Guidelines for the final report
You can do the coursework assignment individually or in groups. If you choose to work in groups it does not have to be with people in your tutorial or the same people with whom you did the presentation. If you do an individual report it should be a maximum of 2000 words.
Your report should address the following issue:
“Lessons learnt: An investigation of the failed (or successful) attempt of a Multinational Enterprise to operate successfully in another country”
This is your opportunity to develop research and report writing skills, and to apply to a real scenario some of the concepts and theories discussed in the lectures and tutorials. You can select a multinational company of your choice or write a report on one of the options below.
Your report needs to be submitted via Turnitin on the ELE webpage. You can submit a draft of your report to Turnitin to check for potential plagiarism. The over-write function will be enabled so you can submit a first draft, check the results (this may take a few hours!) and then submit your final version.
Structure of Report: Your report needs to include the following:
- Your report needs to include the following:
- Executive summary of your findings (5%).
- An introduction to your report that gives an overview of the firms (or firms if it is a merger and acquisition (M&A)) you are focusing on. You should also briefly discuss the country (or countries) involved (15%).
- An analysis of the relevant factors that led to the choice to operate in the country, e.g., risk assessment; market analysis, etc. (10%).
- What was the entry strategy of the firm (10%)? (benefits and drawbacks)
- What were the factors that led to the failure/success of the enterprise? How accurate or inaccurate was the entry strategy; risk assessment; market analysis? Did the market change or level of risk change? How did it change? What HR, leadership and management issues, cultural issues (country and firm), etc. did the company face and to what extent were they overcome? Discus the exit strategy if there was one (40%). TWO or THREE THEMES , e.g., change in environment, inappropriate strategy, internal management issues, ethical issues
- Recommendations of what you would have done differently (20%)
Content: knowledge of the subject; quality of research; selection of the most appropriate and relevant evidence; application of evidence to draw relevant conclusions; sound recommendations.
Do not just cut and paste facts and figures from published sources (either online or print). Part of the purpose of this assignment is to test your ability to research, select, evaluate and present the most important points which will support your conclusion. Success will depend on your ability to demonstrate appropriate skills in analysis, synthesis, evaluation and application of both theory and evidence.
Presentation of report: clear layout; readable font and appropriate use of paragraphs and headings; good use of tables and figures; professional finish
For individual reports: 2000 words (+/- 10%), tables, figures, reference list, appendices, and executive summary do not count
Referencing: APA style. All quotes should have author, year, and page number. If you paraphrase ideas you should reference with author and year. Theories and models should be referenced with author and year. Facts and figures should be referenced with author and year. In addition to in-text references, at the end of the report give a full list of the references (including websites) in alphabetical order. See ELE for a guideline to referencing. It is called ‘APA Referencing Guide’ and is near the top of the ELE module page.
You will need to use the electronic library resources (e.g., databases of academic journals and practitioner publications; Passport; LexisNexis) for your research – do not rely solely on Internet search engines. Some useful resources include:
- Textbooks and academic journal articles
- Quality press / magazines: Including economist.com and www.ft.com can be consulted.
- Personal sources: If appropriate use your own direct experiences.
- Interviews: It is not expected that you interview people but if you do you will need to complete an ethics form (see the link on ELE).
Some companies that might be of interest. You can also focus on a company of your choice
Home Depot in China
With the Chinese economy in the midst of a growth spurt and the housing market following suit, 2006 seemed liked a good year for U.S.-headquartered DIY giant Home Depot to enter China. It was not until they had opened 12 stores that they realized the Chinese didn’t really like DIY. Unlike the Western world where renovating your home is considered a bit of a hobby, some countries have a tendency to see DIY as a sign of poverty. By 2012, Home Depot had shuttered its stores and taken a US$160 million after-tax hit in the process.
Walmart in Germany
Like Home Depot, U.S. big box retailer Walmart failed to take into account cultural nuances – in particular personal space – when it opened up shops in Germany in 1997. The chain opened 85 stores in an attempt to tap into the country’s lucrative discount department market. But with intricate labour laws, restricted business hours and rows upon rows of regulatory red tape, the market was harder to crack than the American retail giant anticipated. In 2006, Walmart pulled out, at a cost of US$1 billion.
Starbucks in Australia
Massive U.S. coffee chain Starbucks entered the Australian market in 2000. Unfortunately, local coffee shops dominates the Australian coffee market and for those prone to visiting chains, Starbucks proved to be too expensive. In 2008 Starbucks closed 61 stores at a reported $143 million loss.
Mattel in China
In March 2009, Mattel opened a giant 36,000-square-foot store with six floors, a staircase lined with 875 Barbies and a Barbie-themed bar in the midst of Shanghai’s flashy retail district. Unfortunately, in a culture that stresses skill building and educational toys, Barbie was not popular. Within two years the store was closed.
Tesco in the US
For U.K.-based grocery chain, convincing American consumers to shop at its Fresh & Easy seemed like a done deal. And a few years earlier, the brand could have found success selling its fresh supermarket meals to the growing local and organic consumer base. But Tesco’s Fresh & Easy opened the doors in 2007, on the edge of a recessionary cliff when American consumers’ appetite for food spending was declining. Five years later, Tesco announced it was abandoning its American dream and closing its nearly 200 stores on the west coast. The failure cost the British chain nearly US$1.8 billion.