Managing International Trade and Investment
Course Number 1166
Professor of Management Practice Dante Roscini
Fall; Q1Q2; 3 credits
This course is intended for students who expect their careers to be influenced by trends in international trade and investment. Many HBS graduates will engage directly or indirectly in commerce and finance across national borders. Increasingly, political and economic events abroad shape the opportunities and constraints faced by managers in the majority of industries across the globe.
Markets and industries can vary dramatically across national borders. Understanding the global macro issues and the related politics of globalization may once have been a luxury; it is now, for most high-level managers and investors, simply a necessity and can make the difference between success and failure. Despite the ease with which it is often conducted, doing business across borders is not the same as doing it at home. Rather, it entails a whole new set of managerial challenges: reassessing competitive advantage; evaluating diverse political environments and legal structures; considering the impact of different policies and regulations; assessing currency and other financial risks; considering trading regimes; and understanding widely disparate cultures and business norms. The purpose of MITI is to build a framework of analysis that enables managers to understand the challenges of international trade and investment and to master the opportunities they represent. MITI's framework of analysis is based on a systematic evaluation of the informal and formal rules that define markets for goods, services, and capital.
The course consists of four inter-related modules. The first module, Firms in the Global Economy, consists of cases that deal with the role of firms within the global economy. Discussions focus on the political and economic origins of our current era of globalization and how the rules that constrain and enable firms are changing.
The second module, National Policy and Firms Response, focuses on national policies that shape flows of goods and capital. Using a series of company-based cases, we investigate different logics of national regulation, and the tools that firms have available for predicting, avoiding, or even employing the long arm of government policy.
The third module, The Politics and Rules of International Trade shifts our analysis to institutions at the international level. We explore how formal institutions, such as the WTO, IMF, OECD, and EU as well as informal institutions and the norms promoted by social movements, influence the opportunities for success in international finance and trade.
MITI ends with a capstone module called Risk Analysis of International Investment. Foreign investment entails risks that leaders must understand in order to gain a competitive and sustainable advantage in the international marketplace while avoiding costly disappointments. We will examine the political, financial and legal risks that decision makers must assess and manage given the inherent uncertainties involved in cross border investments. Within this module we will hold a session with guests from the buy side where we will discuss how financial investors take into account current global economic developments to form a view on the attractiveness of various asset classes across geographies.