NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Fang, Christina



KMC 7-52


Course Meetings

MW, 9:30am to 10:45am

Tisch T-UC25

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

The International Study Program (ISP) is a follow-on class to the Economics of Global Business (EGB) course. Despite the pervasiveness of globalization, there are many differences in the national contexts within which firms operate. Differences in these national business systems are driven by historical, political, legal, social and cultural forces as well as underlying economic and geographic conditions. These factors can result in significant divergences in the policies and goals of states as well as the economic performance of firms and patterns of specialization compared to what global economic reasoning alone would predict. Responding to these differences, the ISP course gives students the tools to understand variations in the institutional contexts of nations, the impact of these variations on economic growth, conducting business in different countries and the management of multinational firms.

We will start by developing frameworks for country analysis that can be applied to understanding the economic performance of any country in the world, and the challenges, opportunities, and risks to multinational firms of doing business in different states. Classroom time will be spent applying this framework to study China (the driving force of Asia) as well as other Asian countries. The course will then proceed with a visit to Singapore during which students will be able to observe directly the ways national institutions and cultural factors impact how business is conducted in other countries, particularly in comparison to the US. While in Singapore, students will participate in presentations and discussions of Asian business and economics and participate in a visit to the company they are researching and hold meetings with corporate managers at that firm. In addition, students will have time to explore the history, cultural sites and local customs of Singapore. Upon return, students will briefly explore issues of international business strategy and then spend the remainder of the semester working in teams to create strategic reports offering advice to the firms they have visited during their trip. Students then present their reports in class and then the course will culminate in a school-wide competition among the top student teams from all sections of the ISP course.


Course Outline


Tentative Schedule for Our Trip to Singapore

3/15/13 Friday Leave NYC
3/16/13 Saturday (late night)/ Sunday (early morning) Arrive Singapore
3/17/13 Sunday Welcome Dinner
3/18/12 Monday Cultural Tour
3/19/13 Tuesday Company Visit
3/20/13 Wedenesday University Visit
3/21/13 Thursday Free Day/Optional Tours
3/22/13 Friday Leave Singapore


Additional Dates:


Required Course Materials

1. Reader: a custom textbook (cost: $43.49) is available via University Readers online at https://students.universityreaders.com/store/. Create an account and double check the details before ordering as different Singapore sections have different readers:

Detailed ordering instructions are posted on Blackboard. Copies will also be on reserve at the library.

2. I have posted additional readings on Blackboard. Since they are usually free from the NYU Library, downloading them yourself from Blackboard saves you money.


Assessment Components


  Assignment Weight
Individual Component (70%) Company/Industry Comparison 15%
Quiz 25%
Final Report 20%
Attendance and Trip Participation 10%
Team Component (30%) Company Analysis and Questions Report 5%
Presentation 25%



Points earned for each component will be summed to obtain a total score of 100 points for the course. Final letter grades will be guided by the Stern Grading Guidelines for Core Courses at the Undergraduate College: 25-35% A for excellent work; 50-70% B for good or very good work; and 5-15% C for adequate or below work.

NOTE: Assignments should adhere to the document requirements set out in the appendix.  See the appendix for document requirements and what constitutes “A” work.

1. Class and Trip Participation: (10%)
Class attendance is expected throughout the course including (1) the final competition (Friday, 5/4) and (2) the class competition days (4/25, 4/30, 5/2). There is also a mandatory travel orientation and ticket distribution meeting for the Singapore trip at the Paulson Auditorium on 2/22 (530pm). Please mark your calendars for all of these days immediately as absences will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

I have a reasonable policy for excused absences for job interviews and personal circumstances, providing you clear absences with me in advance via email. Otherwise you are allowed two unexcused absences, after which absences will affect your participation grade.

Attendance during the school trip to Singapore is a very important component of the learning process in this course. For those who have obtained permission to miss the trip, you will be given a make-up assignment whose weight would be equal to that of your trip participation grade. In addition, you are expected to do additional research work on your group project so that there is an equitable distribution of work among the members of your group.

During the trip, you are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct listed below:
ISP Travel and the Stern Undergraduate Code of Conduct
While on the ISP trip, you will have a significant amount of time on their own to explore the history, cultural sites, and local customs of Singapore. During this unsupervised time, you are expected to behave in a manner consistent with the Stern Undergraduate Code of Conduct. Behavioral violations include, but are not limited to, physical assault, harassment (including sexual and verbal), and property damage.

Accusations of behavioral violations will be investigated by faculty and administrative staff accompanying you on the trip, and may result in you being immediately sent home to prevent further damage. In all cases, behavioral violations will be reported to the Office of Academic Affairs for further investigation and determination of sanctions by the Honor Committee.

Failure to attend and actively participate in the scheduled events while on the trip is also a violation of the Code. Frequent failure to attend and actively participate while on the trip may result in as much as a two-letter reduction in the course grade.


2. Company/Country Comparison: (15%)
The project report builds on your knowledge of your assigned firm and asks you to compare it to a firm in the same industry in a different country (suggested length is 5-7 typewritten pages, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman or comparable font). ONE hard copy of this report are due in class on Wednesday, 3/7. In addition, 1 electronic copy is to be submitted to Blackboard’s turnitin service. No email submission is accepted.

3. Quiz: (25%)
The quiz will be held in class on Wednesday, 3/21. I do not give make-up quiz. If you miss this quiz you will lose that portion of credit towards your final grade.


4. Final Report: (20%)
Write a report on your company that 1) compares, contrasts, and critically evaluates the recommendations of other teams in your section in terms of their potential impact on firm performance, their impact on the firm’s competitive position and risks, their use of competitively valuable firm resources, and their “affordability” in terms of the cash flows and debt capacity of the firm, and 2) presents an integrated set of strategic recommendations that you would make to management based on the above comparison, contrast and evaluation. ONE hard copy of this report are due in class on Monday, 5/7. In addition, 1 electronic copy is to be submitted to Blackboard’s turnitin service. No email submission is accepted.

Suggested length is 8 typewritten pages [excluding appendix], double-spaced, 12 point Times
New Roman or comparable font.


Since group activity is a substantial component of this course, it is recommended that you find group members with whom you share a good group dynamic. It is also required that each group has no more than one person who is not going on the trip.

1. Company Analysis and Questions: (5%)
In a short report: (1) outline industry structure and main competitors in the industry; (2) identify competitive issues facing the company (its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), (3) list and justify FIVE questions you will consider asking the senior management of your company (explain why your group thinks each question is important to the strategic direction of the company in a paragraph or two).

Suggested length is 5-7 typewritten pages, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman or comparable font. ONE hard copy of this report are due in class on Wednesday, 2/15. In addition, 1 electronic copy is to be submitted to Blackboard’s turnitin service. No email submission is accepted.


2. Presentation: (30%)
Outline your company's strategic situation, i.e., its strengths/advantages over competitors, and the major challenges and weaknesses it will have to overcome in the next few years. Develop a strategic plan for the next 3-5 years to maintain and or improve the firm's performance. Specifically, what significant changes in the firm’s geographic scope, product scope, product development policies, marketing policies, operations policies, finance policies, organization structure, and/or human resource management policies would you recommend?

Each team will need to email me its slides to me by 9am on Wednesday, 4/25. In order to ensure that those who are scheduled to present later do not garner an unfair advantage, all presentations slides must be submitted before the deadline. No late submissions are accepted. Presentation order will be determined randomly. Each team should bring sufficient number of hard copies for the rest of the class, including the TF and me. Each group will have 15 minutes for their presentation, followed by 5 minutes for Q&A.

Team members will have an opportunity to evaluate each other at the end of the course, and those who do not meet team responsibilities will receive lower grades on team projects. Peer evaluations forms will be available to ensure fair evaluations of team contributions.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



Students who do “A” work, generally provide assignments that have the following characteristics:
• Answer all of the questions asked and every component of the questions.
• Utilize the appropriate concepts, tools and/or frameworks that are relevant to the assignment. This means that you have to identify the most appropriate tools and briefly explain why they are appropriate.
• Provide an overall sound conclusion that follows logically from the analysis.
• Utilize the appropriate unit of analysis when applying frameworks. For example, when conducting an industry analysis, you should analyze the industry as a whole unit rather than a specific company within the industry.
• Use concrete/specific facts, data, and evidence to back up your analysis.
• Provide ample evidence to support conclusions
• Be sure evidence and conclusions are valid - utilize and demonstrate sound logical development
• Any assumptions that have been made in your analysis are explicit and not implicit
• Keep personal values and biases in check
• Sound grammar and usage
• Papers have an overall logical flow with appropriate use of section headings
• Written for the appropriate audience using appropriate language - treat these assignments as you would a research report you are being paid to write for a professional client
• Provide appropriate citations and references to material you have used in your analysis.



If you think there is a mistake grading your assignment/project/exam, you must submit to me in writing a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made. You need to do so within 7 days of receiving the grade. No re-grading request is accepted after this deadline.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course

Use of Blackboard

I will use the Blackboard extensively. Please refer to it regularly for course announcements and updates.

Class Participation

Class participation is expected in this course. If you are apprehensive about speaking in class, please see me. I am happy to work with you to schedule discussion participation in advance so that you can prepare your comments.

Submission of Written Assignments

  • In addition to ONE hard copy for each assignment (submitted to the professor), you are also required to submit an electronic copy to Blackboard’sTurnitin service. 
  • Note that assignments you submit to Blackboard will be checked by theTurnitin plagiarism detection service against a database of all prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications, and will become part of Turnitin's database.
  • Document Criteria:
    • Line spacing: at least 2 spaces betwen lines
    • Font: 12 point
    • Margins: 1.0" all around
    • Coverpage with course name, professor's name, your name and assignment name and number
    • Number all pages, excluding cover page
    • Put your name on each page (pages often become detached)
    • Staple papers together; please DO NOT use paper clips or binders
    • Include separate bibliography page citing all materials you used in your analysis

Classroom Norms

Information Search

You should search in various publications for articles, news items, and data that touch directly or indirectly on the industry and company that you selected. A good way to start is by searching through the library indexes and databases for your industry and company. You should attempt to locate articles that go back several years rather than focus exclusively upon the most recent ones. Try to begin with magazine articles that may provide more general background information before you consult newspapers that deal with specific recent developments. Business or trade publications and company documents filed with the SEC will provide you with more information. I also encourage you to search for information on the Internet, but please do so wisely. You should be aware that the information that is posted on the Internet could vary widely in terms of its validity and quality. The sources that are listed on the course web page are a good place to start and are fairly reliable. Stick with information posted by the firms themselves, established news or media firms, and universities. You should be able to find a wealth of information even if you limit yourselves to these sources.

IMPORTANT: Keep photocopies of all the sources you used. Keep a list of these sources so that you can compile a complete bibliography. Print out information you find on the Internet - it could be gone the next time you look. Each assignment must contain a detailed bibliography of your sources.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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