The other day, I was discussing with a local community college teacher who taught a class – “Introduction to Business” and part of the class was about “international business” and the teacher was interested in potential case studies about companies doing business around the world in other countries and some of the challenges. Also to be discussed would be the challenges with NGOs, and non-profits doing international work. Okay so, let’s talk.
You see, I had to think on this, because I hadn’t considered what students in an introduction to business class ought to know or discuss when it came to international business. But, in case you are a teacher of business and want to introduce new students to concepts and information about international business, here is what I came up with, just off the top of my head:
1. January 2, 2014 Wall Street Journal reported: Revlon’s new CEO says they are pulling out of China – probably because they are spending too much money there, and all their products get copied. It isn’t happening as much in other Asian Markets, but the fake products made in China are now competing against them in those markets too.
2. Starbucks bought up many coffee fields in Central America – but ran them like corporate farms where people showed up for work, instead of living on the properties in a Patrone Methodology where they and their families were taken care of. This now is causing conflicts with inflation, and people who are still working hard but finding it difficult survive now, they’ve never had to do that on their own in some of these areas where there are coffee fields.
3. In 2010 – Chiquita Bananas fined for paying Drug Cartels groups to leave them alone – then the company was fined by the US Justice Department for giving money to terrorist organizations? They have to pay or the bad guys cut off the heads of their workers and threaten to kidnap their executives and hijack shipments.
4. January 2, 2014 in Bloomberg Business Week reported – In Cambodia they now have child labor laws, because US firms buying products made there in the garment factories demand “no children can work in the factories” due to a human rights issue, but their families need money so they find ways to sneak in and work anyway.
5. In 2004 a very popular sports shoe company making shoes in Asia was boycotted due to complaints from human rights groups that they were not paying enough – but then when they paid more, that caused hyper-inflation in those local towns and villages upsetting their economy and raising prices where non-working people couldn’t afford to buy food.
Perhaps these might be good topics to really make students think about the reality of doing business in other countries and how things are so much different. Please consider all this and let’s get these students thinking and talking about such things shall we?