International Business: A Latin American Perspective

Universidad EAFIT

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Business: A Latin American Perspective

  • Host University

    Universidad EAFIT

  • Location

    Medellín, Colombia

  • Area of Study

    Business Administration, Latin American Studies, Management, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

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

    1. Course description:

    This particular summer course, designed by the International Business Department, will grant participants vital knowledge about the Latin American context for international business, as well as cultural insights into the region through classes and strategic visits in keeping with the academic resources of the department and international and regional business trends. The course will be instructed by several experts in the field.

    2.1 Module 1: Business Context in Latin America


    The evolution of International Business in Latin America is strongly influenced by political and socio-economic patterns of global and regional dimension. As such, this course aims to:

    •    Introduce students to the most salient dynamics and challenges within Latin America and their impact on International Business.
    •    To synthesize perspectives about the region from diverse educational models in order to improve students’ understanding of different regional and national realities.
    •    To identify the influence of regional dynamics in the “in-practice” context of select countries for International Business, and to learn to navigate them by identifying opportunities and means of effective business transactions and stakeholders’ engagement.
    •    To evaluate different approaches to risk assessment of regional dynamics in the context of international business activities in Latin America.

    Key content: 13 hours



    Initial concepts

    • Latin American regional overview: geography, politics, and International Business
    • Historical perspectives
    • Traditional models about the region

    Key dynamics

    • Political, economic and social trends
    • Impact on international business
    • Business etiquette and corporate governance
    • Case studies from select countries
    • Influence of global trends – (guest speaker)

    Risk assessment

    • Identification of key risks at the national level
    • Global risk perceptions for the region
    • Impact on the doing-business evaluation and process
    • Case studies from select countries / companies – (Graffitour)

    2.2 Module 2: Business Opportunities in Latin American Emerging Markets

    •    To understand the reasons why Latin American countries have awakened international investor interests.
    •    To identify potential and opportunities in the most important emerging markets in Latin America.
    •    To identify multinational companies in such emerging markets, their internationalization processes and particular ways to do business.

    Key content: 10 hours



    Emerging markets

    • Conceptualization of the “emerging market” concept
    • Historical perspectives on emerging markets
    • Key elements determining emerging market growth


    • Factors of attractiveness in Latin American emerging markets: Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Chile
    • Consumer characteristics in emerging markets and their potential for businesses
    • Multilatinas –Latin Globals -(Company visit)

    2.3 Module 3: International Management: Focus on Latin America


    • To develop skills to analyze the main national and international environmental factors affecting international business within the Latin American market, with the aim of developing strategies to enhance international business performance from the managerial perspective.
    • To understand the role of the national (political, legal, socio-economic) and international environment in international business and their importance in strategy development.
    • To analyze the importance of recognizing cultural diversity and its impact in the operations and decision-making process of international businesses in Latin America.
    • To comprehend the basic organizational structures, international strategy and entry modes used in international businesses and the relationship between them
    • To develop internationalization strategies for diverse types of organizations

    Key content: 11 hours



    Initial concepts

    • Globalization, national and international business environment, and international management

    Cultural impact in IM

    • Diversity in America Latina, and its impact in international management

    International business structure and strategy

    • International business structure
    • International business strategy
    • Entry modes
    • Decision making and structure and strategy – (company visit)

    2.4 Module 4: Intercultural Communication and Cultural Industries – Context and Opportunities


    •    To understand how cultural contexts influence business practices and business opportunities.
    •    To study the main concepts and theories relating to intercultural communication.
    •    To provide students with contextual, historical, formal and conceptual arguments to interpret cultures and their implications in the business environment.
    •    To study business opportunities that materialize through the creative economy.

    Key content: 14 hours



    Initial concepts

    • Concept of culture, communication, intercultural communication, cultural identity, impact of globalization in cultural identity

    Models for understanding cultural differences

    • Quantitative models
    • Qualitative models

    Implications of Cultural Differences

    • Latin countries and cases – (Downtown walking tour)

    Context and opportunities

    • The Creative Economy: Cultural and Creative Industries

    2.5 Module 5: International Entrepreneurship: Focus on Latin America
    •    To develop a critical understanding of the antecedents, processes, and outcomes of entrepreneurial internationalization in the context of Latin America.
    •    To familiarize students with the ecosystem for international entrepreneurship in Medellin (e.g., accelerators, incubators, venture capital funds, co-working spaces).

    Key content: 15 hours



    Initial concepts and entrepreneur’s characteristics

    • The key drivers and factors influencing international entrepreneurship
    • The traits and abilities of an international entrepreneur in Latin America
    • The role of networking for entrepreneurial internationalization in Latin America –(Company visit)

    Institutions and Ecosystem

    • The peculiarities of starting and running an international new venture from Latin America
    • The role of institutions and ecosystems for international entrepreneurship in Latin America – (Panel)

    3.Methodology and assessment

    Professors will use diverse methodologies according to the modules proposed (workshops, reading reports, case studies, class discussions and presentations). The course will be fully taught in English; however, cultural activities, panel sessions and company visits could be in Spanish. Students will be given material related to the program’s content prior to the beginning of the sessions, a quiz will be given to validate that the students reviewed the material. At the end of the course they will present an evaluation that has the intention to follow up on the different activities and will measure the students understanding of concepts. The students must present a project proposal the final day of the course, the final project is meant to be received two weeks after.
    These evaluations are divided according to the following percentages of the overall course grade:
    Previous material quiz: 5%
    Evaluation + follow up activities: 55%
    Project proposal: 10%
    Final project: 30%


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