EID-372 -> Resources -> Course Description

EID-372: "Global Perspectives in Technology Management"

Course Description and Schedule:


1. Course objectives

2. Course texts

3. Course outline and schedule

4. Bibliography

5. Course format

6. Grading criteria

7. Conclusions

8. Notes




Course Objectives:

This is an interdisciplinary, elective, introductory course in International Business and Technology Management. At Cooper Union it is offered as a full semester (15 sessions, 3 hours each) 3 credits course. The course ia also offered on the WWW free of charge to all the students participating in the Globetech simulation who wish to take it. The course is recommended to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Its main objectives are:

  1. To acquaint the students with the main aspects of managing technology in today's global business environment,
  2. Teach students collaborative learning and working skills such as: work in teams on case studies and course projects, negotiate to reach consensus, develop leadership skills and better verbal, written, and computer based research and communications skills, etc.,
  3. Introduce the students to the main technologies of beginning of the 21st century and important issues such as sustainable development and environmental preservation.

The course presents an overview of the following main topics:

Modern telecommunications (TV, Internet, cellular phones, etc.) have already transformed our world in a global village. At the beginning of the 21st century the main economic trends point towards rapid globalization of manufacturing and services,(engineering among them), increased deregulation, freer markets, greater international trade and collaboration, stronger regional trade blocks.

The NAFTA agreement has already brought increased business collaboration in North America, with more manufacturing facilities situated in Mexico and Canada. The recent GATT agreement has substantially lowered tariffs and trade barriers in the participating countries and led to accelerated business globalization. The World trade organization (WTO) has become an important global organization.

More and more American corporations such as : Coca-Cola, General Electric, AT&T, IBM, etc. are becoming truly global in scope, having subsidiaries and investors all around the world. On the other hand, foreign companies such as BMW, Siemens, Toyota, etc., are expanding their operations in the United States, creating joint ventures, and constructing or acquiring subsidiaries.

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 (HBS) and other case studies, students will develop solutions aiming to balance human factors, technical issues,and economic considerations, all in the context of the global business environment and diverse national political and economic strategies.

Taped interviews with prof. Robert Reich and business leaders such as: Bill Gates (Microsoft), Alex Trotman (Ford), and others, dealing with global competitiveness issues will be viewed and discussed. Guest speakers, managers in multinational cor[porations will be invited to speak to the class and share their experiences in this field.

This course will increase students awareness of working in the global business environment. It will better prepare them for further studies in international business and technology management, if they so desire. above all, it will introduce the 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 International Joint-Venture Simulation, an important, integral part of this course, will help students hone their communication and negotiation skills, interface with students from other colleges, and practice what they learned in the course.


Course Texts:

  1. "Preparing for the twenty first century", by Paul Kennedy, Vintage Books, 1994.
  2. "Getting to Yes, negotiating agreement without giving in", by Roger Fisher and William Ury, Penguin Books, 1991.
  3. Harvard Business School (HBS) and other relevant articles are also extensively used in the course.

Course outline and schedule:

Course 01:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 1: "Old and New Challenges"
  2. Chr. 1 and 2: "Don't bargain over positions" and "Separate the people from the problem"
  Case Study (C.S.): "-------"

Course 02:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 2 and 3: "The demographic explosion" and "The communications and financial revolution, the rise of the multinational corporation"
  2. Chr. 3 and 4: "Focus on Interests, not Positions" and "Invent OPTIONS for mutual gain"
  CS: "---------"; Other, to be specified.

Course 03:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 4 and 5: "World agriculture and the biotechnology revolution" and "Robotics, automation, and a new industrial revolution"
  2. Chr. 5 and 6: "Insist on using objective criteria" and "What if they are more powerful?"
  CS: "-----"; Other, to be specified

Course 04:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 6: "The Dangers to Our Natural Environment"
  2. Chr. 7 and 8: "What if they won't play?" and "What if they use dirty tricks?"
  Globetech assignment to be specified

Course 05:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 07: "The future of the Nation-State"
  2. "Ten questions people ask about Getting to Yes"
  Globetech assignment

Course 06:

  Globetech-6 Simulation work session: 3 ch.

Course 07:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 8 and 9: "The Japanese Plan for a Post - 2000 World" and "India and China"
  Supplying and procuring manpower/parts/materials in the global economy

  Case studies: "-----"

Course 08:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 10: "Winners and Losers in the Developing World'
  International Standards and their role in the global economy

  Web research assignment

Course 09:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 11: "The Erstwhile USSR and its crumbled Empire"
  Strategies for technical competition and cooperation; international specialization of labor:

  Case study: "----"

Course 10:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 12: "Europe and the Future"
  Working Abroad for an American Multinational firm

  Case studies: "----"

  Globetech project work

Course 11:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 13: "The American Dilemma"
  Working in the United States for a foreign multinational firm

  Ethical issues in the global economy

  Research/case studies: "----"/ Globetech

Course 12:

Assign:
  1. Chr. 14: "Preparing for the Twenty-first Century"
  Entrepreneurship in the Twenty-first century

  Research/ Globetech

Course 13:

Assign:

  Course wrap up: questions and answers

  Globetech simulation student feedback presentations

Course 14:

  Discuss assignments, Globetech

Course 15:

  *** FINAL TEST


Course Format:

The course is designed to earn 3 credits: one semester of 15 weekly sessions, each of 3 contact hours. Each weeklysession is ly comprised of an approximate 1.5 hr. lecture and 1.5 hr. of discussions, case studies, project work, video tapes, etc. To develop the communication skills of the students, the lectures will be presented by the students. The professor's role will be to guide the presentations and discussions, raise issues not presented by the students, clarify various points, etc.

For the students who will take the course on the Internet, it is essential that they develop strong communication patterns with the professor, the students who take the course in class at Cooper and all their peers on other teams. Discussions of assignments on the course's Bulletin Board (BB) will be an important part of the course, and students' grades will depend on their contributions in these discussions.

Since team work is essential in this course, the students wil be divided in teams of maximum five (5) or six (6). Each person in the team having the lead, for at least two assignments.


Grading criteria:

In order topass this course, the students will have to satisfactorily complete the following major tasks:

  1. 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 be 30%.

  2. 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.

  3. Answer a twenty question multiple-choice/essay mid-term: Grade weight 20%.

  4. 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.


Bibliography

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 below:

  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

  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 of Commerce)

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.


Conclusions

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 projects.

This course enriches Cooper Union's curriculum and broadens students' perspectives.


Notes:

  1. Various short videos illustrating course subjects are presented throughout the course.

  2. Each term, engineers in managerial positions at various companies involved in global business are invited to talk to the class about their work experiences.

  3. Besides the Harvard Business School cases presented by students, they are also encouraged to choose and present to the class Business Week or Wall Street Journal articles dealing with current global technology management issues.

  4. Prerequisites:

    Familiarity with macro and micro economics desired, but not absolutely required. General computer skills necessary in order to work on the Internet, write papers, make Powerpoint presentations, etc.

  5. Computer Content:

    Students use extensively commercial software packages such as MS Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and the WWW for course assignments and the Globetech Negotiation Simulation Project. No programming skills required.

  6. Student assessment:

    Weekly team assignments, midterm, final exam, and participation in the Globetech project will give this professor ample opportunities to assess each student's performance for fair grading.


If you have any questions or comments, please contact Prof. Roxanne Jacoby


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