Course Overview Note | March 2006

International Finance: A Course Overview Note

by Mihir A. Desai

Abstract

Describes the International Finance course at Harvard Business School, which argues that the forces of globalization have fundamentally changed the scope and activities of firms, thereby altering the practice of finance within these firms. As a consequence of an increasing reliance on tightly integrated foreign operations, a parallel world of finance has opened within every multinational firm, heretofore overlooked. Addresses the many aspects of financial decision making within global firms prompted by these changes. Briefly explains the overall structure of the course, introducing the seven course modules and the rationale for the structure of the course. Outlines an analytical framework to guide critical financial decisions on financing, investment, risk management, and incentive management within a multinational firm. This framework emphasizes the need to reconcile conflicting forces for multinational firms to gain a competitive advantage from their internal capital markets. Concludes with a discussion of the course's pedagogical approach and detailed descriptions of course materials, including 19 case studies, corresponding teaching notes, module notes, and supplementary materials.

Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Business Ventures; Integration; Change Management; Decision Choices and Conditions; Investment; Risk Management; Competitive Advantage; Motivation and Incentives; International Finance; Capital Markets;

Citation:

Desai, Mihir A. "International Finance: A Course Overview Note." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 206-107, March 2006.