International Business

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Schofield
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesday, 15 October | Italy Download Syllabus

The course will examine international business from two perspectives: (1) The changing nature of international business as a result of recent evolution of globalization; (2) Business analysis and strategies for international expansion. The course will start with a focus on how the nature of the global economy has changed in the last two decades, and identify the consequences (positive and negative) for both international and domestic businesses. The focus will then change to the perspective of a business expanding beyond its home country, the strategies available to such a company, and the types of analysis and factors to be considered in determining the feasibility of such expansion. Both the risks and opportunities for international expansion will be explored, using a variety of different countries to illustrate risk/reward trade-offs involved in diverse settings. The wide range of factors affecting these trade-offs (financial, political, cultural, etc) will be discussed, in ways designed to build the student’s capability in analyzing these factors and coming to business conclusions. Students will have assignments related to the countries being visited, and a project of a subject they select, related to the course.

Field Work

Country: Italy
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 15 October

In the morning we will visit a foreign owned solar company north of Rome. In addition to touring the facility, we will discuss with management at least the following topics: -Business/government relations, subsidies, relation to other utilities. - Impact on consumers (individuals, industrial) in Italy -Anticipated changes in the global solar industry, especially the role of China -Role of a foreign owned company in Italy’s solar industry In the afternoon we will tour the Civitavecchia Port, and meet with Port officials, to address such things as: -Issues in the management of a port ( eg labor relations, automation, logistical issues, relationships with major importers/exporters) -- Competition with other modes of transport and other ports - Security, Customs enforcement -Expected future changes in the nature of port operations  Academic Objectives:

  1. To understand the issues related to being a foreign owned company, especially in a politically sensitive industry. To be able to extend the understanding from this one company/industry to other sectors and countries.
  2. To understand the impact of port operations and policies on importers and exporters. To anticipate how changes in these policies and operations will affect the competitive relation between different types of products and industries.