Have the causes of economic and managerial change been unique and national or general and global in their origin? How do we find the means to explain such large-scale, highly complex events and trends? The course is based on the detailed study of five major economies, chosen for their significance and size, and for the lessons they might reveal. These countries are the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain and China. The aim is explicitly to compare the experiences of these nations, explore similarities and differences in their economic and managerial organization, and seek explanations for variations in long-term performance.
We will consider influential interpretations of national economic success and cases of international competitiveness. We will review issues from a number Of levels: from the nation State to localities, individual industries, firms, and core business functions. We will evaluate the international dimensions of business, national characteristics, and selected firm studies in combination, in order to provide generalizations grounded in evidence.
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Since management and business do not operate in a vacuum, it follows that the course will draw on a range of intellectual and analytical traditions: the lattice, institutional, cultural and historical will be placed alongside the economic and the organizational. The course offers you the prospect of thinking deeply about the nature of modern economies and the differences between national business systems. It will provide a critical understanding of key theories, and suggest ways of analyzing both complex information and evidence drawn from differing situations and contexts.
The course asks you to recognize the varied dimensions of modern business, and to acquire the higher-order understanding and reflection that should underpin managerial decision- aging. In summary, this course is concerned with the economic success of nations and competition in the modern international economy. It has the ambitious task of explaining the achievements of the world’s advanced economies, and does so by exploring the character of their institutions and businesses through the application of comparative methods.
Then, it takes the analysis one step further by elucidating the historical origins of differences in national institutions and corporate capabilities, and by considering the long-term relationship between trends in the international economy, the economic development of nations, and the nature of business systems. As a result, we focus on a number of themes at different stages of the course: The key differences in the managerial objectives and business structures of enterprises found in different nations.
The relationship between business systems (management, the nature of decision-making, strategies, employment, production systems, technology) and national institutions (government, finance, and education). The relationship between (I) differences in business systems and national institutions and (ii) rates of economic growth and national competitiveness. The explicit and considered use of comparative analysis, in order to determine those factors that have been substantive causes of national economic success in different countries.
The reasons why national institutions and business systems vary between nations, the processes by which differing business systems emerge, and the longer-term consequences of their particular formation. The need for detailed empirical knowledge of those nations being investigated, and the usefulness of theories and concepts with which to organize and interpret such information. Aims The aims of Modern Business in Comparative Perspective can be unmarried: Describing the economic success of nations, performance and competition in the modern international economy.
Explaining the achievements of the world’s leading economies by exploring the character of their institutions and businesses through the application of comparative methods. Elucidating the historical origins of differences in national institutions and corporate capabilities. Considering the relationship between trends in the international economy, the economic development of nations, and the nature of business systems. In paying particular attention to the evolution of economic and business yester in the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, and China, a number of topics are studied in turn: D The value of comparative analytical methods.
The ideas of major international, historical and comparative business theorists. Macro-economic patterns and determinants of economic growth. Institutions and social capital. Business organization, culture, and the state. Industries, firms, clusters and networks. Business systems: operational, financial, and human. Competitiveness, productivity and living standards. National versus transnational causes of economic success and firm-level competitiveness. The approach adopted is, to reiterate, internationally comparative.
This means that no issue or topic is examined purely from a local or single perspective. Economies, industries, firms and business functions are compared and contrasted with a view to discovering similarities and differences in experience, and, more importantly, the underlying reasons for such similarities and differences. Outcomes One important outcome, at the end of the course, is to uncover the essential determinants of economic performance and its links with the success of individual firms, whole industries and national economies.
We need, by this take, to be conscious of the difficulties involved in proving any general interpretation, let alone a theory. Anyone who is interested in understanding the global forces shaping their lives requires a frame of mind 2 that is rooted in an internationally comparative perspective. In other words, anyone who seeks to comprehend determinant economic forces and business practice – those factors that underpin standards of living and the quality of life – has to engage in a complex, intellectual process.
During the course, you must begin to understand the importance of this insight, and utilities it in your assignments and activities. You will, therefore, have to acquire the ability to think comparatively between nations, industries, firms, and functions. In dealing with a topic, you must assimilate a wide range of relevant empirical information, and apply it through the use of theories and concepts. The aim is to use these skills to gain an understanding of economic development and its institutional and organizational roots amongst major countries.
You will, as students, need to read widely and in accordance with the published reading and seminar programmer. Nonetheless, these readings are only a starting-point for the information and insights you will need on the ajar economies, corporate case studies, and leading theories. Textbook As there is no course textbook, please refer to the provided course readings, and look carefully at the bibliography by theme at the end of the course guide. You will, however, find the following books useful as leading works on comparative business or for the overview they provide. 1.
For the relevance of its analysis: C Smith, B Unsweetened and R Fitzgerald, Remaking Management: Between Global and Local (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Important note: make sure that you read chapter 4 specifically, and chapters 1-3 will also be useful. 2. For many chapters that directly address themes on the course: Guy, The Global Environment of Business (POP, 2009). 3. For its information on the world economy and its structure: P. Dickens, Global Shift: the Internationalization of Economic Activity (2008) 338. 09 DICK 3. As the leading work on comparative business: M.
E. Porter, The Competitive Advantage of Nations (London: Macmillan, 1990) 338. 6048 POOR 4. As another major work on comparative business: A. D. Chancier, Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism (Harvard University press, 1990) 338. 644 CHAW 5. As a basic but incomplete comparison of business practices, sing limited perspectives, but offering an introduction to certain topics, C. I. Keen, Comparative International Management (McGraw Hill. 2005). 6. You will also find relevant themes and references in L. Craving, R. Fitzgerald, and S. K.
Kinds, Operating in Emerging Markets: a Guide to Management and Strategy in the New International Economy (Financial Times Press, 2013). Course Organization The course is taught by means of lectures and seminars. Lectures deal with broad intellectual and macro-economic themes, and with major international differences in corporate organization and business functions. Seminars will be based on collections of readings that will be available on Model. You are expected to begin preparing and reading for the seminars from the beginning of the course in September.
Lectures take place in the Windsor Auditorium at 4-5 pm on Tuesdays. 3 The first lecture will be held on the 1 SST October 2014. Please look carefully as the course programmer and schedule below. The first seminars are held in the week beginning the 21 SST October 2014. Please refer to the departmental timetables for the times and days of the MANNA seminars. You will be asked to sign up for one of the seminars, and it s important and expected (for seminar organization, but also if you wish to be awarded a presentation mark) that you consistently attend the seminar for which you are formally registered.
You must sign up for your presentation group during seminar 1, held, depending on which one you have been allocated, between 21st October and 25th October. As attendance at all seminars is vital, a register at each session will be kept. You will need to register on line and note which seminar to attend before the 21st October. The lectures will help you in your preparation for the first and following miners, but you should use the intervening time between the beginning or the course and the first seminar to undertake at least the indicated preparatory reading.
Course Requirements The course makes extensive demands on participants, requiring alongside the ability to think deeply, the capacity to work intensively and professionally. You will need to communicate your results and thoughts within seminars, and to do so in an effective manner. You will require a combination of study and human skills. You are expected: to attend at all times to read widely and critically as a follow-up to lectures and as preparation for miners to contribute actively to class discussion in seminars.
In a course such as this, which deals with big ideas and broad themes, you have to contemplate and study methodically if you are to benefit fully. In seminars, the tutor will require individuals to make expositions on key points whenever asked. This one reason among many why it is essential to keep up with the reading programmer. You are encouraged to use library and other research resources, since you cannot rely merely on material made available on Model for assignments and examination preparation. As suggested above, you should use the reading list organized by theme towards the end of this study guide.