International Business Homework : Country Analysis Report

Country Analysis Report

  1. WRITTEN REPORT(20% of your total course grade)  See course schedule for due date.

Your report must include the following sections with headings and subheadings as appropriate:

Executive summary. — A good summary will either begin or end with a statement of your report’s concluding recommendation, while the rest of it summarises the key points of your analysis that support that conclusion.  (See http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl402/execsum.htm  for guidance on how to write a summary.) Pay attention to it because a poor summary will bring down your grade.  It should be about one page long. Place this summary at the beginning of your report, but don’t start to write it until after you have finished the rest of your writing, and do not include the summary in your page count.)

The full paper has three main sections totaling 8 to 10 pages in length, double spaced.  Exclude from the page count your title page and table of contents, executive summary, large tables, maps charts, references and appendices.

1. Introduction.
–Provide a quick and interesting introduction of the paper that also states the purpose of your research in a page or less.  Anything that you believe would attract your boss’s attention to exploring this country further could be included.  In describing your purpose, make clear whether you have in mind general investment prospects (alternative A) or a particular product (alternative B).  In the latter case remember that this is an analysis of general business prospects, not a marketing plan.

  1. Country analysis–In this main body of (6 or 8 pages of the total of 8 to 10), assess your country in terms of circumstances affecting businesses, consumers, and market conditions.

Note that in this assignment you must be up-to-date!  Students most often lose points by relying too heavily on information from the World FactBook and similar sites and focusing on descriptions of political and legal structures.  These are starting points only and you should be emphasizing recent developments and events, and statistics. You cannot score well without finding and making use of up-to-date news sources.  (One way to start out is simply to type “news on country X” into a good search engine.)  If there is rioting in the streets or a military coup occurs two days before you submit your paper, you must include it.

Every paper should have the following sections and subsections (Political, Legal and Ethical Environment, Economic Environment, Cultural Dimensions, Market Opportunities and Threats, Concluding Recommendations, and References), but what precise points you should cover within each will vary from country to country, so the following are examples rather than points in a rigid check list. The basic principle is to discuss all those points that a real business should take into account when doing business in your chosen country.

  • The current political, legal and ethical environment. The head of government and party in power. How long they have been in power and how popular they are. Recent or up-coming events of importance, such as elections, important new laws, political scandals, riots. Those aspects of the government’s political program that would be of interest to US business, such as taxation, privatization, the level of regulation and openness to foreign trade and FDI. The strength of the major opposition parties and their political orientation. Important:The political and policy environment is much more of interest here than the structure of government (how many members there are in parliament, the length of the president’s term, etc.)
  • Legal or ethical issues of significance: For example, how well intellectual property rights are enforced, and what the level of corruption is as shown by the Corruption Perception Index.  This section can be short.
  • The economic environment.The general level of prosperity (as measured, e.g. by GNP per head). Recent economic growth and inflation. The outlook for growth and/or inflation. The distribution of income including, where of special interest, the size of the middle calss. Budget and trade deficits or surpluses. Foreign exchange stability. The country’s global competitiveness ranking and index.
  • Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. How different cultural dimensions affect your business choice.
  • Market opportunities and threats. These can be drawn from points you have already mentioned in earlier sections.  State any recommendations you have for taking advantage of the opportunities and alleviating or counteracting the threats.
  1. Concluding recommendation — State the rating you would give business prospects in this country: promising, uncertain or poor.  If you would prefer a descriptive word other than one of these three (e.g. “excellent”, “highly negative”) you may give us that.  Just be clear. Also:
  • If you chose alternative A, and there are certain sectors of the economy where prospects are unusually good or unusually poor, say what they are and why.
  • If you chose alternative B, say what entry mode you would recommend – exporting, joint venture, wholly owned subsidiary, or some other – and why.
  1. References. — Remember that good information is crucial to a good analysis and review what Lesson 1.2 has to say about resources.
  • You must have at least 10 substantial references, at least 5 of them from current news sources.
    List the sources you have used by author, title, publisher and date using whichever citation style you are used to or prefer.  If you have no preference, use the APA method.  WSU has good summaries of the APA and other citation styles at http://libraries.wsu.edu/quickguides/apa.
  • Make use of in-text citations, using the brief, in-text format of the APA method or your other chosen citation style.
  • For articles found on the internet, make sure that you follow the guidelines that your chosen citation style lays down for such sources.  The URL alone is not
  • You may include two interviews with persons knowledgeable of the country. They are notto be counted among the 10 minimum number of sources, but be sure to give their full names and contact information in your list of references.
  • Do not include your References in your page count.

Formatting and other requirements for the Written Report

  1. Formatting: Lengthshould be 8 to 10 pagesdouble Exclude from the page count your title page and table of contents, large tables, maps charts, list of references and appendices.  (Photos, graphics and charts are allowed and may help you get across what you want to say, but no points are set aside to give them credit.)  Margins should be exactly 1 inch all around (top, bottom, left, right). Font size should be 12 point Times New Roman, 11 point Arial, or the equivalent in other fonts. (11 point Times New Roman is too small, 12 point Arial is too large.)
  2. References:See above.
  3. Your own thoughts and assessment of the opportunities and threats to doing business in the country are very important. Plagiarism, meaning copying or using other people’s work without attribution, is strictly prohibited. It is a form of cheating and will lead to a lower grade or failing the whole course, depending on the seriousness of the infraction. So if you quote directly, use quotation marks and mention immediately afterward in parentheses the author (or title) and date of your source.
  4. OrganizationGive a professional look to your report. It must be well organized and edited. Check for clarity, grammar and spelling. Part of your grade depends on how well you write. Remember that written assignments from this course can be included in your writing portfolio.
  5. Be creative and interesting. Use of graphics is encouraged where appropriate and relevant. Also, always keep in mind the purpose of this report and that you are writing for your boss and other top management of your company as they decide what kind of international business action to take with the country you have chosen.

A reminder: be careful to avoid plagiarism.  Internet downloads and any other direct quotation must be indicated with quotation marks and the proper citations given.  If you ignore this, at the very least you will be docked points and you could an F for the course. (If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism, see http://www.plagiarism.org/plag_article_what_is_plagiarism.html , especially the bullets under “All of the following are considered plagiarism”.)

The space closes at the deadline mentioned in the Course Schedule.

Grading criteria for written report
  Written Report    
  Relevant, complete, accurate and up-to-date information.  Creativity, good writing – including spelling and grammar – and good organization.  Good references. 70%
  Good executive summary; sensible conclusions and recommendations 30%
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