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International Business (BU 278) - Prof. Dhingra: Research Assignment

Assignment - Research 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.

Good Examples:­‐marketing-­‐

Country Snapshot Project Outline:

PART A – 15 points: Due March 23

Title Page

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

Ryan-­‐Mantura Library.

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

Title page

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‐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‐subject.**)
You will also find additional resources related to your specific class project on your course’s online research guide, or LibGuide:

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 -
(c) Conference Board Review  -
(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  -
(i) Wall Street Journal - full text accessible in ABI/Inform Complete
(j) Organization chart wiki -
(k) A useful site for information on organization culture -
(l) Company analysis -
(m) Business culture guides -
(n) Business etiquette -­‐business-­‐
(o) Cultural insights -­‐profiles.html
(p) GlobalEdge -

*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.

Subject Guide

Citing Your Sources

In academic writing, it is VERY important to properly cite your sources. This not only provides the original author with the acknowledgement deserved, but also allows your readers to verify your claims. There are a number of different styles to choose from when formatting citations, the Welch College of Business uses the APA style.  See the link below for more on how to cite your sources, or ask for a hard copy of the APA Manual at the SHU Library Reference Desk. 

APA Quick Guide             

hard copy in library: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association



EasyBib is an automatic bibliography and citation maker.  Many students are familiar with the free version of EasyBib, but you can now access the full School Edition and create your bibliographies in MLA, APA, & Chicago styles (the free edition of EasyBib only allows MLA).

For those who have already created EasyBib accounts: your account will automatically upgrade to our full school edition after you log into your EasyBib account from campus.  After doing this once, you can access your EasyBib account (full school edition) from anywhere.