Business 3175 - Asian Business
Section JAN1 (Course Code 4312)
Department of Business Management
Winter, 2011 Brooklyn College Study Abroad Program in China
(January 1, 2012-January 25, 2012)
Introduction and overview of the business environment in the Asia-Pacific region, but with a particular focus on the country we are visiting, China. Students will learn about the origins of the emerging Chinese market economy, the distinctive characteristics of the business management in Chinese and Asian markets, the challenges of starting and managing a business in China, and of the evolving relationship between the Chinese business environment and other Asian markets. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of how they can identify and evaluate the opportunities and risks associated with Chinese and Asian markets.
(all available in print and electronic versions; print or electronic is fine, but electronic will arrive quicker and be easier to take with you)
Shenkar, O. (2006). The Chinese Century. Wharton School Publishing.
Collins, R. and Block, C. (2007). Doing Business in China For Dummies. For Dummies.
The Business Section of the "Shanghai Daily". See http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/list.asp?id=8&type=Business for the web page.
New print editions of these materials are available for $30-$40 (discounted price versus full price) at online retailers including amazon.com and bn.com. Electronic copies that can be read on an e-reader or your computer can be obtained for less than $20. I will not be asking the Brooklyn College bookstore to order copies, as very few students in this class attend Brooklyn College. You will have to order copies online or obtain them from a local bookstore. It is presumed that you will get access to Shanghai Daily from the web, but it is available in other electronic formats. I have a subscription on my Kindle.
The big advantage of using an e-reader or computer to do your reading for for this class is small size, light weight, and the device's ability to hold many books. The books for this course would take up more space and weigh more than a computer and e-reader would, and you'll probably want to bring a computer along in any case. A few years ago I could describe all of the possibilities associated with e-readers in a few paragraphs. Today there are many options, so I'll describe them in general terms and leave you to make your own decisions. Today's primary e-reader platforms come from Amazon, Apple, Sony, Barnes and Noble, and Google (there are others). All have associated bookstores that you may be able to buy and download the texts for this course from (prices will vary). All have associated e-reader tablets (the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Sony e-reader, B&N Nook, and Android Tablets) that are easy to read with and offer long battery life. Most (perhaps all) offer downloadable e-reader applications that that can be used on some combination of Windows PC's, Apple Macs, the iPhone, the IPod Touch, Android Phones, among others. The downloads are free. The devices range in price from $79 to $999. What you do is up to you. I will be using Amazon's Kindle e-reader (currently the most widely used platform), but only because it did everything I wanted to do a year ago. I have both texts on my Kindle, but I also have them on my iPad, iPod Touch, and Windows Netbook. I will read the Shanghai Daily on my Kindle because it is convenient to do so, but it is, in some ways, easier to read from the web. I'll probably do most of my book reading on the iPad.
Online Materials and Submissions
We will use an online class discussion/learning space called a "Moodle" to manage the class schedule and submit most or all assignments. Instructions for accessing the Moodle can be found below. Pointers to this syllabus (http://davis.foulger.net/brooklyn/winter2012/asianbusiness/index.htm) and the course discussion Notes (http://evolutionarymedia.com/student.htm?AsianBusinessWinter2012) can be found there. This will be taught as a hybrid course, with Internet based activities mixed with class discussions. It is my usual practice to make my discussion notes directly available via the Internet during the class discussion. You can view them online later if you'd like. Any assignments that are due for a particular class should be submitted BEFORE the class discussion begins.
The aim of the course is to provide students participating in the Study Abroad in Nanjing China programs a framework for understanding of the Chinese business environment and, by extension, other Asian markets, including Japan, India, Korea, Taiwan, and the ASEAN nations. Topics include: Asian management theory and practice, identification and evaluation of risks and opportunities in Asian markets, problems faced by international firms in doing business in Asia. We will explore international business issues in light of historical, economic, technological, political, and socio-cultural environments. This is especially recommended for students following an international business track or minoring in Asian Studies.
Course Approach and Schedule
The course will be conducted in two parts. The first part will combine readings on Chinese and Asian markets with online assignments based on those readings. This portion of the course can be regarded as a structured learning experience that can (and should) be completed, as much as possible, before we leave for China. The second portion of the course will combine observation of businesses in China, talking with business people in Nanjing (and perhaps other places if you do side trips), and research and classroom discussions that evaluate the emerging business climate in China (and, more generally, Asia). Students will present the results of their work in papers and group presentations.
The course will consist of:
Pre-departure assignments, already posted on the Moodle
Several types of online assignments, including a cumulative exam.
Group observations of businesses in in Nanjing
Journal entries, posted to an online blog I will provide
Class discussions and presentations in Nanjing
A final paper reflects on your understanding of business opportunities in China and draws on your readings, observations, and research.
It is in the nature of the winter study abroad program that it will be a little hard to anticipate the schedule of the class meetings in Nanjing. We'll work those details out when we get there.
Specifically Recommended Side Trips
Students taking the Asian Business class are strongly advised to take the side trips to Hong Kong and Yangzhou. Indeed, the Yangzhou side trip should be regarded as a required assignment. Yangzhou was, until roughly 150 years ago, the business capital of China because of its strategic location at the intersection of several of China's great rivers and its early control of key commodities. Your visit there should give you a window to China's capitalist past. Hong Kong, by contrast, is broadly regarded as the economic capital of the Asia-Pacific region (and one of the leading economic centers in the world). Business practice there is a fusion of British and Chinese traditions that is clearly different than you will see in other parts of China. The Yangzhou side trip will probably be the least expensive of the side trips (the current estimate is $70. The Hong Kong side trip, which involves both air transportation and hotels in Hong Kong, will be much more expensive, but will provide a business student with a very different view of contemporary Chinese capitalism.
Learning Objectives/Expected Course Outcomes
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
Demonstrate, through written work and class discussion (some online), an understanding of key issues in the Asian business environment
Understand the effect of culture on business management and practice, the difficulties associated with overcoming the assumptions of one's native culture when operating in a different culture, and the skills that are required to overcome those assumptions and conduct business effectively in another culture.
Utilize the Web and other resources to conduct international business research. (A good, if slightly dated, guide is "Methods of Effective Internet Research" by Prof. Eric Popkoff; see http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/economics/internetresearch.htm).
Non-Brooklyn College students are required to keep a course portfolio of all work and assignment submissions for this course, to be evaluated by the appropriate office and committee for equivalent credits at the home institution. All work submitted to the Moodle will be retained there for a period of several months after the completion of the course, but it is ultimately the students responsibility to organize and safeguard their portfolio.
10% Participation in Class Discussions. I expect there will be approximately 8 class meetings/discussions during the trip. I expect you will attempt to be at all of them.
10% Submission of Questions based on the course readings. Each student should submit two questions based on each set of readings before the class at which those readings are due..
10% Submission of Think Assignments assigned over the course of the trip. Each student should respond to any think assignment provided before the class at which it is due.
10% Contents of a Journal/Blog that the student should maintain over the course of the trip.
15% Group Observation and Presentation.
25% A final paper that discusses your experiences in the context of Asian Business Requirements and Opportunities.
20% An exam.
As this course is part of the study abroad program, students are advised that their behavior during the program may affect their final grade for the course.
Instructions for Accessing the Moodle Discussion/LearningSpace
Point your web browser at http://messageecologies.com/ed
Click on "Login" at the bottom of the screen.
Press the "Create New Account" button in the right column of the login screen.
You'll be asked to fill in a series of fields that include your user ID, password, e-mail address, location, etc. Fill them in as accurately as you can. Remember your userid and password. You will need them to log in again.
When processing of this page completes you will be sent an e-mail at the address you specify. Open that e-mail and confirm your registration by pressing the confirmation link in the e-mail.
When you submit this page you will enter the Moodle environment. If you see a button marked courses, press it. You will see this course ("Asian Business Winter 2012") listed. Select the course.
You will be asked for a key. It is "b3175w12" (all lower case letters).
Attendance is required for all class discussions that you are in Nanjing for. If you are not in Nanjing for a scheduled class (due to a side trip, make sure to get notes on the class from a fellow student. You are still responsible for the work.
Complete reading assignments, questions, and think assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss readings.
Write in your own words. Reference the ideas you use to the original sources. Plagiarism and cheating will are unacceptable.
Unexcused late assignments will be penalized 1/2 of a letter grade if one period late and one full grade thereafter.1
If you have a problem in the class I encourage you to contact me as quickly as possible. Note, in particular, that I will not grant an incomplete for the course unless you talk to me about it in advance or I am aware of conditions which would make it impossible for you to do so.
A lot of this course will be based on your observations while touring China. It will be a good idea to have a notebook and pencil or voice recorder with you all the time. Your notes will be useful when you are writing your journal or responding to think assignments.
The reading and writing load for this course is shouldn't be particularly challenging. There is only one major writing assignment, but it will be set up by lots of little online writing assignments along the way. Keep up with the little assignments (readings, questions, think assignments, and journals) and you'll do fine..
Keep a copy of everything you submit, just in case the original gets lost.
Write your name on the front of any assignment you submit on paper. There shouldn't be many of those
Maintain backups of your assignments in a reliable and convenient format. USB flash drives work on just about all computers now, can be readily obtained for less than $10.00, and are much less likely to fail than diskettes. Assume the worst. Maintain two backups (e.g. two USB drives).
If at any time you find yourself confused or have questions, especially in terms of the writing assignments, please ask me (either in class or in private) for help. One person's question may help countless others during class discussions.
Please speak with me confidentially if you have a disabling that may require some accommodation in class. I'm here to help.
Plagiarism and Cheating:
I have caught a number of students attempting to pass off other people's work as their own. Such behavior is unacceptable in any classroom, and I won't accept it in mine. My usual practice will be to zero any assignment on which a student has been found to be cheating and consult with the department chair on what other actions may be appropriate. Examples of cheating include duplicate test answers (test answers should always be in your own words) and presenting someone else's words or ideas as if they were your own. There should be an indication of who the original author any time you use someone else's words or ideas). Any time you use their words directly the quote should be set apart with quotation marks or a block quote indicator. Where, in the course of writing a term paper, you present the ideas of others, you must indicate where they came from with a reference. This is true even when you have stated the ideas in your own words or if the ideas or their sources seem obvious. I encourage you to look at and cite content from a wide variety of sources, but the content of your term paper should be in your own words.