Week One: The Nature of International Business

Unit objective for this lesson:

Comprehend why international business differs from domestic business

Appreciate the dramatic internationalization of markets

Understand the five kinds of drivers, all based on change that are leading international firms to the globalization of their operations

Identify the direction of trade, or who trades with whom

Understand the reasons for entering foreign markets

Understand the theories that attempt to explain why certain goods are traded internationally

Comprehend and explain the arguments for imposing trade restrictions

Conduct in-depth business research on the Internet

Analyze international business problems. Critique them; synthesize solutions. Present these solutions in clear, correct, persuasive, written English.

This lesson has a lot of ground to cover, but it is the basis of much that will follow.

Instructions for completing assignments, due dates, estimates of the time required to complete each assignment, and relative points are described below. Unless otherwise noted, all course materials will be located in
Course Materials > Assignments > Week 1.

Print out the Agenda for each week-it will make it easier to check off the assignments as the week progresses.


Week One Total Points-140
Week One Time on Task Estimate-6 hours

Assignments (see below for details)

Assignments                        Due date        Estimated time on task                Points

I Internet research                  Day Two                1 hour                                                        40

II Activation Question 1        Day Four               2 hours                                                     40

III Activation Question 2      Day Six                   2 hours                                                     40

IV Quiz, Ch. 1, 2, 3                     Day Seven            .5 hour                                                    20

Remember, the Time on Task to complete this week's lesson is an estimate and may vary among learners, depending on their level of experience with computers, the performance of the technology available, and the learner's business background and experience. The estimate is provided to help you gauge and manage your time in this course. It does not include the time needed for reading.


Read the following chapters, preferably before you start your other assignments:

Chapter 1, "The Rapid Change of International Business," pp. 4-29

Chapter 2, "International Trade and Foreign Direct Investment;" pp. 30-61

Chapter 3, "Theories of International Trade and Investment," pp. 62-101

Total pages to be read: 97

Assignment I: Internet Research

Students can access Internet resources needed to solve problems at www.globaledge.msu.edu <http://www.globaledge.msu.edu>. If other specific sites are needed, they will be noted in the problem. You are also welcome to use other sites if you wish. Be sure to cite any sources you use, including the Global Edge site.

Your company is considering opening a new factory in Latin America, and management is in the process of evaluating the specific country locations for this direct investment. The pool of candidate countries has been narrowed down to Argentina, Mexico and Brazil. Prepare a short report (200-400 words) comparing the foreign direct investment environment and regulations of these three countries. Based on your research, select one of the countries.

Answer the questions on your word processor. When you have finished, save your document with the name "Internet research Week 1." Then upload your response to me in your Student File. You will find your file in
Course Materials > Student Files.

Assignment II: Activation Question 1.1

The developing world is often overlooked in business courses as well as the impact trade policies in developed countries have on these nations. Research farm subsidies in the United States, Europe and Australia and their impact on farmers in the developing world, primarily Africa. Write a short paper (100-400 words) on the ethics on farm subsidies, and on the global movement to reduce these trade-distorting subsidies. Be sure to cite your sources.

Copy and paste your answers to
Discussion Board and respond to the thread Activation Question 1.1.

Please comment on the contributions of two other students. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Are there additional factors that should be considered in the answer? Can you support or refute another student's position with your own examples/reasoning? etc.

Assignment III: Activation Question 1.2

Sugar is a major employer in Michigan and in several other Midwestern states. According to Table 3.1, page 103 of your textbook, each job saved in the sugar industry costs American consumers $826,104. Should the American consumer be expected to pay such a high price to protect the sugar industry? Should the government place a limit on how many dollars per job consumers must pay in order to save a certain industry? If so, what should that limit be? If not, why not? Should certain industries be protected, regardless of the cost? Why or why not? Be sure to cite your sources.

Answer the above questions in a short (100-400 word) paper. Copy your document, report to
Discussion Board and respond to the thread Activation Question 2.1. Paste your response into the text box of your Reply.

Please comment on the contributions of two other students.

Assignment IV: Quiz

The quiz will be posted along with each week's lesson by 8 PM on the evening before Day One. You will have until midnight Day Seven to complete it. The quiz will contain 20 true/false and multiple-choice questions. The quiz is worth 20 points. You should prepare for it as though it were closed book.

You will find the quiz in Course Assessments.
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