30576 - INSTITUTIONS AND GLOBAL STRATEGY
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Multinational enterprises (MNEs) competing in global markets face unique strategic challenges. The business environment investors, business leaders, and employees often find in their host countries can differ sharply from the familiar home country environment. Different political systems, legal regulations as well as informal institutions such as cultural norms oftentimes render standard solutions applied in home markets ineffective and call for strategic responses adjusted to the host country context. There are no easy solutions: MNEs can try to mimic domestic companies adapted to local business environments. MNEs can also try to influence and shape the local environment. Identifying productive strategies is crucial to successful competition and growth in global markets. This course highlights strategies for adapting to local culture and the specific challenges that emerge for international players in diverse environments. The course begins with a review of relevant institutional theories and how institutions influence organizational behavior, strategies and markets. We then explore a variety of institutional strategies—successful as well as unsuccessful—across a broad range of regions and countries.
The course takes an institutions-based approach, which interprets MNE strategy in the global arena as informed by the institutional environment and local culture of the home and host environment. The focus is on adjustment and implementation processes necessary to respond successfully to different host environments. The course consists of three modules:
- Background and theoretical concepts
- Strategic adaptation, innovation and implementation
- Managing external relations
- Explain how macro-institutions influence global strategy.
- Understand the role and impact of institutions-based strategy.
- Recognize the specific institutional risks associated with different business environments.
- Elaborate on a variety of strategies that business leaders can apply to confront institutional challenges in host-country environments.
- Measure the institutional gap between home and host country environments;
- Identify the need for strategic adjustments, when investing in institutionally distinct host environments;
- Assess the relative costs and benefits associated with different strategic responses;
- Develop a toolkit of organizational strategies to respond to institutional challenges associated with diverse business environments.
- Organize complex teamwork tasks.
- Communicate theoretical and practical challenges of MNEs investing.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
- Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
- The learning experience combines three elements: face-to-face lectures, case discussion of a variety of real company strategies, and classroom debate helping students to explore different perspectives when assessing a variety of MNE strategies. The focus is on real-world response strategies of MNEs in a diverse set of management applications triggered by institutional differences between the home and host country environment. The emphasis on cases and small incidents helps to build a bridge between theoretical concepts and practicalities of business management.
- During the course, students submit five brief individual reflection papers (out of a choice of 10). These written statements prepare students for active class participation and controversial debates. These assignments also provide
- students with an opportunity to improve their writing and communication skills and support a continuous learning experience. The assignments are part of the overall student assessment (see next paragraph).
- A final team-project discusses a case of an actual firm entering an emerging market economy. The student cases are presented and discussed in the final class meeting. The purpose is to provide all teams with substantive and productive feedback before finalizing their written case studies. Class presentation and written cases are part of the overall student assessment (see next paragraph).
- Attendance: The course is taught in an interactive style creating an active learning environment. Class participation is therefore highly recommended.
|Continuous assessment||Partial exams||General exam|
With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes the student assessment is based on three main components.
1. Reflection papers
Five individual assignments (20% of the final grade – 4% each) designed to present the students with an opportunity to:
- Elaborate on ways how institutions—in theory and practice—influence business performance and global strategy.
- Reflect on the role and impact of institution-based strategy.
- Communicate theoretical and practical challenges of MNEs investing in variable host country environments.
- Elaborate on different response strategies that business leaders can apply to confront institutional challenges in host-country environments.
2. Team project
The team project (30% of the final grade - 10% for classroom presentation and 20% for final case) will focus on an actual firm entering an emerging market economy (teams are free to choose a specific company-country pairing) to develop a strategy describing, how the example company would need to adapt its business model to successfully enter the host environment. With this project, students demonstrate their ability to:
- Measure the institutional gap between home and host country environments.
- Identify the specific needs for strategic adjustments, when investing in an institutionally distinct host environment.
- Assess the relative costs and benefits associated with different strategic responses.
- Develop an appropriate strategic response tailored to the institutional challenges associated with the host environment.
- Organize complex teamwork tasks.
3. Written exam
The final written exam (50% of the final grade) is based on a mix of multiple-choice and open (short-answer) questions. The purpose is to verify that students master the underlying theoretical concepts and methods presented in class material. The exam will also show whether students are able to draw and communicate relevant practical inferences from what they have learned.
Not attending students replace the group project with five additional reflection papers (10 papers, 50% of total grade). It is exepected that each reflection paper is more detailed than papers submitted by participating students. The greater attention to detail aims to make up for the missing in-class experience and active classroom participation.
The final written exam (50% of the final grade) is based on a mix of multiple-choice and open (short-answer) questions. The purpose is to verify that the students master the underlying theoretical concepts and methods presented in the textbook and the additional class material. The exam will also show, whether students are able to draw and communicate relevant practical inferences from what they have learned.
Articles, book chapters and cases will be available on the e-learning platform. All material will also be listed in the detailed course schedule.