International Business (Section 2)

Discipline: Semester at Sea Seminars
Instructor: Allred
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day 1 | Vietnam Download Syllabus

International Business will expose undergraduate business students to the fundamental principles applicable to managing in the global business environment. This course is structured as a seminar and will go beyond what is found in a traditional survey course of international business in both content and approach. We will cover topics such as the nature of international markets, global trade, investment and financial exchange, and the operation of international business functions, with a strong emphasis on the strategy and structure of global business. We will regularly draw upon our experiences and insights at each port of call to further explore the issues of global business. This course relies heavily on the case method, used by top business schools. This method facilitates a student’s broad exposure to the multi-dimensional issues involved in the strategic management of different kinds of firms and the problems they face. In order for this method to be most effective and provide the greatest learning experience, active student participation is expected.

Field Work

Country: Vietnam
Day: 1

Vietnam has been rising in its importance as an Asian Tiger.  Its location and cost advantages have resulted in it competing with larger Asian economies, such as Japan and China in various industries.  As with China, Vietnam has embraced many free market philosophies while retaining its communist political structure.  This presents interesting challenges and opportunities for businesses doing business in Vietnam.  One such challenge for businesses and the country is how to balance globalization and growth while maintaining the fragile environment.  For this Field Lab, we will be visiting the Can Gio Reserve, a coastal wetlands ecosystem dominated by mangroves.  Home to a wide variety of plants, fish, birds and invertebrates, the area represents one of Viet Nam’s most rich and diverse natural habitats, but experienced extensive deforestation during the Vietnam War.  The natural diversity is threatened by expanding aquaculture activities, primarily of shrimp, which compete with other uses of the watershed and impose substantial externalities on other parties.  In addition to exploring the rich natural beauty of the Can Gio Biosphere, participants will visit a working shrimp farm to learn about shrimp aquaculture in the region.  Students will explore the impact that the business of shrimp farming has on the sustainability of this region, both economically and ecologically, to better sensitize them to the issues and challenges businesses face when entering developing markets.
Academic Objectives: This Field Lab will present students with an opportunity to better understand the challenges of doing business in a developing market.  In addition, it will highlight issues surrounding sustainability and the environment.  Students will be challenged to better understand how business works in Vietnam and the balance between sustainability and growth.  They will be asked to make recommendations for how it might be improved, drawing from their experiences and what they have learned in the course so far.