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Course 2020-2021 a.y.

30574 - BUSINESS MANAGEMENT IN CHINA

Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:
SONJA OPPER

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: SONJA OPPER


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Since the start of economic reforms in 1978, China has grown to the second largest economy in the world. The country’s rise has altered global supply chains, export and import relations, and global capital flows. In spite of China’s pervasive influence on almost all walks of life, China’s distinct business environment combining market elements with state control remains poorly understood. This is not only a limitation for those aiming for prospective careers in multinational companies operating in China. It is also a crucial limitation for those who will be competing with Chinese companies or will be representing suppliers, customers, or investors of Chinese companies. This course builds a comprehensive understanding of what it means to do business in China and with Chinese corporations. The course offers in-depth knowledge of the specific incentives and constraints defined by China’s unique political, economic and legal business environment. Building on this macro-framework, the course then continues to explore a variety of different kinds of organizations (ranging from state-owned firms to private and foreign firms) and their distinctive characteristics of business management.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course takes a multi-layered, institutional approach that links firm level strategies in a variety of different organizational forms with the embedding macro-environment and coordination mechanisms at the meso-level. The course consists of three modules:

  1. The Macro embeddedness of business in China
  2. Market and non-market behavior
  3. Firm strategies

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify and describe the specific features that set China’s national business environment apart from Western business models;
  • Identify and distinguish different characteristics of business management associated with different organizational players;
  • Explain the context-specific relationship between local institutions, organizational behavior, and company performance.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze inter-regional differences in China’s business environment;
  • Assess the relative advantages of different types of business ownership and management across local business contexts and industrial sectors;
  • Identify and assess critical drivers of company success and failure in business management across different institutional settings in China;
  • Organize complex teamwork tasks;
  • Communicate theoretical and practical challenges of business management in China in writing and in oral presentations.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS
  • The learning experience combines three elements: face-to-face lectures, case discussion of a variety of real company strategies, and classroom debate helping students to explore different perspectives when assessing a variety of management strategies in response to China’s hybrid economy combining elements of a market economy with highly regulatory practice. In this way, students learn from real world examples (successful and unsuccessful), how theoretical concepts such as institutional incentives and constraints shape and influence strategic choices and company performance.
  • During the course, students will submit two short individual reflection papers (out of a choice of three) responding to assigned readings and mini cases. These written statements prepare students for active class participation and controversial debates. These assignments also provide students with an opportunity to improve their writing and communication skills and support a continuous learning experience. The assignments are part of the overall student assessment (see next paragraph).
  • A final team-project discussing the strategy and performance of a specific Chinese company will make sure that students have the opportunity to work and collaborate in mixed teams. The student cases are presented and discussed in the final class meeting. The purpose is to provide all teams with substantive and productive feedback before finalizing their written case studies. Class presentation and written cases are part of the overall student assessment (see next paragraph).
  • Attendance: The course is taught in an interactive style creating an active learning environment. Class participation is therefore highly recommended.

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes the student assessment is based on three main components.

     

    1. Reflection papers

    Two individual assignments (20% of the final grade – 10% each) designed to present the students with an opportunity to:

    • Reflect on specific features that distinguish China’s national business environment from Western contexts;
    • Identify and distinguish different characteristics of business management associated with different organizational players;
    • Explain the context-specific relationship between local institutions, organizational behavior, and company performance.

     

    2. Team project

    The team project (30% of the final grade - 10% for classroom presentation and 20% for final case) will focus on one company case (chosen by the team) to explore and assess the fit between ownership, management and institutional setting. With this project, students demonstrate their ability to:

    • Analyze inter-regional differences in China’s business environment;
    • Assess the relative advantages of different types of business ownership and management in specific local business contexts and industrial sectors;
    • Identify promising business strategies reflecting the specific company environment;
    • Organize complex teamwork tasks;
    • Communicate theoretical and practical challenges of business management in China in writing and in oral presentations.

     

    3. Written exam

    The final written exam (50% of the final grade) is based on a mix of multiple-choice and open (short-answer) questions. The purpose is to verify that the students master the underlying theoretical concepts and methods presented in the textbook and the additional class material. The exam will also show, whether students are able to draw and communicate relevant practical inferences from what they have learned.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Not attending students replace the group project with three additional reflection papers (5 papers, 50% of total grade). It is exepected that each reflection paper is more detailed than papers submitted by participating students. The greater attention to detail aims to make up for the missing in-class experience and active classroom participation.

     

    The final written exam (50% of the final grade) is based on a mix of multiple-choice and open (short-answer) questions. The purpose is to verify that the students master the underlying theoretical concepts and methods presented in the textbook and the additional class material. The exam will also show, whether students are able to draw and communicate relevant practical inferences from what they have learned.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Nee, V., and Opper, S. 2012: Capitalism from below: markets and institutional change in China. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.

     

    Articles and case studies uploaded on the e-learning platform.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Nee, V., and Opper, S. 2012: Capitalism from below: markets and institutional change in China. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.

     

    Articles and case studies uploaded on the e-learning platform. Due to the different examination style (five instead of three reflection papers, not attending students will receive additional assignments and cases).

    Last change 15/07/2020 13:25