SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY
JOHN F. WELCH COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
MGT278 – PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
COUNTRY SNAPSHOT PROJECT
Spring 2015 – Prof. R.S. Dhingra
Teams: Most business activities involve team effort. Thus, learning how to work effectively in teams is a critical part of your
business education. Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the team workload. At the conclusion of the team project,
you will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each member of the group. If there is a
consensus that a team member did not contribute a fair share of the project, I will consider this feedback in my grading.
The Team Project: You are a member of a team that has been tasked with performing a detailed Country Analysis and Market Entry
strategy for expanding international business to one of the following countries: China, India, Philippines, Japan, Brazil, Mexico,
Argentina, Germany, France, and Italy.
In brief, your team will analyze the political, economic, legal and cultural environment of the country; outline the challenges
and opportunities of conducting business in that country and provide relevant guidelines and recommendations for entering the
You will be examining the country from every possible perspective. Areas you will consider include: Economic and business
environment, political environment, cultural analysis, market opportunity, and market entry strategy recommendations.
The team projects will be submitted in 2 parts. Each team will prepare 2 written reports and make 1 final presentation in class
(about 20 slides), on the key learnings for that country:
Part A: Sections 1 to 5 – due on March 23 (report only)
Part B: Sections 6 to 10 – due on April 20 (report and class presentations)
Part A report should be at least a 10-‐page report. 12 pt Times Roman, 1.5 line spacing. It should follow the format and sequence
outlined on the page 3.
Part B report should be about 15 pages. 12 pt Times Roman, 1.5 line spacing. It should follow the format and sequence outlined on
the next page.
Class presentation for Part B should be about 20-‐30 minutes (16-‐20 slides). It is not necessary to present every detail that
is in the paper. Focus on the most relevant and interesting points from each section. Creativity is encouraged in all
presentations. The report and presentation must be “professional” as if you are presenting to senior management, not as a casual
essay or submission.
The report and presentation should be more than just a collection of key facts and figures; it should offer valuable management
and cultural insights about that country. For example, “in Japan – the distribution system is very complex with many levels and
built on long-‐standing personal relationships. One “takeaway” for a foreign company entering Japan is that there must be
sufficient margins and incentive programs to motivate the many layers of channel members. Also, a joint venture with a local
partner may be necessary to gain access to the complex distribution.”
Use charts and graphs wherever possible, but explain them. Think creatively to make your presentation fun, lively and interesting.
Show appropriate video clips to support, or produce your own video clips to enhance your presentation.
All your sources of information must be clearly referenced. The assignments must be based on research, using online and global
databases from the Ryan-‐Mantura library and demonstrate your understanding of the readings and class discussions. Your
bibliography must include at least 8 published/referenced sources.
Your project grade will be divided between 90% for content (critical analysis, quality and variety of research) and 10% for
organization and presentation style. Organization refers to readability, flow, logic, professional organization and writing
mechanics of the report. It should be clear, concise, with a logical flow of thoughts and ideas. It is important to use theory and
concepts from your readings and class discussions to frame the information you present. No late presentations will be accepted.
All papers should be in Microsoft Word and should be correctly formatted – use headings, paragraphs, bullets. 12 pt Times with 1.5
line spacing. 1-‐1/4-‐inch margins left and right, 1-‐inch margins top and bottom.
This is a business presentation; be sure to use headings and subheads as outlined. Your submission must follow the outline and
sequence on the next 2 pages.
Country Snapshot Project Outline:
PART A – 15 points: Due March 23
Executive Summary (1)
This should be a about a 2-‐page summary assessment of:
- The country’s economic political situation and risks (if any)
- The country’s current economic situation, opportunities, challenges and risks
- Whether the country represents a good opportunity for your products. And, do you recommend entering or not entering that market?
1) Political environment analysis: (3)
a) Political system and structure
b) Stability of government
c) Future political risks, if any
d) Bribery and corruption risk/index
2) Economic and business environment analysis: (3)
a) Demographics: Population, growth rate, distribution of population (age groups), rural vs. urban, cities vs. villages
b) Per capita income levels, wealth distribution
c) Major exports and trading partners
d) Business environment: Government attitude to foreign investment and trends, ease of doing business, trade regulations
e) Inflation levels, currency exchange rate; risks of devaluation versus the dollar
f) Education and literacy levels, availability of skilled labor, labor costs
g) Membership in regional economic and trading blocks
h) Legal system: Protection of intellectual property rights, enforcement of contracts
3) Market Opportunity Analysis: (5) For your product
Summary assessment: Identify a new product opportunity (not retail, service or infrastructure) that your team believes will
succeed in that country and recommends for market entry. (You cannot pick an existing brand). Why does the country represent a
good market opportunity for your product? Rationale.
a) Market prospects
b) Current product usage habits
c) Competitive products on the market in that country
d) Retail distribution channels
e) Major advertising media used in the country
f) Total size of the market and market potential for your product
g) Target market and demographics for your product
4) Bibliography/References: (1.5)
This section will be a listing of all your research – your sources of information for the project. This must include at least 10
diverse sources, including relevant research using some of the business newspapers, magazines, and online databases from the
5) Organization and Mechanics: (1.5)
Paper should be well-‐organized, clear and easy to read, laid out effectively, using headings, sub-‐heads and bullets. Paper
should be well coordinated among team members.
PART B – 20 points: Due April 30
6) Cultural dimensions of doing business in the country: (12)
Cultural insights summary: This should be about a 1 to 2-‐page summary assessment of key guidelines for success when doing
business in that country - how some of the cultural habits and differences are likely to impact doing business and the marketing
and distribution of your product in that country, as well as marketing challenges.
a) Major religions, ethnic makeup and languages
b) Major sports, recreation
c) Major differences in beliefs, values, customs and behaviors, role of family
d) Unique business customs, etiquette and practices one should be aware of when doing business in that country (time and decision-‐making, meetings, negotiations, business relationships, dress code, status, gift-‐giving, etc.)
e) Unique aspects of written, oral and non-‐verbal communications
f) Describe the country’s culture using Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions (Power distance - hierarchy, Individualism/collectivism, Masculine/feminine, Uncertainty avoidance, Time)
7) Market Entry mode: (1.5)
a) Suggest the most suitable market entry mode, e.g. exporting, licensing, franchising, joint venture, wholly-‐owned subsidiary, etc. Explain rationale.
b) Provide at least 2 recent examples/case studies of market entry strategies of other multinationals in that country that have
succeeded or failed.
8) Summary: (1)
a) Most interesting or fun facts about the country
b) Key challenges, risks, threats of doing business in the country
9) Bibliography/References: (2)
This section will be a listing of all your research – your sources of information for the project. This must include at least 10
diverse sources, including relevant research using some of the business newspapers, magazines, and online databases from the Ryan-‐Mantura Library.
10) Organization and Mechanics of paper: (1.5)
Paper should be well-‐organized, clear and easy to read, laid out effectively, using headings, sub-‐heads and bullets. Paper should be well coordinated among team members. Points deducted for grammatical and spelling errors.
11) In-‐class Presentation: (2.0)
Presentation should be professional, well coordinated among team members and demonstrate creativity. Should focus on key insights and assessments and not a duplication of every detail in the report. Should be about 16-‐20 slides. 20 to 30-‐minute class presentation. Additional details for content to be included in presentations will be provided in class.
Research Project Resources:
You will find various tools and resources in the Ryan-‐Mantura library of tremendous help in your projects. The library has a number of databases with a wealth of company, industry, and financial data; you can find them at http://library.sacredheart.edu/databases-‐subject*. Scroll down to “Business” and you will find links to all of the databases
mentioned below. (I have only hyperlinked some of the databases for which I know the links are stable. All current business database links can found on the website at http://library.sacredheart.edu/databases-‐subject.**)
You will also find additional resources related to your specific class project on your course’s online research guide, or LibGuide:http://libguides.sacredheart.edu/BU278
Many of the journals identified below as ‘Business Magazines’ are searchable in the databases, Business Source Premier or ABI/Inform Complete; those might give you more of a “one stop” way of finding articles about your companies. Both of these
databases are also highlighted on the “Finding Articles About Your Company” tab on the LibGuide.
Passport GMID, by Euromonitor International, is a global market information database and analysis tool containing data and reports
across all industries, countries and consumers. Note that you can only access this database while on campus. Passport requires your SHU ID and password.
Company websites: Very often you can download a company’s annual reports from its web site, and many companies also keep lists of
press releases and articles that have been written about them on the web site.
Annual reports on a Form 10-‐K often provide an organization chart. These are available in some databases, including Mergent Online. Search for your company by name or ticker symbol, then click on the “Reports” tab. If you cannot find a recent 10K here
(Mergent usually only displays filings from the last 90 days), check the SEC’s website and search for your company’s filings at
Fortune, BusinessWeek, and Forbes have many articles on companies featured in most cases. These publications can all be found in
Business Source Premier. See the “Finding Specific Business Magazines or Journals” tab in your course’s LibGuide for steps on how
to find business journals or magazines in selected databases.
You can access industry reports in Mergent Online and Business Insights: Essentials, and you can find industry financial & market reports in BizMiner as well.
Business Publications and Websites:
(a) Bloomberg Business Week - Full text accessible in Business Source Premier
(b) Bureau Economic Analysis - www.bea.gov
(c) Conference Board Review - www.tcbreview.com
(d) Fast Company - Full text accessible in Business Source Premier or ABI/Inform Complete
(e) Forbes - full text accessible in Business Source Premier
(f) Fortune - full text accessible in Business Source Premier
(g) Inc. - full text accessible in Business Insights: Essentials
(h) Sales & Marketing - www.salesandmarketing.com
(i) Wall Street Journal - full text accessible in ABI/Inform Complete
(j) Organization chart wiki - http://www.cogmap.com/
(k) A useful site for information on organization culture - http://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm
(l) Company analysis - http://www.glassdoor.com/index.htm
(m) Business culture guides - http://www.executiveplanet.com/index.php?title=Main_Page
(n) Business etiquette - http://www.international-‐business-‐center.com
(o) Cultural insights - http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-‐profiles.html
(p) GlobalEdge - http://globaledge.msu.edu
*SHU network ID/password will be required if accessing these links from off campus
**Please contact the Business & Web Experience Librarian at SHU, with any questions
about library resources or for help with your research.
Your projects will be evaluated based on the timely completion and quality of the following components:
Quality of the report as measured by:
• Quality of the Executive Summary (informative, summarizes key points);
• Accuracy and thoroughness of the company analysis;
• Economic feasibility and originality of the international business proposal;
• Quality of the market opportunity analysis, including the feasibility of the success criteria;
• Accuracy and thoroughness of the market analysis;
• Feasibility of the suggested market entry mode and staffing policies;
• Feasibility of the marketing strategy;
• Quality of the arguments in support of the recommendations provided in the report (clarify, thoughtfulness, strength of the arguments – essentially how well you explain your decisions);
• Proper use of relevant, reliable and legitimate external sources and references;
• Clarity of presentation, formatting quality, readability, visual appeal, grammar;
• Absence of plagiarism – TurnItIn automatically checks all reports for plagiarism and highlights sections of the report that have been copied from other sources without proper referencing.
Business students looking for academic paper topics have a great variety of subjects to choose from. International business research paper topics give students an opportunity to write on the impact of cheap overseas labor on import prices, the effect of subsidies and tariffs on trading, etc. The capitalism concepts, for example, allow students to write about the implementation of Reaganomics in the 1980s.
Choosing International Business Research Paper Topics
If you are assigned to write a research paper your primary task is choosing international business research paper topics. You should consider the following things:
- Even if your professor offers a topic, try to choose the one that interests you.
- Ensure the topic of your international business research paper isn’t too narrow or too general. You’ll find a lot of materials if you are looking for information on broad topics, and not enough facts in the second case.
- Once having chosen a subject, look through the library catalog and Internet databases for good ideas.
- Look for the articles with headings “How to Find Research Paper Topics”, “100 Ideas for Research Paper,” etc.
- Look up current events and news on international business sites.
- Look through several reference books (handbooks, encyclopedias, reports, dictionaries) when choosing international business research paper topics. They will provide you with necessary background information and general topic overview.
International Business Research Paper Topics: Planning Research
After choosing international business research paper topics, make sure you plan and conduct your research properly:
- Determine the sources and materials within the particular time frame and other limitations.
- Pay special attention to the supervisor’s assistance and a working bibliography.
- Start data collecting at once after choosing a particular topic.
- Ensure the quality of your resources.
- Check the age of the source – it is extremely important when you are going to write a research paper on a relevant international business topic.
International Business Research Paper Topics Ideas
Here are some examples of good research paper topics on international business:
- Give examples of the most successful startups for the last five years. Analyze what the most important factor was that has led them to success.
- How has Apple’s strategy changed since Steve Job’s death?
- What were the most effective advertising campaigns in 2016?
- The quantity of strikes in Britain has dramatically reduced in 2015. What are the reasons for this decrease?
- China has advanced much further in mobile technologies than the US. What are the factors that influence the development of the mobile industry in China?
- The British government has rejected the deal on a nuclear power station. Predict the economic consequences of this decision.
- How do you explain the new tendency of large American companies to change the suburbs of a city?
- The soap company Savon de Marseille insists that the government should give them the label of originality because cheap Chinese and Turkish knockoffs try to force them out from the market. What should the government do in this case?
- According to the prediction of the clothing retailer Next, the demand for cloth will be poor for the rest of the year. How can you explain this?
- What kind of business can you operate completely from home and gain high income?
- The US government urges wars in Africa with the aim to distribute guns. Prove or disapprove this opinion.
- What would be the consequences for the poor if all the countries live only on the products that they manufacture?
- What are the most popular mistakes of many startups that lead to their failure?
- If artificial intelligence is invented now, how much time would people need to provide all employees with jobs?
- Which big international companies are likely to go bankrupt if they fail to change their strategy as soon as possible?
- Is it reasonable to hire an experienced manager that will develop a startup? Or, should the creator promote the business personally?
- There’s a tendency in logo design to change the shape of the design to flat. Who started doing this first and why?
- The economic impact of immigration in the United States in the last five years: how do immigrants affect the US economy in general?
- Make a list of five types of small businesses that will definitely bring a return.
- Do you think that all big companies should be present in social media?
- Terrorism influences the economics of a country in general. Does it affect private business in particular?
- How do governments profit from war? What kinds of companies grow in the conditions of constant war?
- Give examples of companies that have failed on the international market but succeed on the national market. Why have they failed?
- How does a government stabilize currency during a crisis?
- What ways do you know to predict US recessions? Which of them is the most effective in your opinion?
- Try to explain why the prices on houses have increased after Brexit.
- How does the foreign exchange market work?
- What other languages besides English could be international languages for business?
- How does Brexit influence the economics of the EU?
- What types of companies should be obliged to make payments on health care budgets?
Here you can find other outstanding research paper topics within different areas of studies.
International Business Research Paper Topics Help
Business research papers are usually assigned to college and university students. This type of paper is a part of a student’s semester work and influences the final marks. From the very beginning of the semester supervisors put an emphasis on the importance of writing really well-thought out research papers.
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