International and Global Ente

OPENING CASE: Managing Foreign Exchange Exposure at 3M

QUESTION 1: Why is it so important for managers to understand how the foreign exchange market works? How does 3M protect itself from adverse exchange rate movements?

QUESTION 2: Why is 3M so vulnerable to fluctuations in exchange rates? What long term strategies could 3M pursue to minimize its exchange rate exposure?

QUESTION 3: How does a strong U.S. dollar affect 3M’s earnings? What are the implications of a declining U.S. dollar?   

CLOSING CASE: The Fluctuating Value of the Yuan Gives Chinese Businesses a Lesson in Foreign Exchange Risk

QUESTION 1: Why did the Chinese yuan depreciate against the dollar between August 2015 and December 2016? What were the benefits of the depreciation for China? What were the costs?

QUESTION 2: Why do you think the Chinese Government tried to limit the depreciation by using dollars to buy yuan? Why did it not stop the fall in the yuan?

QUESTION 3: Why did conditions reverse in 2017, with the yuan appreciating against the dollar? What does this tell you about how the foreign exchange market works?

OPENING CASE: International Strategy in the Sharing Economy

QUESTION 1: How are companies in the sharing economy like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb changing the traditional norms of both business and products? Are there lessons that more traditional companies can learn from those in the sharing economy?
QUESTION 2: Many companies in the sharing economy have successfully taken their business to foreign markets as well. What challenges do you see for these companies as they expand into foreign markets?
QUESTION 3: Discuss the notion of the sharing industry. Why did it start? Does it fill a need that previously went unfilled? Do you see opportunities for new companies?   

CLOSING CASE: Red Bull: A Leader in International Strategy  

QUESTION 1: As an Austrian–Thai company, Red Bull has done a remarkable job of positioning itself internationally by coming across as a local company in every country where Red Bull is sold. Would you be more or less likely to buy Red Bull knowing the brand is Austrian but with a strong Thai influence? Does it generally matter to consumers where a product originates from?

QUESTION 2: Worldwide, Red Bull has the highest market share of all energy drinks, with more than 6 billion cans sold annually (that’s almost one can for every person worldwide). So, either you drink Red Bull or your friend does! Does the sheer number of Red Bull cans sold—basically its popularity—make you more or less interested in supporting the product with your purchase? 

QUESTION 3: Red Bull mass markets its products in a unique way. To support the company’s international business strategy, Red Bull hosts a number of extreme sporting events. Personally, how reachable are you as a customer via these extreme sporting events, or does it even matter? Some marketers believe that just knowing the “brand myth” and Red Bull “legend” is enough to make people buy the product. Do you agree or no, and why?

OPENING CASE: Volkswagen, Toyota, and GM in China

QUESTION 1: China required Toyota, Volkswagen, and GM to form joint ventures with state-owned companies in order to do business in China. Do you see any drawbacks for the auto companies to this entry strategy? Did the automakers benefit from the joint ventures?

QUESTION 2: Reflect on GM’s position as an American auto company with more sales in China than in the United States. What does this tell you about the future of the global auto industry?

QUESTION 3: Discuss the future of the global auto industry. How is the growing awareness of global warming shaping the future of automobiles?  

CLOSING CASE: IKEA Entering India, Finally!

QUESTION 1: Did IKEA enter India too late in its evolution? The company started in 1943 and was already in 50 countries. Should operations in India have started sooner? If you could decide for them, what other country markets would you have IKEA enter, and why?

QUESTION 2: To prepare Indian customers’ mindsets before IKEA opened its first store in 2018, the company unwrapped its first experiential center IKEA Hej (Hello) Home close to the IT hub of Hyderabad as a way to ingratiate Hyderabad customers into the IKEA model. How can this experiential model be used in other countries?

QUESTION 3: Entry into India has been a fascinating journey for IKEA, and a deviation from its normal Swedish-aligned business practices. Should IKEA become less Swedish when entering new international markets, as they did in India, or should IKEA stay Swedish as much as possible?

OPENING CASE: Blockchain Technology and Global Supply Chains

QUESTION 1: Why is blockchain technology being viewed as a potential gamechanger for global supply chains? How does the transparency associated with blockchains change the nature of global supply chains? 

QUESTION 2: How could the traceability feature of blockchain technology improve the safety of the global food supply? Why is this especially beneficial in an era of globalization?

QUESTION 3: How can blockchain technology be a gamechanger in manufacturing? How can companies use the technology to optimize manufacturing?

CLOSING CASE: Proctor & Gamble Remakes Its Global Supply Chains

QUESTION 1: P&G is the world’s leading manufacturer of consumer products, but most customers do not really know the P&G brand. Does that matter, or should P&G brand more of their products under the P&G brand (instead of Bounty, Crest, Tide, and so on)?

QUESTION 2: Considering P&G’s massive product portfolio and the company’s enormous size, what global supply chain efficiencies do you think P&G has that other companies cannot match given the size and scope of P&G?

QUESTION 3: Given P&G’s focus on synergy and supplier partnerships, how many of P&G’s suppliers do you think should be labeled strategic, and how many should be considered just transactional relationships, and why?

OPENING CASE: Evolution of the Kraft Heinz Company

QUESTION 1: Kraft Heinz’s management team is dominated with people from 3G Capital rather than individuals from the food and beverage industry. Can they properly manage one of the biggest food and beverage companies in the world? 

QUESTION 2: Kraft Heinz has grown through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Can a company that merges with another large company successfully merge corporate cultures? Discuss.

QUESTION 3: Kraft Heinz currently sells its products in 200 countries and territories. Discuss the human resources challenges this wide reach presents. How can Kraft Heinz develop managers to lead the company across its many brands and markets?   

CLOSING CASE: Global Mobility at Shell

QUESTION 1: Royal Dutch Shell is one of the largest companies in the world and has been for years. With sales approaching $400 billion and 82,000 employees worldwide, including some 7,000 employees on expatriate assignments, the company is large, complex, and powerful. Compared with retail or consumer companies, Shell is much more narrowly focused and much more technical in orientation. How do you think this narrower focus and technical orientation affects global human resource management at Shell?

QUESTION 2: Shell’s long-term goal is to develop local talent wherever possible, thereby leveraging local employees’ networks, market knowledge, and language skills, while also minimizing costs. Moving Shell employees from other countries to work with partners and transfer expertise is often a key part of the company’s strategy. Can this be done effectively in all world regions (e.g., Middle East and North Africa), where potential local employees do not have the educational background in many cases? How would you solve the education, skill, and knowledge gaps if you were a Shell C-suite leader?

QUESTION 3: Spending significant time (e.g., three years) on an expatriate assignment has significant family and professional implications, as can be seen in the Shell survey that was mentioned in the case. How would you feel if you were given an expatriate assignment today? How would you feel about it if you were 25 years old? 35? 50?

Unless otherwise indicated, the homework assignments include answering the opening and closing case questions from the textbook. The essay format is not required. No further research is needed. 

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