overview of the company’s structure (i.e. franchised or not) and mode of entry for any existing international expansions.


Global Environment of Business

BUS 200

Group Project:

Group Paper (125 points)

Group Presentation (60 points)

Individual Reflection (25 points)

Project Overview

The objective of the assignment is for students to work collaboratively to assess the two international markets for business expansion potential. The primary framework for the comparison will be the factors of PESTLE analysis. Organizing final reports around selected components of each PESTLE factor, students will provide data and analysis of each market to support a comparative study of the two markets. An assigned company will be used by each group to provide focus for the comparison. Students will then pick two markets for potential expansion. Each group will then recommend which of the two markets has the greater potential for the company to enter. Students may conclude that neither market is appropriate for expansion.

In a final individual reflection, students will consider what necessary changes might be needed for a US company to expand into the selected new market.

Project Set-up

· Student groups are assigned a company by the instructor.

· Student groups will select two countries for market expansion.

· Project check points and assessment components should consist of the following:

a. An outline demonstrating project understanding and a rationale for country selections (due Friday March 30th)

b. A 15-20 minute group presentation (60 points) (due week of April 9th)

c. A final group paper (125 points) (due April 20th)

d. A short individual reflection (25 points) (due April 20th)

Project Execution

Phase 1 – Company overview and development of evaluation criteria:

Students will develop an understanding of their selected company including but not limited to the following:

· A brief explanation of the company’s business model and identification of core competencies/competitive advantage

· A brief overview of the company’s industry

· A brief overview of the company’s current locations and expansion plans

· A brief overview of the company’s structure (i.e. franchised or not) and mode of entry for any existing international expansions.

Students will use their understanding of the company to evaluate the most relevant PESTLE factors and to rank them in order of importance for this company; students should explain the reasoning behind their PESTLE factor choices and rankings. Students should further identify 2-3 key focus points or components within each PESTLE category which they will emphasize in their analysis.

The company summary and evaluation criteria will be 300-500 words.

Phase 2 – PESTLE analysis of each country:

Students will conduct a PESTLE analysis of each country emphasizing PESTLE factors and categories as identified above. A sample PESTLE instruction to students may include the following:

· Political – students should provide a brief overview of the political climate in their assigned countries. They should then focus on the 2-3 “most important” subtopics identified above. Examples include:

a. A global corruption index

b. A human rights index

· Economic – students should provide an overview of the economic climate in their assigned countries focusing on the 2-3 “most important” indicators as previously identified. Examples include:

a. GNI per capita (as a proxy for income)

b. GDP ranking (as a proxy for market size)

c. GDP growth rate and direction

· Socio-cultural – students should provide an overview of the socio-cultural climate in their assigned countries. A recommended structure for this section would be to divide the category into two subcategories – demographics and cultural components. Examples include:

a. Population size

b. Significant demographic trends (aging, migration, urbanization)

c. Cultural evaluation based on Hofstede, Trompenaars, or other

d. Language and communication styles (Hall’s high/low context)

e. Religion and potential influences

f. Shopping behavior and lifestyle

· Technology – students should provide an overview of any technology and infrastructure issues in the countries based on their previously established criteria including but not limited to – availability of technology needed for the company, IP protection (may be covered in legal or political sections), availability of skilled employees (if needed), University or other educational support, infrastructure issues (roads, airports, transportation, electricity, broadband, etc.)

· Legal – students should examine any legal issues in the country including but not limited to:

a. Taxation

b. Regulations

c. IP protection

d. Workplace safety

e. Worker benefits and protections

· Environmental – students should examine any environmental issues including regulations, availability of necessary resources, public and government “attitude” toward environmental issues (i.e. green or not).

Country Market Summary:

Based on the evaluation criteria determined in Phase 1, students should briefly summarize the attractiveness of each market for the proposed expansion. The total PESTLE analyses and summary should be 1000-1500 words.

Phase 3 – Comparative summary and recommendation

Students will prepare a grid to compare and contrast the two countries based on the PESTLE components. Students will then provide a brief discussion summarizing their findings and recommending an expansion strategy.

The grid comparison, weighting, and recommendation should be about 250 words.

Phase 4 – Personal Reflection

On an individual basis, students will write a 300-400 word personal reflection. The focus of the reflection will be from a US corporate perspective. Students should address the following (at a minimum):

a. What aspects of business practice that are common in the US may have to change to be successful in a foreign market? Students should identify at least three ways that a US company expanding into a market they have recommended would benefit from making changes to the way the company currently does business.

b. Which of these might be most difficult to change? Why? How could changing be beneficial even given the challenges of doing so?

c. If you were a company employee or manager, what’s one personal/professional value that would help or guide you in supporting this expansion? What’s one personal/professional value, assumption, or practice that you might need to adapt in order to support this expansion? If you were in charge of leading this expansion effort by this company, what are some things you could do to ensure success?

Each group will present their findings in a paper and in an in-class presentation. Details on the paper and presentation are below:

Group Project Paper

· The final paper will be around six single-spaced pages (approximately 3000 words), using headings, subheadings, and bullet points. Headings should be aligned with the phases as described above. All students must contribute to the writing of the paper and must identify the section(s) for which they were primarily responsible.

· All sources should be cited using APA format including in-text citations and references.

In-class Presentation

· Each group will also make a 15-20 minute oral presentation to the class. All students must participate in the presentation.

· The slides (e.g. PowerPoint, Prezi, or other format) used in the presentation will be submitted to the instructor via Blackboard on the day of the group’s presentation.

· No more than 10 slides should be included. Slides should have as few words as possible.

· Personal reflections should not be included in the presentation and will be posted separately on Blackboard.



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