Student Feedback in International Business Seminar at the University of Kent in Canterbury

Dear Visitor,

This summer, I organized a seminar at the university of Kent in Canterbury on cutting edges of international business. Part of the team were:
Prof. Martin Meyer, Kent
Prof. Michael Czinkota , Kent and Georgetown
Prof.Gary Knight, Williamette
Prof. Zaheer Khan, Kent
Prof. Rudiger Kaufmann, Mannheim
Prof. Valbona Zeneli, Marshall Center
Mr. Adam Smith, Kent

The response of the students was enthusiastic and highly complimentary. In planning for the summer of 2019 I want you to be aware of this our program, so that you can consider already early on to contact me (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) or the University of Kent Summer School website (info@kent.ac.uk) This program can transform the outlook and understanding of students.

I am also attaching the 2018 summer program which is indicative of the 2019 seminar. Please help letting the world know about it.

COURSE EVALUATION

  1. How did you find out about our International Business Seminar at Kent Business School?

Anastasia Makareva:

To begin with, the first insight into this programme was given by my university (NRU HSE) which offered an award-based scholarship to participate in the KBS Summer School. As far as I got interested in this programme, I started searching for more information on the KBS webpage and looked through the blog posts from the previous students.

Alejandra:

I found out thanks to a friend with whom I attended the course.

Maria:

The course was recommended to me by the professors from HSE University.

Sebastian
https://www.summerschoolsineurope.eu/

Arina Sapogova

I was initially planning to take a short-term course at the University of Kent since I had won a scholarship. ‘International Business in a Dynamic Environment’ was one of the programs offered by the Summer School.

Anna Ipri

I found out about this summer school on my university’s website because it was published a call for scholarships. In particular, the choice fell among all the European summer schools on this website: https://www.summerschoolsineurope.eu/

  1. What did you expect when you enrolled in the course?

Anastasia Makareva

To tell the truth, this was my first experience in the participation in summer school, therefore I didn’t have any specific expectations. I simply wished to be productive and to learn something new which would help me in my future studies and career.

 Alejandra

I hoped to improve my English level and learn more about the business world which interested me a lot.

Maria

Honestly, when applying for the course I was afraid that it would be too difficult for me. I thought that during our business classes we would have different mathematical exercises and marketing insights. On the one hand I am happy that I have survived successfully, but on the other that would have been a wonderful experience.

Sebastian

That was a hit or miss decision from my side as to me only the Title sounded very interesting.

Arina Sapogova

Since I am doing my Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, I expected the course to provide me with a broader perspective of social relations in various spheres of life.  

Anna Ipri

When I enrolled in the course I thought I had a good study experience. Actually, my expectations have been exceeded because I have experienced one of the most enchanting experiences of my life!

  1. What information was helpful to your course selection?

Anastasia Makareva

First and foremost, the course’s compliance with my current major (International Relations, specialization in Economics and International Business), justified my choice. Secondly, I got truly inspired by the student experience (via Kent’s website).

 Alejandra

I found the description of the business course very interesting and the university of kent is very prestigious.

Maria

I have won a scholarship from the faculty at HSE for the following course.

Sebastian

The Headline

Arina Sapogova

A short description highlighting a range of topics covered by the course as well as the main objectives of the program. 

Anna Ipri

Teaching staff, course contents, fees, location, Credit Transfer Option, learning outcomes

  1. What additional information could have been useful early on?

Anastasia Makareva

I believe that the detailed information about the syllabus (just several content-points related to the overall content or, if possible, some additional readings) would be a good addition!

 Alejandra

everything was clear enough from the beginning, maybe more information about the University of Kent.

Sebastian

More information about the teachers,
The schedule

Arina Sapogova

To my mind, having a more detailed description of the course (including assignments, evaluation, etc.) and also knowing the teaching staff beforehand could have been truly important. 

Anna Ipri

More information about the teaching staff. In addition, I would have liked to have the possibility to access the contents of the course (e.g. 1 word page for each subject), just to get a concrete idea of the topics that will be covered during the lessons.

  1. When did you learn about the course and when did you enroll?

Anastasia Makareva

I learned about this course at the beginning of March, and in the middle of April, I enrolled.

 Alejandra

I signed up in May and I knew thanks to a friend about this date.

Maria

The administration of my program helped me to enroll and supervised me throughout the process

Sebastian

I was researching regarding summer schools in December and enrolled in January

Arina Sapogova

I learned about the course somewhere in early spring and enrolled as soon as I found out that I could get a scholarship.

Anna Ipri

I learned about the course around the second week of May 2018 and I enrolled on May 28th 2018.

 

  1. How have your expectations been met?

 

Anastasia Makareva

As I’ve mentioned earlier, this was my first experience, so I didn’t have any specific expectations. However, by the end of the course, I had the feeling that it was precisely how it should have been! Fully satisfied and fulfilled!

 Alejandra

Pretty good, I’ve learned a lot about business and also to get along and learn from others.

Maria

I liked the interaction during the lectures and the opportunity to express ones line of thought.

I really enjoyed the final exam. I think it is a great idea to put it in the form of an editorial. Moreover, the opportunity of being published in some journal really motivated to make the work perfect!

I found the course very interesting and insightful. For an international relation student the knowledge gained will surely affect positively on my future studies.

Nevertheless, I know that it is impossible to learn more in these 2 weeks, but with some of the information I was already acquainted from my LSE classes. We learned everything broadly and did not concentrate on a topic in depth. Maybe while planning future courses it would be better to focus on just 2 issues (1 for each weak) and look at them from different perspectives: social, economic, political and etc.

Sebastian

I was very positive surprised when I saw the time schedule (about 2 weeks before the school started)
At that point I was expecting very interesting lectures.
My expectations have been excelled.

Arina Sapogova

Not only have my expectations matched the reality, but I was also impressed by the high-quality knowledge provided. Being a part of a course managed by internationally recognised professionals was an inspiration for me.

Anna Ipri

My expectations have been met because all Professors had a very professional and friendly approach, which seemed to already know them. Indeed, I was very grateful that they shared their personal experiences with us. Moreover, I think that the case studies (e.g. “U.S. Tariffs on Tire Imports from China”) that we have analysed during the two weeks have been very useful to put into practice what we learned and to widen my knowledge on real facts happened to real companies such as H&M, PUMA and Nestlè.

  1. What were the key strengths of the course?

Anastasia Makareva

For me, among the key strengths was the structure of teaching methods and delivery of information: a well-balanced mix of both ‘traditional’ lectures and seminars with direct contact between professors and audience. Additionally, the covered topics themselves were utterly significant, interesting, thought-provoking, and, to some extent, even challenging!

 Alejandra

A very friendly treatment and a very nice atmosphere with the teachers and classmates and some very interesting classes.

Maria

The key strengths of the course were the professors. From each I learned something new. The interactive lectures were interesting and a thought of NOT coming to class NEVER passed my mind.

Sebastian

The diversity and skill from the teachers

Arina Sapogova

The course combined strong theoretic basis with regular interactive activities, which enabled not only to gain new knowledge but also put new skills into practice. 

Anna Ipri

High teaching quality, international teaching staff, interactive lessons, students from all over the world, interesting contents and topics, outdoor activities.

 

  1. How do you evaluate the diversity of topics and teachers?

Anastasia Makareva

I would certainly value highly the following diversity, as for me this was a fundamental factor which increased interest and motivation for studying and discussed topics.  

 Alejandra

There was quite a diversity of topics during the course issued by different teachers.

Maria

I would give 10 out of 10 for the diversity of the material and teachers

Sebastian

Excellent 

Arina Sapogova

The range of topics included in the course was diverse enough to gain a broader understanding of such a complex dimension as International Business.

Anna Ipri

I welcome both the diversity of the arguments and that of the professors and I really enjoyed the variety of lessons. Indeed, this summer school offers a broad-spectrum knowledge on topics related to international business, with lessons on international marketing, curative marketing, CSR and corruption, exports management, triple helix, strategy and product positioning.

  1. Were there sufficient content sections?

Anastasia Makareva

I would rather agree that there were enough and sufficient content sections covered, and, I also want to praise the interconnectedness among topic and other areas.

 Alejandra

Yes, there was enough content of all kinds.

Maria

The content sections were sufficient.

However, to my mind, as it is a business course, it would have been nice if students could analyze this sphere of knowledge not only from the analytical point of view, but also economical/mathematical.

Sebastian

yes

Arina Sapogova

The course included quite a lot of various content sections, dealing with interrelated fields and thus demonstrating different perspectives of the same topic.

Anna Ipri

Definitely yes! All lesson hours have been exploited to best cover all contents and topics.

  1. What types of activities could have been increased/decreased?

Alejandra

Everything was in its proper measure, the excursions could be increased and the participation in class too.

Maria

I think all types of activities were set well

Sebastian

Prof. Khan’s session should have been reduced to half a day.

Arina Sapogova

It would be great to have more writing assignments and readings dedicated to the topic. Besides, I have found debates really useful for developing my argumentative skills and it seems to me that having more interactive and challenging activities during the seminar is always a good idea.

Anna Ipri

I think that Professors of the caliber of Michael Czinkota and Gay Knight should be sponsored more in order to increase enrollment in the course;

More role-playing games and debates between students like we did during the second week of the course (e.g. case study about “U.S. Tariffs on Tire Imports from China” in which one student represented the category of workers, one of the exporters etc.);

Outdoor activities with Professors (in addition to the student ambassadors).

  1. How should such changes be implemented?

Anastasia Makareva

In my viewpoint, more case studies can be discussed and analyzed, because this is a useful way of understanding material and its theoretical application in the analysis. Also, some kind of small group projects as a separate activity can also be implemented as a way of practice.

 Alejandra

Putting more trips throughout the week and doing classroom activities that involve students making decisions as a practical part of the subject

Sebastian

Just one session less with Prof. Kahn and use that half day for interactive stuff (mybe at the beginning)

Arina Sapogova

Writing tasks and readings could be assigned as a hometask and evaluated afterwards by the professors. It would be equally essential to receive more detailed comments on one’s work.

Anna Ipri

Making Professors’ names more visible on the website;

Increasing contents creation by students at the end of each lesson;

Inviting Professors to join the student ambassadors.

 

  1. Would you recommend the course to friends and colleagues?

Anastasia Makareva

Yes, even to those who are not closely related to the sphere of business, because this course not only helped me to acquire new knowledge and skills but also gave useful insights into other inter-related spheres.

 Alejandra

I would highly recommend this course to all my friends and family, as I think you learn a lot and it’s really worth it.

Maria

Yes, I would definitely recommend the course to people that I know. It was a great experience. Thank you again for the opportunity!

Sebastian

YES!

Arina Sapogova

I would definitely recommend the course both to my friends and colleagues at the University. 

Anna Ipri

Of course, I’ve already done it! I have highly recommended both the summer school and the university of Kent to all my Italian friends!

One last thing I want to say is that this summer school has given me the opportunity to find such useful ideas for my thesis that I will start writing in September and confirmed my intentions to enrol in a master’s degree in international management. It was a pleasure meeting all these amazing people from all over the world and staying there for two weeks. I am available for any further information and personal comments.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to experience the best two weeks of my life!

 

The Unspoken Truth about International Business

Language has been described as the mirror of culture. Language itself is multidimensional. This is true not only of the spoken word but also of the nonverbal language of international business.

Messages are conveyed not just by the words used, but also by how those words are spoken and through such nonverbal means as gestures, body position, and eye contact. These nonverbal actions and behaviors reveal hidden clues to culture.

Five key topics – time, space, body language, friendship patterns and business agreements – offer a starting point from which managers can begin to acquire the understanding necessary to do business in foreign countries.

Understanding national and cultural differences in the concept of time is critical for an international business manager. In many parts of the world, time is flexible and is not seen as a limited commodity; people come late to appointments or may not come at all.

In Mexico for instance, it is not unusual to show up at 1:45PM for a 1:00PM appointment. Although a late afternoon siesta cuts apart the business day, businesspeople will often be at their desks until 10 o’clock at night.

In Hong Kong, too, it is futile to set exact meeting times because getting from one place to another may take minutes or hours, depending on traffic.

Showing indignation or impatience at such behavior would astonish an Arab, Latin American, or Asian.

Perception of time also affects business negotiations. Asians and Europeans tend to be more interested in long-term partnerships, while Americans are eager for deals that will be profitable in the short term, meaning less than a year.

Individuals vary in their preferences for personal space. Arabs and Latin Americans like to stand close to people when they talk. If an American who may not be comfortable at such close range, backs away from an Arab, this might incorrectly be perceived as a negative reaction.

An interesting exercise is to compare and contrast the conversation styles of different nationalities. Northern Europeans are quite reserved in using their hands and maintain a good amount of personal space, whereas Southern Europeans involved their bodies to a far greater degree in making a point.

International body language, too, can befuddle international business relations.

For example, an American manager may after successful completion of negotiations, impulsively give a finger-and-thumb “okay” sign. In southern France, this would signify the deal was worthless, and in Japan, it would mean that a little bribe had been requested. The gesture would be grossly insulting to Brazilians.

Misunderstanding nonverbal cues can undermine international negotiations. While Eastern and Chinese negotiators usually lean back and make frequent eye contact while projecting negativity, Western negotiators usually avert their gaze for the same purpose.

In some countries, extended social acquaintance and the establishment of appropriate personal rapport are essential to conducting business. The feeling is that one should know one’s business partner on a personal level before transactions can occur.

Therefore, rushing straight to business will not be rewarded because deals are made on the basis of not only the best product or price, but also the entity or person deemed most trustworthy. Contract may be bound on handshakes, not lengthy and complex agreements – a fact that makes some, especially Western, businesspeople uneasy.

_____________

Excerpt from Fundamentals of International Business, 3rdby Michael R. Czinkota, Ilkka A. Ronkainen, and Michael H. Moffett

Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international business and trade at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Kent. His latest book, forthcoming in October 2018, is “In Search for the Soul of International Business”.

 

 

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The Case for Cuban Engagement

After six decades of communist rule in Cuba, the island is now governed by someone outside of the Castro family for the first time since the 1959 revolution. The new leader, Miguel Diaz-Canel, was vice president and a provincial party chief.

Many believe that the political and economic status quo of the Caribbean nation is unlikely to change. However, lessons from the business world indicate that any change in an organization’s key leaders ushers in a new era for a company.

Whether it’s an acquisition, merger or the appointment of a new CEO, these transformations usually carry enormous repercussions for key functions.

New priorities are typically manifested by new promotions, new players, new rules and new aims. In turn, this results in shifting financial conditions, new private developments and new service assortments.

When applying such transition effects onto countries, one could argue that there is an opportunity for President Trump to act decisively in formalizing and normalizing trade relations with Cuba if conciliatory and meaningful changes are made.

For example, changes could be made so that there are no longer higher hotel rates for Americans than for Europeans, as well as no more ongoing accusations or regurgitation of historic events that have long passed.

Curative International Marketing, a theory developed at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, directly addresses past errors and focuses on long-term restitution and improvements.

Such a move would advance U.S. businesses and their strategic interests while allowing Cuban citizens to operate in the private sector independent of the communist regime.

So far in the Trump administration, the opposite tactic has been taken by restricting American travel and trade with Cuba, which is a reversal of President Barack Obama’s policies.

A pro-business posture allows for increased commercial relations (beyond cigars) that would be more effective in countering the interests of the Cuban military’s monopoly in business.

This policy would empower private Cuban entrepreneurs by eliminating their dependence on the Cuban state apparatus and open them up to U.S. leadership and influence in the region. Private success over public ventures would speak volumes in favor of new economic and social thinking.

As a first measure, restoring the capacity for U.S. citizens to schedule individual visits to Cuba, which was eliminated in 2017, should be considered.

The potential economic boon for Cuba’s tourist industry could eventually stimulate growth in both the U.S. and Cuban economies. Also, this measure would promote democratization and bolster innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit in Cuba.

The recent promising developments in the Korean Peninsula indicate that diplomacy rather than deterrence can advance American interests in places where ideological and strategic divisions run deep. As the White House approaches a deal in East Asia, it could apply the lessons learned from the North Korean negotiations closer to home in Cuba.

President Trump’s acumen for dealmaking can face an ultimate test in Cuba. Opening conversations — and trade — with the island could mark a vast improvement in the bilateral relationship. Hopefully, the American people can look forward to the use of politics that shapes a future good for all of us.

Michael Czinkota teaches international business and trade at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Kent.

Lisa Burgoa of the School of Foreign Service contributed to this commentary.