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 Global Markets, National Politics and the Competit  posted by  duggu   on 11/28/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Locke, Richard, 15.224 Global Markets, National Politics and the Competitive Advantage of Firms, Spring 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 10 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Two flags waving outside an office building.

Flags of the European Union and Spain wave outside an office building. (Image courtesy of Alberto Villén,

Course Highlights

Both study questions and a list of cases used in the course are available.  In addition, a "Note on Analyzing Business Environments" guides students as they evaluate businesses around the globe.

Course Description

This course examines the opportunities and risks firms face in today's global world. The course provides conceptual tools for analyzing how governments and a variety of social and economic institutions influence competition among firms embedded in different national settings. Public policies and institutions that shape competitive outcomes are examined through cases and analytic readings on different companies and industries operating in both developed and emerging markets.  In addition to traditional case/class discussions, this course will include some presentations by various guest speakers. The hope is that greater exposure to/interaction with these real-world practitioners will "bring to life" some of the issues discussed in the readings/cases. Whenever possible, informal dinners and/or coffees will be organized for small groups of students interested in meeting with our guest speakers.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.



Readings include a combination of analytic articles and company case studies drawn from a variety of different industries (manufacturing and services) in Europe, Latin America and Asia.


The requirements for the course and the contribution of each towards the final grade are as follows:

  1. 3 Case Write-ups (10% x 3)     30%
  2. In Class Final Exam                   30%
  3. Class Participation                    40%

These requirements are described in detail below:

1.  Case Write-ups

The case write-ups should be brief, no more than 3 double-spaced pages.  You may choose any 3 cases to analyze. Cases include both the traditional HBS cases and company/industry cases discussed in some of the readings.  Write-ups are due on the day the case is to be discussed in class.  They are intended to be analytic discussions of some issue central to the case.  Please do not write a précis of the case or repeat case facts except to bolster your argument.  Based on the information provided in the case materials, please be analytically judgmental and evaluative.  You should propose alternate managerial views and action plans whenever appropriate and discuss the relevance and applicability of the frameworks proposed in the readings and lectures.  In short, you should write what you think of the situation in the case and not merely what the author of the case says.

2.  Final Exam

A final exam will be given in class. The exam will be an essay exam based on questions discussed in class. Details will be explained in class.

3.  Class Participation

Your active participation in the discussion in class is integral to the design of this course. Prior preparation of the cases and assigned readings are essential as this background is presumed in the lectures and case discussions. Those of you whose native language is not English and/or may have difficulty speaking up in class are encouraged to meet with me to discuss how your participation in class can be ensured. Weekly discussion sections will be organized so that we can clarify/elaborate on any points raised in class. These discussion sections are optional, intended only for those of you who find these extra sessions helpful.



Part I - Introduction

  LEC #       TOPICS       KEY DATES
  1       Why Bother Studying National Economies in An Era of Globalization?

Lardner, James. "Annals of Business, The Sweater Trade 1 & 2". The New Yorker. (January 1989).
  2       Alternative Approaches to Analyzing National Economies

Porter, Michael. "Determinants of National Competitive Advantage." In The Competitive Advantage of Nations. NY: The Free Press, 1990, 69-130.

Baron, David P. "Integrated Strategy: Market and Non-market Components." In California Management Review Vol. 37, No. 2 (Winter 1995): 47-65.

Gerber Products Company: Investing in the New Poland (HBS Case # 9-793-069-July 18, 1994). Update will be handed out in class.

Part II - Different Types of Market Economies

  LEC #       TOPICS      


  3       Liberal Market Economies: The United States

Porter, Michael E. "Capital Choices: Changing The Way America Invests in Industry." In Executive Summary. Council on Competitiveness. 3-19.

Sterman, John D., Nelson P. Repenning, and Fred Kofman. "Unanticipated Side Effects of Successful Quality Programs: Exploring a Paradox of Organizational Improvement." In Management Science Vol. 43, No. 4 (April 1997): 503-521.
  4       State-Driven Development: Korea

"Super Model: Asia's Financial Foibles Make American Way Look Like a Winner." In Wall Street Journal. (December 8, 1997).

Korean Development and Western Economics (HBS case # 9-797-008. Rev December 18, 1996).

Daewoo and the Korean Chaebol (HBS Product # HKU143. August 15, 2001).

Contracting Under Uncertainty

White Nights and Polar Lights: Investing in the Russian Oil Industry (HBS Case # 9-795-022).

  6       Development and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets I: India

Biocon (to be distributed in class)
      Conference call with Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon.

Development and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets II: The Case of Endeavor

To be distributed in class.

      Guest Speaker: Linda Rottemberg, CEO of the Endeavor Initiative.

Part III - Beyond the Nation State? Who is Making the New Rules?

  LEC #       TOPICS       KEY DATES

The Politics of Trade: Protectionisms, Sanctions, etc.

To be distributed in class.

Layton Canada (HBS 9-796-108).


Intellectual Property Protection

To be distributed in class.


International Standards and Responsibility

Locke, Richard. "Note on Corporate Citizenship in a Global Economy."

Locke, Richard. "The Promise and Perils of Globalization: The
Case of Nike, Inc."

      Conference call with Hannah Jones, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Nike

Putting the Pieces Together? 

Fukuyama, Francis. "Social Capital and the Global Economy." In Foreign Affairs Vol. 74, No. 5 (September/October 1995): 89-103.

Huntington, Samuel P. "The West Unique, Not Universal." In Foreign Affairs Vol. 75, No. 6 (November/December 1996): 28-46.

Locke, Richard. "Building Trust".

Black, J. Stewart., and Hal. B. Gregerson. "Serving Two Masters: Managing the Dual Allegiance of Expatriate Employees." In Sloan Management Review, 33-4 (Summer 1992): 61-71.

  12       In Class Final Exam        
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