IB 340 - Business Strategies in Latin America

In order to be able to do business effectively either with or in Latin America, international managers must understand the key factors, both uncontrollable and controllable, internal and external, that will affect their firm’s performance. This course will address the challenge of doing business in different cultures, as well as the impact of history and geography, on the various functions of a firm, including marketing, finance and accounting, operations and human resources. It also examines the challenges in trying to implement sustainable practices and how to deal with differing concepts of ethics and the issue of corruption. Students will learn international business analysis tools, including models and frameworks to help them diagnose organizational issues and make recommendations to improve or sustain performance. The objective of the course is to equip students with real-world skills that can be applied in an organizational setting, and to provide them with an appreciation for the complexity of doing business abroad, but specifically in Latin America. On a more general level, the course aims to improve students’ critical thinking skills and ability to tackle tough organizational problems in a variety of settings.

The course uses:

  • Relevant case studies of firms that have attempted, both successfully and unsuccessfully, to sell products and services south of the US border.
  • Current articles from local periodicals to be discussed on a daily basis to motivate class participation. The selected articles illustrate the different concepts and tactics studied during the course and provide interesting and practical examples of foreign firms assessing and implementing business actions in the region. Moreover, several readings and class discussions will examine particular strategic issues facing US firms in the region in order to leverage students’ study abroad experience in Buenos Aires.
  • Lectures and exercises that provide students with important frameworks and analytical tools
  • Video clips that illustrate key concepts and issues as viewed from the “inside” in real organizations.
  • Course-related trip to the offices of a local affiliate of a major international company in order to provide students with first-hand insight into strategic decision-making in the host country.
  • Guest lecturers, including expatriate business executives, to discuss first-hand experiences doing business in the region.

Course Information

Discipline(s):

International Business

Term(s) Offered:

Fall
Spring

Credits:

3

Language of instruction:

English

Contact Hours:

45

Prerequisites:

None. However, some background in economics, international relations and/or business is desirable.

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