Strategy and International Business

| December 21, 2015

Individual Assignment
The deadline for both Turnitin electronic and hardcopy submission (to the submission box on the first floor of the Henley Business School).

Write a piece of individual work of no longer than 1,500 words (including introduction, main body, conclusion, tables, figures, diagrams, citation, notes and end notes in the text, appendices (if any); excluding the front cover sheet and references), by using the appropriate materials from the module and from your research.

You are required to analyse the international business strategy and structure of the assigned firm and international financial management of its foreign subsidiary.Support your answers with specific, relevant, well-explained and well-analysed real hard facts, data and examples, by consulting various sources of information and data (lecture materials, core textbook, reading lists, books, company websites, company annual reports, filings with Company House Documents, business and financial journals, newspapers, academic journals, etc.).

1. All members of team A1
Parent firm: BASF (Germany)
Subsidiary: Basf Performance Products Ltd (the UK)
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03249009/filing-history

Answer the following five questions. All these question must answer. Your answers need to be consistent across the questions, so once you have identified a strategy in question 1, please do not change this in subsequent answers, or you will be penalised. Present (and explain) suitable diagrams for questions 1, 2 and 3.

1. Assuming you are a senior manager based in the headquarters (HQs) of the parent firm in the home country, in which cell of the integration/ responsiveness (I/R) framework would you place the corporate strategy of the firm. Explain why it is placed in a particular cell, and support your answer with evidence (examples, data statistics).
2. What is the appropriate organisational structure consistent with the strategy of the firm in Question 1? Present, explain and describe the firm’s organizational structure in business reality.
3. Discuss and explain the parent firm’s flagship relationships which may exist with its network partners. Support your answer with specific examples, data and facts.
4. Now assume that you are a manager of the UK subsidiary. Describe the roles and business activities of your subsidiary. Explain how you are implementing the strategies for the parent firm with specific actions consistent with your answer to Question 1. Support your answer with examples.
5. Critically analyse the major financing sources of your subsidiary for the five-year period (2010-2014). Make plausible arguments whether or not the parent firm has used various mechanisms to manipulate profits in your subsidiary in this five-year period. Discuss whether or not your subsidiary takes any measures for foreign exchange management (if any) and describe them (if applicable). Support your answer with specific well-explained evidence, data and facts.

Each question has the same marks/ the same credits. Marks will be awarded for the quality of analytical reasoning and critical thinking.
Requirement: 1.all reference should include page, and it is harvard style.
2. Please use this book:
<International Business> Alan M. Rugaman & Simon Collinson This book is Sixth Edition
Dear students,
each of you can download the assigned subsidiary’s five-year reports.
Format:

You should use headings and sub-headings.

Notes or Endnotes should be used only if absolutely necessary and must be identified in the text by consecutive numbers, enclosed in square brackets and listed at the end of the essay.

The general format of this team assignment should include the following parts:

Front page: essay title (including the company name), your names, your student ID numbers, your group, your team number, and total word count (word count excludes the front page, and references).

Introduction: briefly introduce thecompany background information. You may explain the main objectives of this essay, the main arguments/findings, and the limitations of this study, etc.

Main body: you need to cover all the issues in the format of answers-to-questions. There is no need to rewrite the questions in your submitted work. You only need to indicate question number (e.g. Question 1, etc.). This will give you more space to present your answers. You may introduce the concepts and frameworks. You are expected to demonstrate that you are capable of applying these concepts and frameworks to critically analyse the international business strategy and structure of the parent firm and financial management of the foreign subsidiary in the United Kingdom which you are studying. A good piece of work for this module should focus on a persuasive analysis and argument, based on the hard data, facts and examples which you find. In addition, you are expected to present consistent and interactive arguments of the issues, e.g. hard data and thorough explanation could support your analysis on the strategy and the structure of the firm.

Specific expectations
• Research skills: find relevant, interesting, specific, real examples, data, information and hard facts to support your answers.
• Insights: identification of key issues; a clear and consistent focus.
• Analysis: a presentation of information that exhibits an understanding, a capable application of key concepts. The rationale and reasoning is explained logically and clearly.
• Synthesis: relevant incorporation of various concepts and pieces of information.
• Appearance: a clear and concise organization and overall style; good grammar and spelling.
• Coherency: as you are working in a team, the document must appear coherent.
• Consistency: all evidence should be supported by your discussion.
• Originality: an ability to be creative and innovative in research and presentation of information.

Conclusion: a brief summary of the essential arguments/findings for the work.

Tables and figures: It is your decision to put the figures/tables separately or in the text. Each figure/table needs to be fully referenced and explained. Please do not insert any of them without explanation.

References: All sources (e.g. books, articles, internet sites) used in the assignment must be listed in the text and in the reference. Reference must be Harvard style, and you can find the Harvard style reference at the end of the assignment (Appendix 2).

Appendices (if any).

Marking criteria

The marking criteria are in accordance with the policy of the University of Reading.
FRAMEWORK FOR CLASSIFICATION AND PROGRESSION FOR FIRST DEGREES
(FOR COHORTS ENTERING A PROGRAMME BETWEEN AUTUMN TERM 2007 AND SUMMER TERM 2012)
(Approved by the Senate on 5 March 2008 (updated October 2012, April 2014).
http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/exams/UgClassification-2007-2012.pdf

Penalty for late submission
Penalties for late submission will be in accordance with the University policy:
Where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days.
Where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
For further details, please refer to the full policy statement which is available as Section 6I of the Guide to Policies and Procedures in Teaching and Learning.

Again, the work should be about 1,500 words in length (+10% variation is already included and so 1,500 words are the maximum). The front page and references are not counted towards the word limit. Any paper exceeding the word limit will be penalized and marked down.

The electronic version should be in the form of a word document (NOT a pdf file). The subject heading of Turnitin and the electronic file of your work should be documented as follows: your full name, team number, and company (e.g. George_Cameron_A1_BASF).

Each time you hand in an essay, you need to attach a signed copy of the department’s plagiarism declaration. You should also submit the essay to the Turnitin system. The deadline for submission is by is 14.00pm, January 12, 2015 in the box outside the administration deck.

Dr. Quyen T.K. Nguyen

APPENDIX 1: DETAILED GUIDELINES
Important notice
• Read the International Business textbook, lecture materials, practical application exercises, tutorial guideline,s and journal articles in the reading lists to understand the theoretical concepts, theories and frameworks. Select and apply appropriate concepts, theories and frameworks.
• Read the firm and its foreign subsidiary’s annual reports and documents (e.g. announcements), and websites to obtain an understanding of its business, strategy and performance.
• Read the firm and its foreign subsidiary’s accounting policy, financial statements, accounting disclosure notes to gain an understanding of terminologies and insights into its strategies and operations.
• Select and use data as reported by the firm.
• Importantly, this is not a mechanical exercise. It requires students to spend a significant amount of time to research the firm and its foreign subsidiary, to develop information literacy (e.g. how to find, and how to select information and data), critical thinking, analytical skill, and practical application skill (e.g. apply theories to analyse a real world firm).
Remember
• State clearly theoretical concepts, theories and/or theoretical frameworks, which you apply to answer a particular question.
• Support your answers with convincing arguments.
• Use appropriate data, facts, examples and statistics to substantiate your views.
• Explain thoroughly.
• Analyse critically.

1. Assuming you are a senior manager based in the headquarters of the parent firm in the home country, in which cell of the integration/ responsiveness (I/R) framework would you place the corporate strategy of the firm. Explain why it is placed in a particular cell, and support your answer with evidence.

• State explicitly the theoretical concepts and/or framework which you use to analyse the corporate strategy of the firm
• Present the I/R diagram.
• Place the firm in a particular cell.
• Explain clearly why it is placed in a particular cell.
• Support your answer with evidence (e.g. specific facts, corporate data, statistics, and examples).

2. What is the appropriate organisational structure consistent with the strategy of the firm in Question 1? Explain and describe the firm’s organizational structure.

• State explicitly theoretical concepts and/or framework which you use to analyse the appropriate organisational structure consistent with the strategy of the firm in Question 1.
• Make sure that your answer to question 2 must be consistent with your answer in question 1, otherwise you will be penalized.
• Present a diagram of the organization structure of the firm (e.g. read the firm’s document and present its organization structure).
• Explain clearly and describe in detail the firm’s organization structure.

3. Discuss and explain the parent firm’s flagship relationships which may exist with its network partners with specific examples, data and facts.
• State explicitly the theoretical concepts and/or framework which you use to answer this question.
• Draw a diagram of the theoretical framework and insert specific real names of key network partners.
• Explain clearly all components of the model with specific supporting evidence (e.g. you need to identify specific/real names of network partners, facts, figures, corporate data, and examples).

4. Now assume that you are a manager of the UK. Describe your subsidiary role and activities Explain how you are implementing the strategies for the firm with specific actions consistent with your answer to Question 1. Support your answer with evidence.

• Remember that now you assume the role of a manager of the UK subsidiary.
• Make sure that your answer to question 5 must be consistent with your answers in questions 1 and 2, otherwise you will be penalized.
• Explain briefly its business activities: i.e. what the subsidiary does, and what business functions it performs (subsidiary roles and activities).
• Explain how you are implementing the strategies for the firm with specific actions consistent with your answer to Question 1: i.e. what specific actions the subsidiary has taken to implement the overall strategy of the parent firm.
• Support your answer with real examples, data, and facts that the subsidiary has actually already implemented.

5. Critically analyse the major financing sources of your subsidiary for the five-year period (2010-2014). Make plausible arguments whether or not your parent firm has used various mechanisms to manipulate profits in your subsidiary in this five-year period. Discuss whether or not your subsidiary takes any measures for foreign exchange management (if any) and describe them. Support your answer with specific well-explained evidence, data and facts.

• State explicitly the theoretical concepts and/or framework which you use to answer this question.
• Critically analyse and explain clearly the major financing sources of your subsidiary. Support your answer with data, facts and/or examples. Use data as reported by the subsidiary (2010-2014) in absolute value and ratios (each type of financing sources in percentage over total equity and liabilities. Remember the accounting equation assets = liabilities + owner’s equity).
• Make plausible arguments whether or not the parent firm has used various mechanisms to manipulate profits in your subsidiary. You need to examine in detail all potential profit manipulation mechanisms. Support your answer with data, facts and/or examples. Draw a conclusion whether or not profit manipulation is a prime motive for the firm and the subsidiary.
• Discuss whether or not your subsidiary takes any measures for foreign exchange management (if any) and describe them (if applicable): how foreign exchange is managed in the subsidiary. Support your answer with data, facts and/or examples.
Appendix 2: Harvard Reference format

You should cite publications in the text: (Adams, 2006) using the first named author’s name or (Adams and Brown, 2006) citing both names of two, and (Adams et al., 2006), when there are three or more authors. At the end of the paper a reference list in alphabetical order should be supplied:

For books:
Surname, Initials (year), Title of Book, Publisher, Place of publication.
e.g. Harrow, R. (2005), No Place to Hide, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

For book chapters:
Surname, Initials (year), “Chapter title”, Editor’s Surname, Initials, Title of Book, Publisher, Place of publication, pages.
e.g. Calabrese, F.A. (2005), “The early pathways: theory to practice – a continuum”, in Stankosky, M. (Ed.), Creating the Discipline of Knowledge Management, Elsevier, New York, NY, pp. 15-20.

For journals
Surname, Initials (year), “Title of article”, Journal Name, volume, number, pages.
e.g. Capizzi, M.T. and Ferguson, R. (2005), “Loyalty trends for the twenty-first century”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 72-80.

For published conference proceedings
Surname, Initials (year of publication), “Title of paper”, in Surname, Initials (Ed.), Title of published proceeding which may include place and date(s) held, Publisher, Place of publication, Page numbers.
e.g. Jakkilinki, R., Georgievski, M. and Sharda, N. (2007), “Connecting destinations with an ontology-based e-tourism planner”, in Information and communication technologies in tourism 2007 proceedings of the international conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2007, Springer-Verlag, Vienna, pp. 12-32.

For unpublished conference proceedings
Surname, Initials (year), “Title of paper”, paper presented at Name of Conference, date of conference, place of conference, available at: URL if freely available on the internet (accessed date).
e.g. Aumueller, D. (2005), “Semantic authoring and retrieval within a wiki”, paper presented at the European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC), 29 May-1 June, Heraklion, Crete, available at: http://dbs.uni-leipzig.de/file/aumueller05wiksar.pdf (accessed 20 February 2007).

For working papers
Surname, Initials (year), “Title of article”, working paper [number if available], Institution or organization, Place of organization, date.
e.g. Moizer, P. (2003), “How published academic research can inform policy decisions: the case of mandatory rotation of audit appointments”, working paper, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, 28 March.

For encyclopedia entries (with no author or editor)
Title of Encyclopedia (year) “Title of entry”, volume, edition, Title of Encyclopedia, Publisher, Place of publication, pages.
e.g. Encyclopaedia Britannica (1926) “Psychology of culture contact”, Vol. 1, 13th ed., Encyclopaedia Britannica, London and New York, NY, pp. 765-71.

For newspaper articles (authored)
Surname, Initials (year), “Article title”, Newspaper, date, pages.
e.g. Smith, A. (2008), “Money for old rope”, Daily News, 21 January, pp. 1, 3-4.

For newspaper articles (non-authored)
Newspaper (year), “Article title”, date, pages.
e.g. Daily News (2008), “Small change”, 2 February, p. 7.

For electronic sources
If available online, the full URL should be supplied at the end of the reference, as well as a date that the resource was accessed.
e.g. Castle, B. (2005), “Introduction to web services for remote portlets”, available at: http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/ws-wsrp/ (accessed 12 November 2007).

Standalone URLs, i.e. without an author or date, should be included either within parentheses within the main text, or preferably set as a note (Roman numeral within square brackets within text followed by the full URL address at the end of the text.

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