Globalization presents unique opportunities and challenges for business growth and development. Whether a firm seeks new markets for its products, new suppliers in its production process, or simply high-yield investment vehicles, managers need to think in an increasingly global manner in making strategic decisions. But many of the most attractive opportunities internationally -- high-growth markets and/or low-cost production opportunities -- present special non-market risks and challenges.

Indeed, beyond traditional factors such as cost and market size, the ability to achieve competitive advantage through globalization is increasingly determined by the firm's ability to assess non-market factors such as the stability of political regimes, the impact of corruption, the deviations in corporate governance and ownership structure, and the risks posed by weak legal systems that limit the enforceability of contracts.

This course provides the tools and frameworks to incorporate non-market factors into international business strategy. With a strong emphasis on issues germane to emerging markets, the course provides a broad survey of major issues that managers are likely to face in international business. Our goal in this course is not to become experts about any one particular country or region; rather, we seek broad principles that can be applied across many countries, markets, and firms. The course will explicitly integrate cases with insights from the latest economics and political science research to provide the international business manager with a sophisticated and strategic perspective on globalization. We will consider many strategic solutions to specific problems posed by weak and/or uncertain institutional systems, where the "rules of the game" may be vague, opaque, or under constant threat of change.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Leverage primary and secondary data to analyze strategic environments
  • Solve business problems through strategic navigation of non-market environments
  • Apply the various methodological frameworks necessary to create, build, and maintain completive advantages and limit expropriation risks in foreign environments
  • Debate and articulate on current non-market topics