Read articles on international businesses from the following magazines. Pick an

Read articles on international businesses from the following magazines. Pick an article that interests you
and is relevant to international business to write your essay. Examples of the topic are: acquiring foreign
companies, entering/exiting foreign markets, competing with new entrants from another country, forming
alliances with foreign suppliers or distributors.
• Forbes
• Wall Street Journal
• Bloomberg Business Week
• The Economist
• Fast Company
• Wired
• Inc.
MGMT 385 International Business
Dr. Yi Karnes (Fall 2021)
4
Cover the following main parts:
An external analysis of the firm
An internal analysis of the firm
The recommended strategy
1. The external analysis of the firm, which describes the country and industry context in which the firm
must compete. A thorough external analysis will first address the general environment in the countries.
Second, look at the industry dynamics and competitive market (e.g. who are the firms selling to, what
challenges do the firms face in profitably reaching their customers). Next, the analysis should discuss the
firm’s competitors—are they larger, smaller, more profitable, more flexible? What overall advantage or
disadvantage would these competitors have in the marketplace? The 5-forces model is a good tool to
organize your work when defining the competitive environment. While not perfect, it will ensure that you
have covered the main points. It is better if you do not mention the term 5 forces diagram in the text—
how you display the information is up to you and the needs of your audience (i.e. a manager may never
have heard of the 5 Forces).
2. The internal analysis of the firm (and the partner or competitor) describes the strengths and
weaknesses the firm. What resources can a firm leverage against its competitors and/or to tap new
markets? What resources can a firm complement its partners? What weaknesses might we see that will
handicap the firm in the future? What are the key strategies the firm is pursuing? Explain whether the
strategies are good or bad, and provide support for your arguments.
A good internal analysis will show the difference between core competencies and their implications. (As
an example, cost leadership can be the result of engineering capabilities.) While sometimes difficult to
use, the VRIO analysis is another good analytical tool which can help you to organize your thoughts and
develop a supporting argument for why a resource or capability yields a competitive advantage.
3. The recommended strategy. Having analyzed the firm, you should have an idea of what strengths the
firm should be leveraging and you can look again at the external environment to see what opportunities it
should pursue. In many of the cases, the firm in question is contemplating, or has implemented, several
specific strategic actions. Ideally, you would give one to three recommendations. Select one of them as
the preferred recommendation. Explain why you believe this is the best option for the firm.
The recommendations should be specific action items. As an example, instead of saying “form an
alliance,” you could recommend “form an R&D alliance with Q to leverage this firm’s superior product
rollout capabilities against Q’s more advanced technology.” It may take some effort, but this will show
that you understand a) what makes the firm strong or weak and b) how it can take advantage of those
factors.
Porter’s 5 forces and VRIO are not the only analytical tools you have available. You could conduct a
SWOT analysis while you are preparing your research. But remember, strengths and weaknesses are
internal to the firm, and opportunities and threats are external. It might be good to have a SWOT diagram
in your exhibits; it might also be good to use it simply to organize your thoughts without mentioning it in
your report.
I don’t have to agree with your conclusions or recommendations, if you argue them convincingly. I am
looking to see that you understand the process for completing a project. Once you understand the logical
framework to follow, good answers come with practice.
MGMT 385 International Business
Dr. Yi Karnes (Fall 2021)
5
You will need to compile additional data or information besides the article source. The university
subscribes to many online journals, and much news is available from library sources. Keep records of
what you find. When you cite from press releases or articles, list them in a bibliography.

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