INB 5A2 SS21 Final assessmentAs per the instructions already provided, students to choose TWO TOPICSand write two 1,000 word (+/- 10%, excluding references) essaysanswering the questions associated with each.For each essay, start by reading the linked article and then build upon theinformation contained therein by mobilising any and all elements drawnfrom the entire yearly module curriculum (in addition to any other relevantconcepts derived from further reading). Note that in every case, studentswill have cause to refer to both macro-, country-level issues raised duringthe first semester as well as micro-, company-level issues raised during thesecond semester. Having said that, the questions intentionally place greateremphasis on the latter, with students being asked to reflect on the differentways that international business practitioners might address the challengesthey face.Lastly, note that all these articles are drawn from the Financial Times. It isstudents’ responsibility to ensure that they have access to them, at the veryleast via the Regents University Library service1. Milne, R. (10 March 2021). “Troubles abroad continue to hauntNordic companies”https://www.ft.com/content/7b6b7031-8c23-4578-863e-d6c75f933655Scandinavia always scores highly on the Transparency InternationalCorruption Index scores yet as the article indicates, MNEs from the regionare repeatedly getting embroiled in ethically dubious internationaldealings. Analyse this anomaly by imagining for one or several of thecompanies mentioned in the article – and/or with reference to anotherreputedly ethical MNE involved in dubious activities –what thesequestionable actions say about how decisions are made.More specifically, who is it within the MNE who made decisions of thisnature? Where within the MNE (i.e. in which departments?; atheadquarters or in the national subsidiaries?) was s/he working? Whatorganisational and other more subjective factors influenced the decisions?How might the MNE reorganise its lines of command to preventmisconduct from recurring? What are the strengths and weaknesses of thesuggestions you make?GUIDE: This question may require discussion of how hard it can be todecide what constitutes ethical behaviour in foreign cultures – but themain question here is how decisions are made in MNEs, focusing on theglobal/local, push/pull and/or ethnocentric vs. polycentric determinants ofdecision-making with particular reference to MNE organisationcurriculum.2. Fleming, S. and Khan, M. (24 September 2020). “Brussels ready toclamp down on sweetheart corporate deals”https://www.ft.com/content/7c156756-57a1-4554-af78-d795a41d13f9?emailId=5f6c716151bc8a0004da6f6b&segmentId=13b7e341-ed02-2b53-e8c0-d9cb59be8b3bAfter reading the article, research one or two large MNEs that have beencriticised in recent years how little tax they pay within the EuropeanUnion, and analyse the different transfer price or other mechanisms thatthey use to declare profits in low tax jurisdictions and losses in high taxjurisdictions. What are the arguments for and against this kind ofbehaviour? What steps can different governments take to affect this kind ofbehaviour, and how successful are the authorities likely to be?In addition and in line with our vision of a MNE’s different unitstransacting with one another up and down its internal value chain as if theyhad a market-based relationship, analyse how moving profits and lossesback and forth within a MNE affect the way colleagues interact with oneanother. Also consider – for a downstream unit paying an upstream unit toohigh a price for the items it sells – the arguments for and against thatdownstream team outsourcing its supply needs to outside parties.GUIDE: This question requires some discussion of the difficulties thatnational governments face in policing mobile MNEs as well as the issue ofwhat responsibilities companies have to their shareholders vs. theirstakeholders. But the even bigger question here is how MNEs’ differentunits relate to one another, i.e. to what extent they have shared but alsoconflicting interests. This will include some reflection on the boundaries ofthe firm, vertical integration and the advantages of insourcing vs.outsourcing.3. Bushey, C. and Parkin, B. (14 March 2021). “Ford is latest globalcarmaker to struggle in India”https://www.ft.com/content/807f6db6-d483-4e00-b02c-c4aef2b9d1a0?emailId=604f4acdff2ef20004d217d3&segmentId=13b7e341-ed02-2b53-e8c0-d9cb59be8b3bAfter reading the article, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Ford’smove into India, including the extent to which it has standardised oradapted its product offer; the decision to associate with a partner in thecountry; and the choice of trying to sell into India instead of using thecountry as a production platform for re-exporting its cars elsewhere.Include a brief discussion in your answer on the foreign exchangeimplications of these different decisions.Give thought as well to the more subjective sides of Ford’s market entrydecision, specifically whether its actions embody ideas contained withinUppsala Theory; Network Theory; or a combination of the two. What doyour conclusions tell us about the usefulness of these theories ininternational business studies?GUIDE: This question calls for discussion of the different levels within themarket entry decision-making ladder, supplemented with a briefconsideration of currency factors. Potentially, it can also be accompaniedby a longer analysis of the Global South’s future role in internationalbusiness. On top of this, however, it is an opportunity for students to speakin depth about key IB concepts like psychic distance and commitment tointernationalisation.4. Lewis, L. et al (23 February 2021). “Mitsubishi Motors set to reversemove to withdraw from Europe”https://www.ft.com/content/007292a2-1c65-418c-8ca4-12456714168c?emailId=603638fef2e1aa0004584561&segmentId=13b7e341-ed02-2b53-e8c0-d9cb59be8b3bAfter reading the article, analyse the waves of consolidations that havecharacterised the global automotive industry in recent years – whether inrelation to Mitsubishi/Renault/Nissan or to other multinational groups – byreflecting on the advantages/disadvantages of greenfield vs. brownfieldFDI; of international joint ventures; and of international partnerships ingeneral.In addition, consider the arguments for and against Global Northautomotive groups moving into Global South markets from a commercialand operational perspective. There may be an opportunity to include inyour analysis certain subjective considerations embodied in UppsalaTheory and Network Theory; and relating to MNEs’ relationships withhost country governments.GUIDE: This question calls for in-depth discussion of different types ofFDI (including horizontal vs. vertical) as well as reflections on GlobalSouth’s future role in international business and the subjective nature ofdecision-making (managerial mimetism). It may be also be valuable, inlight of the sector in question, to speak to the growing importance ofenvironmentalism in international business (with emphasis on how thismight vary in different countries worldwide).5. Sevastopulo, D. and Williams, A. (24 February 2021). “Joe Bidenorders review of critical foreign supply chains”https://www.ft.com/content/83388b13-c562-492b-9e0e-bb30874bb74a?emailId=603638fef2e1aa0004584561&segmentId=13b7e341-ed02-2b53-e8c0-d9cb59be8b3bAfter reading this article, choose a large MNE with extensive supplyarrangements in China and analyse its possible reaction to the kind ofreview that President Biden has commissioned, and which may bereplicated by certain European countries as well. Remember that thecompany will understand that the policies adopted by politicians canalways be reversed; and that whatever protectionist barriers a MNE facesat a given point in time may cost it less than the advantages it derives fromoutsourcing to foreign suppliers.Analyse the arguments why your chosen MNE might seek to reconfigureits operations given the political but also other pressures weighing upon itssupply chain. What are the different advantages and disadvantages that itmight realise from maintaining the status quo; from moving its supplynetworks to another country; from offshoring instead of outsourcing; and/or from re-shoring or in-sourcing its supplies? Include a brief discussion inyour answer on the foreign exchange implications of these differentdecisions.GUIDE: This question elicits discussions of the political but above all theinternational business logic of outsourcing and how that might be expectedto evolve in the future. The full range of configuration options should beexplored, with special focus on the advantages and disadvantages of each.
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