NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

MGMT-UB.0004.002 (C50.0004): INT'L BUSINESS MGMT

Spring 2013

Instructor Details

Dorobantu, Sinziana


MW 3:30-5pm

Tisch 707


Course Meetings

TR, 2:00pm to 3:15pm

Tisch T-UC01

Final Exam:

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


Course Description and Learning Goals

Course Overview

Managers of multinational corporations have to meld the art of strategic decision-making with a strong understanding of the business environment in the different locations where their companies operate. This course is designed to familiarize students with the complexities of expanding and managing multinational corporations in environments that are different along cultural, political, social and economic dimensions. The course addresses several questions: (1) Why do firms expand abroad? (2) How do firms expand abroad? (3) How does managing a multinational corporation (MNC) differ from managing a domestic firm? (4) How do managers cope with the multiple and often conflicting demands they face when managing cross-border operations?

Course Objectives

The central objective of this course is to understand the strategic management of multinational firms (MNCs). We will examine why firms decide to develop operations in foreign countries, how they do this, and how they can become successful once their operations cross national boundaries. We will also examine how individuals manage business activities effectively in such multinational firms, both within the confines of the value chain and by engaging a wide range of external stakeholders such as political decision-makers, NGOs and local communities.

The course is designed to complement and build upon the International Studies Program core requirement by helping students (a) gain more in-depth knowledge on the issues faced by multinational managers (timing and location of international expansion; mode of entry; global strategy; political, social and economic risk) and (b) deepen their expertise in this area through practical case applications that span multiple geographical regions, industries, and time periods. These include the experience of AES in transitioning Georgia, power giant Enel and oil companies entering Russia, Chiquita’s problems following changes in the EU trade regulation, the WTO dispute between regional jet makers Bombardier and Embraer, a Canadian gold mining company struggling with NGO opposition in Romania, Ikea’s treatment of accusations that it was complicit in the use of child labor in the fabrication of rugs, and many others.


The activities of multinational corporations span various geographies, cultural contexts, political regimes, and levels of economic development. To enable students to follow MNCs’ trajectories and fully grasp the challenges and opportunities MNCs face in different places at different points in time, the course will reach across disciplinary boundaries and build on foundations of international economics, international political economy and social network analysis. In other words, the course is consciously interdisciplinary in its design. Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions and contribute, when appropriate, individual expertise from previous coursework, training and work experience, including key concepts and perspectives from other disciplines, and knowledge of industries or countries with which they are familiar.

This course is mainly targeted to help students understand the strategic issues and tradeoffs in a multinational context and assess the strategic performance of MNCs.  Consequently, this course is not only pertinent for students who intend to pursue careers in industries with an extensive geographic scope, but also to those interested in management consulting, investment banking, venture capital, and other careers in the global context where accurate and concise strategic assessments are crucial.


Course Pre-Requisites

Course prerequisites.This full semester elective is designed for advanced undergraduate students in the Stern School with an interest in understanding global strategic management and the interaction between multinational corporations and socio-political actors. Students are expected to have completed required coursework in Management & Organizations, the Economics of Global Business, and International Studies Program. Students who have not completed these courses should talk to the professor in the first week of class.


Course Outline

Course Outline: Topics

(1)          January 29                  Introduction to International Business Management

(2)         January 31                   Multinationals in a Flat, Flattening or Spiky World


(3)         February 5                 Introductory Case: Power Trip or Power Play


Part 1 - The Global Economy and The Rise of Multinationals

(4)         February 7                 International Trade and Trade Barriers


(5)         February 12                Why Invest Abroad? (1): Geographic Diversification and Growth

(6)         February 14                Why Invest Abroad? (2): Lowering Costs


(7)         February 19                Why Invest Abroad? (3): Industry Consolidation & Competitive


(8)         February 21                Emerging Market Multinationals


Part 2 - Host-Country Environment, Entry Decisions & First Impressions

(9)         February 26               Location, Location, Location

(10)      February  28               Timing of Entry


(11)       March 5                       Mode of Entry: Strategy in the Russian Oil Industry

(12)      March 7                       Mode of Entry: Acquisition


(13)      March 12                     Stakeholder Engagement & First Impressions

(14)      March 14                     Stakeholder Engagement & First Impressions, Continued


March 18 – 24              Spring Break


Part 3 - Global Strategy: Managing the Multinational

(15)      March 26                     Adaptation: Adjusting to Differences

(16)      March 28                     Aggregation: Overcoming Differences


(17)      April 2                         Arbitrage: Exploiting Differences


Part 4 - Corporate Diplomacy: Global Strategy Beyond the Value Chain

(18)      April 4                         Corruption & The Power of Informal Ties


(19)      April 9                         Corporate Governance & Shareholder Activism

(20)     April 11                         Corporate Social Responsibility & NGO Activism


(21)      April 16                                    Sustainability (1)

(22)     April 18                                    Sustainability (2): External Speaker


Team Presentations

(23)     April 23                        Team Presentations

(24)     April 25                        Team Presentations


(25)     April 30                        No Class


Part 5 – Special Topics: National Champions & State-Owned Multinationals


(26)     May 2                            National Champions


(27)     May 7                            State-Owned Multinationals

(28)     May 9                            Course Wrap-Up


Required Course Materials

Course materials. The course will rely extensively on readings compiled in the course pack or posted on Blackboard. Students who want to refresh their memory on subjects covered in previous coursework (e.g. the logic of international trade, global monetary system, etc.) or go into more depth on specific topics covered in this course (e.g., global human resource management) are encouraged to also purchase the textbook “International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace, 8th Edition” by Charles Hill and published by McGraw-Hill Irwin.


Assessment Components

Course evaluation. Regular attendance is required. Students who fail to attend the class regularly will not receive course credit. Assessment for regularly attending students will be based on individual preparation of:

(1) Overall class participation including submission of three sentence case reaction posts: 20%

(2) Individual case write-up assignments: 30% 

(3) Team paper outline: 5%

(4) In-class team presentation of your team paper draft: 10%

(5) Team paper: 30%. (Teams will have 3 or 4 students.)

(6) Peer review of another team’s presentation: 5%

Note that there is no midterm or final exam.


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 will be evaluated on all of 6 components described above.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


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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