Discuss the pressures for local responsiveness and global standardization faced by each firm. Which experiences the greater pull toward local responsiveness? Why?

Session Module/Topics Readings and Assignments
International Business
Implementation: Strategies
Objective 7. Determine how the choice of business models affects business Required Reading
Sullivan, J. J. (2004). Chap. 9, “Developing a strategy and preparing country analysis reports,” pp. 319-328, company strategy. Posted in eR.
success and requires adaptation in response to changes impacting on business.
Competency: Decision making, information library/research, critical thinking, team building. Michalski, E. (2015). Foreign Market Entry Strategy. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum. Oeconomia, 14(2), 107-117.
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Prasad, A. (2006). Market entry decisions. Journal of Management Research, 6(3), 137-144.
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Jakada, B. A. (2014). Building Global Strategic Alliances and Coalitions for Foreign Investment Opportunities. International Journal Of Global Business, 7(1), 77.
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Andreff, W. (2015). Outward Foreign Direct Investment from BRIC countries: Comparing strategies of Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese multinational companies. European Journal Of Comparative Economics, 12(2), 79-131.
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Holtbrügge, D., & Baron, A. (2013). Market entry strategies in emerging markets: An institutional study in the BRIC countries. Thunderbird International Business Review, 55(3), 237-252. doi:10.1002/tie.21541 (Read pp. 237 – 243 only)
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Simonet, d. (2012). Entry modes of European firms in Vietnam. EMAJ: Emerging Markets Journal, 2(2), 10-29. doi:10.5195/emaj.2012.27
(Read pp. 10 – 17 only)
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Yongsun, P., & Sohn, J. D. (2004). Striking a balance between global integration and local responsiveness: The case of Toshiba Corporation in redefining regional headquarters’ role. Organizational Analysis, 12(4), 347-359.
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Stone, B., & Larson, C. (2014). The Alibaba Invasion. Bloomberg Businessweek, (4390), 8-10.
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Alibaba Group Holding Limited SWOT Analysis. (2015). Alibaba Group Holding Limited
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O’Connell, A. (2015). The rise of the Chinese tech giant. Fast Company, (201), 52.
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Required Media
Alibaba.com, https://youtu.be/X9eToqxqz7Y (1 min, 48 sec)
How Alibaba Works: Explained With 280 Pairs of Pants; Bloomberg’s Sam Grobart explains how Alibaba works through the experience of ordering 280 pairs of pants manufactured overseas. https://youtu.be/bw_DVGJLvTw (3 min, 42 sec.)

Discussions: Individual Activity
Topic 1. Local Responsiveness & Global Standardization.
Select two large MNEs, one consumer oriented (e.g., Colgate-Palmolive, KFC) and one industrial (e.g., DuPont). You choose the companies.
Use http://www.GlobalEdge.msu.edu You must select different MNEs. It is first-come, firstserved. “Reserve” your two MNEs quickly. Post a response in Discussions to Topic 1. In the “Subject” box/line state the MNEs you selected.
Discuss the pressures for local responsiveness and global standardization faced by each firm. Which experiences the greater pull toward local responsiveness? Why? Which faces a greater need for global standardization? Why?
Topic 2: Technology’s Impact on Importing/Exporting (Alibaba Mini Case Study)
International trade is crucial for nations to maintain their standard of living, and the global distribution of a wide range of goods. Technological innovations and advances in
communications are the engine of growth. The Internet and information technologies (ICT) have facilitated and expedited international business transactions, from delivery to payment (Burinskiene, 2013).
Hinz, Eckert, and Skiera (2011) stated that innovations in communication, the Internet, and search engines have dramatically expanded the range of products that online retailers can profitably promote. Anderson (2006) argued that innovations in e-commerce and search engines enhance the efficiency of online retail by encouraging the entry of innovative new products. This results in a long tail of niches, while simultaneously decreasing the market share of blockbuster products. Anderson also argued that Internet innovations reduce the marginal cost of products, allowing online retailers to focus on previously ignored tail products. According to Kendall and Tsui (2011) technological innovations that lower fixed costs relative to variable costs, attract marginal manufacturers which leads to long tails in industries characterized by horizontal differentiation.
Evans (2009) stated that online retailers operate in long tail markets where distribution costs are low and inventory may be virtually unlimited. He also argued that advanced search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, are “fundamentally Long Tail systems” (p. 9); they have
enabled online retailers to sell their niches “all the way down the vanishing point of the tail” (p. 6).
Companies such as Alibaba have capitalized on technological advances and huge production potential of China to export products worldwide. These exports range from small retail products to large B2B shipments. Global buyers use Alibaba’s website to shop around for price and variety.
Visit Alibaba’s website (www.alibaba.com) and search for exporters of a B2B product; describe your experience.
If you are an importer, what are the advantages and disadvantages involved in using Alibaba?
Visit Amazon’s website (www.amazon.com); what is the difference between Amazon’s and Alibaba’s websites? In a Forbes article: “Alibaba and the 40,000 thieves” it was alleged that Alibaba sells an unprecedented torrent of sham and counterfeit goods,” and that neither the big brands manufacturers, nor the Chinese or American government pressure can do much about it. Forbes stressed that only Jack Ma, the man who oversees the world’s largest online retailer can; however, closing down the fakes would undermine his empire (Schuman & Ho, 2015, p. 100). Provide your take on that, and explain your rationale. What steps should Alibaba take, if it intends to dominate the global retail market?

Sources used in the development of the Alibaba Mini Case Study (not required reading!):
Anderson, C. (2006). The Long Tail: Why the future of business is selling less of more. New York, NY: Hyperion
Burinskiene, A. (2013). International trade, innovations and technological achievement in countries. DAAAM International Scientific Book, 795-812.
Evans, M. P. (2009). The aggregator blog model: How a blog leverages long tail economics. Journal of Information Science & Technology, 6(2), 3-21. Retrieved from www.jist.info/
Hinz, O., Eckert, J., & Skiera, B. (2011). Drivers of the Long Tail Phenomenon: An empirical analysis. Journal of Management Information Systems, 27(4), 43-69. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.2753/MIS0742-1222270402

Kendall, T. D., & Tsui, K.B.E. (2011). The economics of the Long Tail. The BE Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 11 (1), 1-18. doi: 10.2202/1935-1682.2845
Schuman, M., & Ho, J. (2015). Alibaba and the 40,000 thieves. (cover story). Forbes, 196(7), 100-101.
Support your arguments in all posts with the data and concepts from the readings, videos, and scholarly / reliable non-scholarly research!
Topic 3: In the News!
Post one news source in Session 6 – In the News! and explain briefly how the news story bears on this Session’s course topics.


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