviews)

· MarketLine Advantage (Industry and Company Analysis/Industry Overviews)

· Mergent Online (Industry and Company Analysis/Industry Overviews)

· Passport Euromonitor (Industry, Company and Product data)

· GlobalEdge (An international business portal; very useful for the project)

Comprehensive Paper Content Requirements:

*A brief introduction of the country (location and short, general description) should begin your paper.

Part 1- Culture

A good starting point to write this section is Culturegrams; culturegrams provide detailed introduction to respective country’s culture from a general perspective; however, you should focus on the cultural attributes from a business perspective and emphasize the relevant cultural attributes that a business person should be aware of. You should describe the behavioral patterns, manners, customs a business person should be familiar with. Provide practical insights regarding what a visitor should expect and how he/she should behave. It should also explore the perceptions of time and space, negotiation and decision making styles, the impact of religion and belief systems on personal and public life, local sensitivities that a visitor should be keenly aware of, and remarks that would help to avoid offending the host country people. International business textbooks emphasize frameworks to gain deeper insights about cultures. Although far from perfect, one such popular framework used in business is Hosftede’s Cultural Dimensions. Gert Hofstede described cultures in five dimensions. His ideas were first based on a large research project into national culture differences across subsidiaries of an IBM in 64 countries. Subsequent studies came together to identify and validate six independent dimensions of national culture differences.

· Power Distance

· Individualism

· Masculinity

· Uncertainty Avoidance

· Long-Term Orientation

· Indulgence vs. Restraint

You should use Hofstede’s framework to understand similarities and differences between your culture (US) and the host country (chosen country) culture. Your written analysis should provide a comparison between the United States and the nation you intend to enter.

To get detailed cultural data visit Gert Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions website:

You can also interview a native of your selected country to verify the secondary research you conduct; they may provide you additional insights about the culture and you can incorporate those into your analysis.

Part 2- Political & Legal Systems Impact on Business Environment

Political Environment:

Provide a brief description of the political system and evaluate its effectiveness, stability and sustainability in governing the country. Can the current political system effectively address country’s social and economic challenges? Are there any imminent changes in the governance of the country? Do the changes in the ruling government have significant impact on economic policies? Are they expected to be positive or negative? Do governments make arbitrary administrative decisions that affect businesses? Have there been any confiscations, expropriations or nationalizations in the near past? Are they likely to recur? Provide a brief summary of perceived political risks and provide suggestions regarding how to manage those risks (e.g. joint ventures with established local partners, investments with significant local benefits such as technology transfer and employment)

While A to Z World and EIU provides reviews of political system and political risks, you can gain better insights about political system by reviewing “Freedomhouse Reports” which provides information about political rights and civil liberties. (

Legal System: Provide a brief description of the legal system and explore if the judiciary is sufficiently independent from legislative and executive branches of the governance structure. Are contracts in the country reliable? Can the legal system be relied on to resolve conflicts? Are courts efficient to resolve the business conflicts? Are property rights sufficiently protected? Are intellectual property rights enforced by the government authorities? Can foreign firms seek justice in local courts? To evaluate the extent of corruption in your respective country you can use Transparency International Index (

You can also find information about the efficiency and effectiveness of legal system in “Doing Business” database of World Bank. Check the website to find about your country

Part 3- Economic Environment and International Trade:

Economic Environment: In this section you should explore country’s economic strengths and weaknesses.

Main Domestic Economic Indicators:

· What type of economic system is in place in your country? How is this expected to impact doing business?

· Size of the economy (Current size of GDP)

· Growth rate (past, current and projected)

· What is GDP per capita? (some of GDP and GDP per capita measures are adjusted for purchasing power; they are usually indicated as PPP based measures of income; others simply report nominal GDP or GDP per capita) Has there been notable changes in the GDP per capita in the last 10 years? What is the future trajectory of GDP per capita?

· What can we say about the income distribution? Is income fairly distributed in the country? How severe are the economic and social implications of income disparity? Provide some income distribution data such as Gini coefficient or income received by the top 10% of the income groups and comment on your observations.

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