International Business

ISA Seville Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Business

  • Host University

    ISA Seville Study Center

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    USF Course Code: GEB 4935

    Prerequisite: open to all language levels; taught in English.

    Course Objective: There is no longer any such thing as a purely national economy. The rest of the world is just too big to ignore, either as a market or as a competitor. The global economy is becoming ever more closely integrated - a process usually referred to as globalization. Cross-border trade and investment have continued to increase through the 1990s. Yet, differences in economic, political and socio-cultural environments around the world challenge managers with opportunities and risks. As new communication technologies and global migration are bringing diverse people closer together, debates about cultural identity and differences are becoming more prominent than ever. To help students understand the intricacy of the global economy, learning objectives of this course are: (1) to understand the current important trade and investment trends (2) to develop the ability to comprehend international economic and financial issues (3) to understand the role of cultural differences that affect international businesses (4) to learn how the foreign exchange market works and to understand the role of the global monetary system (5) to examine MNCs' strategies and behaviors to enhance competitiveness in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, and human resource management.

    This course is designed to combine lectures with in-class group exercises and case discussion. Students will learn how to react to situations that multinational firms face in their international operations. On occasion, videos will be used to augment the lecture and stimulate class discussion.

    The means to attain these objectives include a thorough study of class notes, case analysis, and in-class small group discussions. The textbook will be used as a guideline. Reading assignments will be given everyday. DO NOT attempt to pass quizzes and examinations by just reading the textbook. Material for quizzes and examinations will be from lectures, cases, and group discussions.

    II. Learning outcomes:
    - Trace current developments in the global economy
    - Understand the role of the global monetary system
    - Understand the current important trade and investment trends
    - Develop the ability to comprehend international economic and financial issues
    - Critically analyze the implications of cultural differences for international business
    - Learn how the foreign exchange market works
    - Identify the role of political, economic, social, and cultural variables in international business
    - Analyze international business from a non-ethnocentric perspective
    - Examine MNCs' strategies and behaviors to enhance competitiveness in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, and human resource management. 
    - Examine the role of global manager

    III. Course content (order of content may be modified):

    Unit 1: Introduction to international business
    - Key concepts of international business
    - The four risks of internationalization
    - International business participants
    - Reasons for going international

    Unit 2: The cultural environments of international business
    - Understanding the role of culture
    - Communication across culture
    - Cross cultural negotiation and decision making

    Unit 3: Ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility in international business
    - The foundation of ethical behaviour
    - The cultural foundations of ethical behaviour
    - Ethical dilemmas
    - Ethics and sustainability
    - Implications for business

    Unit 4: Political, legal systems in national environments
    - The nature of country risk
    - Classifiying political risk
    - Classes and charactheristics of political risks
    - Proactive political risk management

    Unit 5: Governments intervention in international business vs the WTO
    - The WTO and world trade
    - Economic rationale for governemnt intervention
    - Instruments of government trade control
    - Tariffs barriers
    - Non tariffs barriers
    - How firms can respond to government intervention
    - Global and regional intervention

    Unit 6: Strategies for international business
    - Michael Porter´s five forces model
    - Configuration and coordination of the value chain
    - Approaches to value creation
    - Logistics
    - SWOT analysis

    Unit 7: Global strategies
    - International strategy
    - Multidomestic strategy
    - Transnational strategies

    Unit 8: Basic types and theoretical explanations of international operation modes
    - Export modes
    - Contractual modes
    - Investment equity: FDI

    Unit 9: Buying outsourcing and offshoring
    - Internationalisation vs externalization
    - Advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing
    - New forms of value chain architecture by outsourcing
    - Offshoring

    Unit 10: International human resources management
    - Selection and repatriation
    - Training and development
    - Labour relations

    Bibliography: Along with selections from primary texts, students will be provided selections from other sources including:
    1. Ball, Donald. International Business. The Challenge of Global Competition. Pearson Education. 9th Edition, 2003.
    2. Phatak, Arvind. International Dimensions of Management. South-Western College Publishing. 4th Edition, 1995.

    Grading System:

    Midterm Examination 25%
    Final Examination 25%
    Homework 5%
    Quizzes 15%
    Presentation (and paper*) 15%
    Attendance & Participation 15%

    Note: All assignments, quizzes, and examinations will be announced in class

    Class presentations: PRESENTATION: Following the International Business Plan handout given in class, students (Groups of 2) will have to pick any country in the world (Except the US) and they will have to introduce a product and/or service in it. After doing so they will have to present this project in class for about 30 minutes.

    Attendance Policy: Attendance is obligatory. Only four hours of unexcused absence from class will be permitted. Medical absences are excused with the prompt receipt of proper documentation. It is expected that students arrive to class on time and that they return promptly to class after any given class break. Tardiness is figured into the absence policy.

    Class Protocol: Students are required to be involved in class activities. They are expected to show their preparation by participating in discussions, by asking relevant questions, being critical and analytical with the contents presented in class as well as by sharing their ideas and opinions. In class the student is required to maintain a polite demeanor always and under every circumstance. Students are asked not to eat in class and to put their cell phones on silence. With the exception being for class presentations, laptops are not to be used in class.

    IMPORTANT: This is a tentative schedule. The instructor has the right to make any modifications at his wish

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


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