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Assignment One (individual assignment)
Assignment One requires you to submit an individual 1,500-word report. It consists 70% of the module mark. The report appendices must not exceed 15 pages.
Imagine that you are employed by a leading multinational company and that you have been charged with the task of producing a report for your CEO to aid in the formulation of a country assessment and market entry strategy for the company. The company need not be a real company. Given the requirement to relate your report to the background of the company and its strategic objectives (see section on company background below), it will normally be easier to use a fictitious company rather than try to find a real company that fits in with the background conditions.
The assignment will require knowledge of all the module materials up to and including Unit 8.
For guidance on successfully completing assignments see the ‘Assessment’ section of the International Business in Emerging Economies Blackboard site and the Effective Learning Service (www.bradford.ac.uk/management/els).
Assignment aim
Overall, the purpose of the assignment is for you to demonstrate your practical understanding of the topics covered in the module as well as to develop your skills in preparing reports. You are advised to read the notes carefully and follow the guidelines provided. Failure to comply with the guidelines may lead to a reduction in grades.
Assignment task
Background to the company
? The company is a Western European or North American multinational firm that is considering entry to an emerging economy (see list of countries below).
? The company is working in either the manufacturing or services sectors.
Introduction to the Module
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? The company wants to enter the emerging economy to achieve either (a) a market-seeking objective or (b) a efficiency-seeking objective. It is important that you choose ONE of these objectives for your fictitious company.
? You must also select the industry in which the firm is operating and examine industry-specific factors when you analyse the industry potential in the emerging economy for your company to achieve its selected strategic objective.
Report contents
The assignment should not be more than 1,500 words and the report appendices must not exceed 15 pages. It should be written in report form and be word-processed (including all tables). It must follow standard academic writing conventions in terms of referencing. The report should include the analysis and recommendations related to:
a. advice on which emerging economy to be selected
b. advice on the industry potential in the selected emerging economy
c. advice on the best market entry mode for the company to utilise.
The advice given should be based on your learning as well as international business literature and country and industry specific data applied within the context of the background information previously provided. Detailed data (statistics, and material that defines or explains the meanings of terms used in the report, etc.) used to support your advice should be put in appendices. These appendices will not count towards the 1,500 word limit. However, appendices cannot be used to overcome the word limit by including material that should be in the body of the report.
Elements to be included in the report
Advice on the emerging economy selected (country assessment)
Your report should provide advice on which emerging economy to be selected for entry by the fictitious multinational enterprise. The choice of countries could be any one of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and any one of the new frontier economies (Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey).
You should also keep in mind the strategic objective (either market-seeking or efficiency-seeking) that the multinational enterprise is hoping to
Study Book: International Business in Emerging Economies
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achieve, and the industry in which the multinational enterprise is operating in when selecting your country.
You need to conduct a country assessment of the selected emerging economy by (a) identifying opportunities in the country that would enable the multinational enterprise to achieve its strategic objective and (b) identifying the risks in the country that may influence the future sustainability of the new venture. Ideally, such opportunities and risks should be examined in relation to the political, legal, socio-cultural and economic environment of the selected emerging economy.
Advice on the industry potential
Once you have provided a broad country assessment (as noted above), you then need to assess the potential for the selected industry within the selected emerging economy by analysing the institutional influences on the industry, examining potential growth opportunities in the industry, and evaluating key corporate social responsibility (ethical) issues within the industry.
Your analysis of the industry potential should be driven by the selected strategic objective (i.e. either market-seeking or efficiency-seeking).
Advice on market entry
The report should provide advice on the best mode of entry your company should utilise to enter the selected emerging economy. Your proposed market entry strategy should consist of (a) advice on entry mode choice and (b) advice on negotiation and relationship building to facilitate market entry. The advice which you provide here should enable the multinational enterprise to achieve the pre-selected strategic objective (i.e. either market-seeking or efficiency-seeking) effectively.
General issues
Overall the advice provided in the report should be based on the latest country and industry specific data, as well as international business literature, obtained from academic journal articles, specifically those relating to the latest research on emerging economies.
Do not forget the strategic objective of the multinational enterprise as it should guide the subsequent advice provided throughout the report.
The report should be referenced and contain a reference list. There should not be a bibliography. See the next pages for advice about how to reference when using only a reference list.
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In the next sections you will find some specific guidelines and notes, which should assist in the report writing process. Additional support can be sought from your module tutor via email.
Writing the report
The following notes give you guidance on writing a management report.
The report should contain:
? a short executive summary of no more than 100 words that highlights what the report is about and the main issues that are raised (these 100 words in the executive summary are not counted towards the 1500 word limit)
? a table of contents
? an introduction that outlines the background to the report
? sections that provide advice relating to the issues that you were asked to consider – these sections should include international business literature as well as country and industry specific data to support the arguments that are made
? a conclusion section that summarises the main arguments and recommendations
? a reference list
? any appendices that you have used (these appendices should not exceed 15 pages).
Background research
Library and internet sources should provide the only foundation for material for the project. Engaging in the weekly discussion forums and the research and reflect activities set out in each unit will also help you to find the necessary data to write your assignment.
Remember this is not an information gathering exercise. Relevant sources of information are important to shape arguments and give a clear justification for selecting the specific emerging economy and market entry strategy, but unless clear interconnections are made across the different sections your report will merely be a collection of data. In order to avoid this, it is important that you read international business literature, especially the latest research undertaken by scholars within emerging economies.
There are information sources including various websites indicated in each unit that would also enable you to find the relevant country and industry specific data.
Study Book: International Business in Emerging Economies
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Referencing and appendices
You are asked to prepare a list of references for the report. There is often confusion between references and bibliographies and uncertainty over what should and what should not appear in an appendix. Note: there should be no bibliography in the report.
It is useful to observe the following guidelines when making decisions about what goes in the appendices or the body of the report:
1. The report appendices must not exceed 15 pages.
2. In relation to other material, use material which is not central to the overriding argument, or which does not directly relate to a particular argument being incorporated in the body of the text. As such, if the material adds to knowledge and understanding, but is not critical to its development, then the material can be included in the appendix.
Note: material included in appendices will not count towards the word limit for the assignment.
Report marking
While the research process is critical in gathering information and establishing material on which arguments may be based this is not an information-gathering exercise. The interpretation of information and the shaping of arguments are critical. This means that you need to ‘get behind’ the information and develop your own views and opinions.
The standard school of management marketing criteria will be used to assess your work. However, you may wish to also consider the following aspects before you submit your report:
1. Research and preparation – you need to use relevant literature and show you have put it to good use by referencing it usefully within the text. References must be appropriate for the topics covered, and used efficiently, as part of a good preparation.
2. Analysis and argument are major requirements in your report. Identifying the information is not sufficient, you also need to show what it means for your company. You must provide the reasons and arguments given to support the advice given in the report, show your creativity in approaching topics, and prove you clearly understand what is at stake and how key issues relate to each other, why, and what implications this may have. Your research and analysis needs to be industry-relevant, not general!
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3. Finally, make sure the report style is correct. The format and the language must be carefully checked. Use clear division into sections, page numbering, orderly layout and readable English with correct spelling. Try to organise the information to maintain a logical flow in your writing, from sentence to sentence, from paragraph to paragraph, and from section to section.
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