International Business and Marketing in Central Europe

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Course Information
International Business
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 
  • Interest in business developments
  • Trend observation: eg. economic change, CE development.
  • Some introductory courses on business will be helpful



The course will evaluate the situation in CE after the change of the economic system to market economy. It will focus on global business trends, as they affect the development of the former Eastern European countries; the role of Marketing in the transition period and the actual developments. Cases will show the effects of marketing parameters in the development of the newly organised region. The present economic crisis will be observed and evaluated. The effect on consumers, business and communication networks will be discussed. Actual sources of magazines, newspapers, internet will be used by the participants to encourage deeper understanding.


Attendance policy: 

See IES Abroad Vienna Handbook

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Have a general understanding of Austrian, European and Central European business affairs
  • Discuss global business trends
  • Differentiate between the US and European economic system
  • Recognize major international business organizations and their tasks
  • Analyze major differences in European markets
  • Understand general principles of strategic marketing in Europe and Central Europe
Method of presentation: 
  • Lectures with discussions
  • Guest lectures on current issues, e.g. economic crisis, dangers on world economy, capital market, lobbying
  • Power Point presentations provided as guidelines
  • Students presentations
  • Summary and reflection of prior lesson
  • Excursions – walking tours “International Businesses and Brands in Vienna”


Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Active class participation- 10%
  • Group presentation on reading assignment - 20%
  • Mid-Term Exam - 20%
  • Term paper (7-10 PowerPoint pages on evaluation one market in CE for one selected industry (eg. Tourism, Food, Cosmetics, Capital markets) - 20%
  • Final exam based on lectures and complementary reading - 30%


Session Topics
  • Introduction to course and topics
  • General Information on economic structure in Austria, Europe
  • Legal systems
  • Difference o fEuropean 25 to Russia´s planned economy
  • Introduction to Global marketing
  • Development of product cycles, export, international marketing to global marketing
  • Examples of global brands
  • Part 1. Book session: handing out of reading assignments in two categories: a) international business trends, b) global marketing
  • Part 2. International business organizations: WTO, GATT, G7 etc.
  • Introduction to marketing
  • part one: Theories of Philip Kotler,
  • part two: Non-Profit marketing
  • part three: global marketing
  • Case study “Cirque du Soleil” Part 1: the Product
  • Case study continued: Part 2 Developing a Marketing Plan
  • The European edge – Analyzing Media in Europe
  • The European Enlargement Project Guest Lecture by Dr. Josef Oswald, Chief Analyst, Bank Austria- UniCredit Bank
  • Book Reviews – Student Presentations
  • Understanding the Economic Crisis and its effects on Central Europe: Panel Discussion with Dr. Wolfgang Mölzer, Dr. Josef Oswald
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Principles of comparative advantages and competitive advantage
  • Analysis of industries by segment
  • Selection of topics for term paper
  • Lobbying in Europe
  • The development of product know-how and public relations on the national and multi-national level
  • Excursion to Management Club
  • How to start your own business in Europe: legal differences USA, EU, CE
  • Chances guidelines of how to avoid threats
  • The European Job Markets
  • Careers in Europe CV- Seminar
  • Adapting the American Resume to the European format
  • Excursion 1-2 International and global brands in Vienna (Western Union Bank, Sotheby´s and Dorotheum, Swarovsky Crystal World, Cartier,  Prada, MontBlanc, Meinl am Graben…)
  • Excursion 3 International Chamber of Commerce (WTO in Austria), Fulbright Commission
  • Final Exam




Required readings: 
  • Hand Outs by the lecturer: eg.: Broshures of Int. Chamber of Commerce, WTO, Austrian Business Agency, etc.
  • Gillespie, Jeannet, Hennessey Global Marketing, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston-New York 2004
  • Mead, Richard International Management – Cross Cultural Dimensions Blackwell Business, Cambridge Mass., 2005 (3rd edition)
  • Friedman, Lawrence and Furey, Timothy The Channel Advantage, Elsevier, Oxford 2005
  • Pine, Gilmore The Experience Economy, Harvard Business Press, 1999
  • Authenticity, Harvard Business Press, 2005
  • Hill, Sam 60 Trends in 60 Minutes, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, New Jersey 2002
  • Roberts, Kevin, Lovemarks, Saatchi & Saatchi, Power House Books, New York, 2004
  • Analysis of Business magazines (Economist etc.) on Central European Development, Internet