EID-372 Course Description
COURSE OBJECTIVES (top)
This is an elective introductory course to international business and technology
management. Its two main objectives are:
- To acquaint the students with the main aspects of managing technology in today's global business environment.
- Teach students Collaborative Learning and Working Methods such as:
working in teams on case studies and course projects, negotiating to reach
consensus, developing leadership skills, better verbal, written and computer
communication skills, etc.
The course presents an overview of the following main topics:
- Major current aspects of doing business around the world. National,
political, social and economic characteristics of various areas and countries
and how they relate to American business.
- Technology transfer, cooperation, sourcing, quality control, management,
etc. in a global business environment.
- Relationships between technology development, society and the environment.
- Business negotiation theory and practice.
- Considerations on working abroad or in international operations for a multinational firm
- Considerations on working in the United States for a foreign firm
- Future trends in global technology management.
Television and other forms of telecommunication (i.e. the Internet)
have already transformed our world into a global village. At the end of
the 20th century the main economic trends point towards rapid globalization
of manufacturing, engineering and other services, increased deregulation,
freer markets, greater international trade, and stronger regional trade
The NAFTA agreement already brought increased business cooperation in
North America, with more manufacturing facilities situated in Canada and
Mexico. The recent GATT agreement has substantially lowered tariffs and
trade barriers in the participating c ountries (most of the world) and
led to accelerated business globalization.
More and more American companies, such as: COCA-COLA, GENERAL MOTORS,
FORD, MCDONALD'S, IBM, MOTOROLA, AT&T, etc., are becoming truly global
in scope, having subsidiaries and investors all around the world. On the
other hand, foreign companies such as DAIMLER-BENTZ, TOYOTA, HONDA, SIEMENS,
and many others are expanding their manufacturing facilities or acquiring
subsidiaries in the United States.
- What does all this mean for the graduating American engineer?
- How will these trends impact his or her career as a manager of technology?
This course will answer these questions by discussing specifics of the
global business environment and current business trends as they relate
to technology management.
Working on recent Harvard Business School and other case studies, students
will develop solutions aiming to balance human factors, technical issues,
and economic considerations, all in the context of the international business
environment and diverse national political and economic strategies.
Taped interviews with the former Labor Secretary and Harvard Business
School Professor Robert Reich, Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Alex Trotman
(Ford), dealing with global competitiveness issues, will be viewed and
Several guest speakers, managers in major multinational corporations,
will be invited to speak to the class and share their experience in this
Course topics include: the global production process analysis, information
and materials flow, global technical resources, company strategy and competition,
technology and the environment, and many more.
This course will increase students' awareness to the complexities of working
in a global business environment. It will prepare them for further studies
in international business and technology management, if they so desire.
Above all, it will introduce students to the type of knowledge required
to assume managerial roles in the companies of the 21st century and take
advantage of the limitless opportunities of the dynamic global economy.
The GlobeTech computer simulation, an important, integral part of the
course will help students hone their communication and negotiation skills
and interface with students from other colleges.
COURSE OUTLINE (top)
The course is divided in four major parts as follows:
1 - THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC WORLD OF TODAY:
- EUROPE: The European Community; political and economic trends in Western
Europe. The emergence of the new democracies of Eastern Europe. Nationalistic
undercurrents and their significance for trade and development. Trade relations
between Eastern and Western Europe, and between Europe and the rest of
- ASIA: Major players in Asia; major trading blocks. The new China. Japan
and its influence around the world. The "Little Tigers"- Hong
Kong, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Pakistan &
- AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND
- AFRICA and the MIDDLE EAST: The Arab world: Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria,
Algeria, Morocco, Tunis, Libya, the Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, The Arab
Emirates, Kuwait), Israel, developments in Central Africa, developments
in South Africa
- SOUTH & CENTRAL AMERICA, and THE CARIBBEAN BASIN: Brazil, Argentina,
Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Central American Countries:
Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, the Caribbean countries.
- NORTH AMERICA: Canada, the United States and Mexico
Items to be discussed for above world areas include:
- National characteristics, traditions and customs relevant to American business
- Major current political and economic developments. Major economic blocks
for each areas and their impact on trade. Future trends.
- The importance of a particular country or area to the global economy
and United States business interests.
- Concrete examples and case studies of business and technological interaction
in various countries and world areas.
All these points will be discussed in lectures and case studies, focusing
on how they apply to engineers in concrete working situations.
2 - ASPECTS OF WORKING ABROAD FOR AN AMERICAN OR MULTINATIONAL COMPANY; WORKING IN THE UNITED STATES FOR A FOREIGN FIRM.
Adaptability to national or regional customs and corporate culture Labor/management
relations: work force diversity, training, and productivity
- Technology management issues: technology transfer, information and
materials flow, quality control, etc.
- Career paths, relations with headquarters.
Case studies will be used to illustrate these aspects.
3 - MANAGING TECHNOLOGY IN THE GLOBAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT OF THE 21ST CENTURY:
- Technical competition strategy; international standards; international
specialization of labor. Future trends.
- Aspects of international negotiations; conduct an international negotiations
project (GlobeTech Simulation).
- What it will mean to be a good corporate citizen in the 21st century.
The relationship between production, society and the environment.
Case studies will be used to illustrate these various topics.
4 - PROJECTS' WRAP-UP, FINAL EXAM. CONCLUSIONS OF THE COURSE:
Project presentations, conclusions, and feedback on what the course meant
to the students. Final exam.
COURSE FORMAT (top)
The course is designed to earn 3 credits: one semester of 15 weekly
sessions, each of 3 contact hours. Each weekly session is comprised of
an approx. 1.5 hours lecture and 1.5 hours of discussions of case studies/project
Since teamwork is essential for this course, the students will be divided
in teams of maximum five or six, each person in a team having in turn the
lead for at least two assignments.
GRADING CRITERIA (top)
In order to pass this course the students will have to satisfactorily
complete the following four major tasks:
A) Work in teams on the assigned case studies:
At least three of the team students should contribute to each assignment.
Students will be in turn Team Leaders. As Team Leaders the students will
make a brief oral presentation (ca. 10-15 min.) of the case study and the
results of the team's research and analysis. A short written report listing
contributors will be submitted for each assignment.
At all times students are expected to answer questions and be active
participants in class discussions. The grade weight of this effort will
B) Work in teams on one complex project:
The project will include two sessions of "on-line" (direct)
computer international negotiations with other teams. Each student will
be responsible for a specific section of his/ her team's project. He/she
will write the final report for that section and present it orally in the
final project presentation. The students will choose their project team
leader and their project assignment. Grade weight for the project 30%
Once formed at the beginning of the course, the teams should remain fixed
for the duration of the course, unless clear imbalances require reorganization.
When the teams are selected, the aim will be to achieve the greatest ethnic,
cultural, etc., diversity in each team. The students will be encouraged
to make by themselves as many decisions as possible, to negotiate issues,
and come to satisfactory results.
C) Answer a twenty question multiple-choice/essay mid-term:
Grade weight 20%.
D) Answer a twenty question multiple-choice/essay final exam:
Grade weight 20%.
During the whole length of the course, based on class discussions, the
case studies and project work, the instructor will have many opportunities
to evaluate and guide each student's contributions, thus establishing the
basis for an as fair as possible grading. If there will be students with
particular difficulties, they will receive extra help and will be made
aware of their progress.
Its title being GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES, this course offers a wide overview
of many subjects in a rather short time.
The mainstay of this course will be the articles and case studies published
by the HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL (HBS). The HBS is one of the top, if not
the best business school in the world. As such it has a large variety of
excellent and current teaching materials.
Students are also strongly encouraged to use the many research sources
available on the Internet, such as: CNN Pathfinder, Financial Times, etc.
Other sources include: U.S. Government publications, The New York Times
(Business section articles as required), and several other sources as recommended
A. STUDENTS' REQUIRED READING MATERIALS:
A.1 "Preparing for the Twenty-First Century," by Paul Kennedy, Vintage Books
A.2 "Getting to Yes," by Fisher, William & Patton
A.3 Assigned HBS cases, various notes and articles
A.4 The Sunday New York Times, Business Section. Every Sunday during
semester. Relevant articles, for class discussion
B. LIBRARY REFERENCES:
(to be found in the CU and/or NYU Bobst business - 6 fl. libraries)
B.1 "Beyond the Limits," by Meadows, Meadows and Randers, Chelsea
Green Publishing Co., Post Mills, VT.
B.2 "2020 Visions, Long View of a Changing World", by R. Carlson
and B. Goldman.
B.3 "The Third Wave," by Alvin Tofler
B.4 Hoover's Handbook of American Business - latest edition
B.5 Hoover's Handbook of World Business - latest edition (both B.3 and
B.4 by The Reference Press, Inc.)
B.6 U.S. Industrial Outlook - latest edition
B.7 World Outlook - latest edition (both B.5 and B.6 by the U.S. Department
B.8 World Class Business - A Guide to the 100 Most Powerful Corporations,
by P. Mattera, Henry Holt & Co., NY 1992
B.9 Area Books in the Global Studies Series of the Dushkin Publishing
Group, Gilford, CN.
This is a timely course. It offers a broad, current and varied perspective
on issues related to technology development and management in a global
business environment. It aims to better prepare the students to understand
and handle the complex issues of global competitiveness in goods production,
become better engineers and managers of technology in the years to come.
In order to cover the proposed material the course moves at a fast pace.
It requires students' regular attendance, oral participation in class,
and homework, both in individual study and team work on case studies and
This course enriches Cooper Union's curriculum and broadens students'
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Prof.