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!

 

Trump fostering a new era of prosperity for US-EU relationship

The walk over burning coals with tariffs rattling has been completed and soothing coolness has returned. EU Commission President Juncker came to Washington with a publicly pronounced low level of expectations. But, as could be expected, when it was all said and (hopefully) done, acerbic argument gave way to collegial progress. The United States will be able to sell more of its products to Europe, and, in exchange, the treat of prohibitive tariffs will be eased.

Some believe that these developments were unexpected – like Manna from heaven. Not so! The Trump Administration had undertaken many steps to indicate that trade was a key concern. Unlike the experience of other administrations, President Trump persisted in his intent to support American business domestically and internationally. The shot across the bow of the ship Europa helped to concentrate the minds of policy makers. Yes, they still have other problems, such as NATO, Household deficits, Brexit, migration, and more. However, with the imposition of significant tariffs, Trump made it clear that trade had to move up on the list of important policies to consider.

After much hesitation, the adjustment steps began to take place. And rightfully so, when one considers that it has been more than 70 years, three generations , since the setting in place of U.S. sponsored world trade mechanisms such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Back then, the principal dimension was the strengthening of European economies in order to improve local standards of living and achieve a meaningful defense against the then Soviet Bloc. In support of these goals, the U.S. willingly accepted its leadership cost to a growing excess.

The world changed, as did its opportunities and threats. But the U.S. negotiation approach stayed the same, support others, don’t worry about the drawbacks to the privileged U.S. firms. Over time, the U.S. started to fall behind – lots of imports, few exports, and still no major support from the government. When Trump took on his campaign, he promised changes in the trade picture, and he even lived up to that goal after he won the election. He started to use an anvil and hammer approach to break through old fashioned restrictions and chains. When other nations complained, he warned them of the sparks that could fly during the hammering in a larger forging process. His watchword was ‘reciprocal’ relations.

Now, it has worked out. With reason on both sides there will be progress and stronger linkages. It is gratifying to see how past barriers can be converted into linkages. Decades ago, for example, the river Spree in Berlin clearly marked the distance and separation between East and West Germany. Today, the very same river offers easy crossing and pulls the two river banks together. Its flow encourages rather than inhibits linkage.

The willingness to acknowledge shortcomings and engage in the collaborative implementation of solutions is a new engine for growth. Trump has coached this right, the EU and Juncker are good co-captains. Let the new game begin!

Professor Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches International Business and Trade at Georgetown University and the University of Kent. His forthcoming book in October 2018 is In Search for the Soul of International Business.

This commentary was published first by The Hill; Washington D.C. On July 29, 2018

Offsets: One answer to International Trade Imbalances

Offsets: One answer to International Trade Imbalances

Michael R. Czinkota

When foreign governments shop for defense supplies, they are not solely motivated by price and quality. In light of the trade balance effects of major acquisitions such as aircraft or defense products, international customers often require U.S. vendors to purchase goods from them in order to “offset” the trade balance effects large purchases have on their trade flows. In light of enormous U.S. trade deficits, it is time for the United States to reciprocate with offset demands of our trading partners. Frequently we find ourselves in conditions where foreign sales to us are major and our sales to importers and their nations are minor. This leads to trade relations which are out of kilter.  U.S. firms have accommodated foreign offset demands for decades. Now is the time when some give-back by our trading partners is the right medicine to improve world trade imbalances.

Offsets are industrial compensation arrangements demanded (so far only) by foreign governments as a condition for making major purchases, such as military hardware. Sometimes, these arrangements are directly related to the goods being traded. For instance, the Spanish air force’s planes – American-made McDonnell Douglass F/A-18 Hornets – use rudders, fuselage components, and speed brakes made by Spanish companies. U.S. sellers of the planes have provided the relevant technology information so that Spanish firms are now successful new producers in the industry. Under offset conditions, U.S. companies also often help export a client country’s goods go international, or even support the performance of tourism services. For example, the ‘Cleopatra Scheme’ allowed foreign suppliers to Egypt to meet their agreed upon offset obligations through package tours for international tourists.

In 2015, U.S. firms entered into 38 new offset agreements where they agreed to cause purchases  with 15 countries valued at $3.1 billion. In 2017, the total U.S. trade deficit was $566 billion after it imported $2.895 trillion of goods and services while exporting $2.329 trillion. No country has a bigger trade surplus with the United States than China. In 2017, the U.S. deficit with China climbed to its highest level on record, amounting to a gap of $375 billion.

Eliminating imbalances is a core component of the Trump administration’s international economic policy. One policy approach has been the threat of tariffs against China,.  One effective supplemental strategy could be the instigation of offset agreements with major trade surplus nations.

For instance, many American imports that contribute to the trade deficit are capital goods, such as computers and telecom equipment. An offset agreement between China and the United States could require China to use American-made components, perhaps even from Chinese owned plants.  An example could be the export of Smithfield ham from the U.S. to be served in company cafeterias in China. Then there are excellent opportunities for Chinese tourists, particularly if equipped with high-spend budgets.

The American trade deficit is not easily resolved. Government would be well served to explore non-traditional options in order to develop more than one fulcrum for leverage. New use of  offset agreements – which have provided our trading partners with past success at our expense – could help revitalize American industries and  bring a new sense of balance to trade relationships. Our government should encourage offset commitments by foreign firms and countries who sell a lot to us. America deserves to reap the benefits!

Michael Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international business and trade at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Kent, U.K. His key book (with Ilkka Ronkainen) is “International Marketing” (10th ed., CENGAGE). Lisa Burgoa contributed to this commentary.

TERRORISM, COMPETITIVENESS AND INTERNATIONAL MARKETING (6/6)

Future Research and Preparation

 (Final in a series of six)

Valbona Zeneli, Marshall Center, Germany

Michael R. Czinkota, Georgetown University USA and University of Kent, UK

Gary Knight, Willamette University, USA

 

Concluding this series of our research findings, here are future directions for investigating terrorism and international marketing. Like the legs of a sturdy stool, three priority areas; the firm’s value chains, its rapidity of recognizing threats, and its preparedness with responses to terrorist events.

Marketing in emerging economies searches for the most effective operations to reduce the impact of terrorism, to decrease the response time to terrorism and to avoid market failures.

It is important to create business models that minimize interference and disruption. For example, hamburgers do not have to be distributed through burger palaces but can reach customers through outside vacuum tubes. Suppliers don’t all have to come from only a few nations but can be sourced from a wide diversity of countries.

Financial efficiency must now be traded off with robustness and a cushion against disruption.  The balance of benefits and costs needs to be understood: just how much does it cost to increase protection by one percent. What risks are worth taking? What are heuristic spinoff effects of traditional models, and do they need to be revisited? The new aim must be the monetization of alternative terror responsive strategies which improve performance under risky conditions. Real options theory can focus on risk uncertainty and emphasize creating and then exercising the now appropriately understood options.

Research must conceptualize and communicate the exposures of proposed investment projects. Apart from the investment benefits one should also rate an investment for its tie-down effects expressed by the viability and cost to withdraw an investment once it has been made and the restrictive effect on strategic directions. For example, when a certain climatic investment locale has been chosen, it may affect future choices of locale or innovations of car paint. Also worth examining is exogenous uncertainty in international markets that lies beyond managerial control. International marketers need flexibility for unexpected market developments. Financial options theory can help measure and quantify the effect of such management versatility.

Systems theory lets managers examine the threat and vulnerability exposures of the firm. The interdependence of networks of firms, affiliates, and agents within larger systems require examination together with how individuals relate to and interface with other actors in the socio-political sphere of interest. A systems perspective reduces the risk for management to under-specify marketing parameters. It becomes easier to understand and respond to the geopolitical environment, terrorism networks, and newly recognized sources of risk in business systems themselves, with a focus on the vulnerability of specific network nodes.

Future research should differentiate the effects of terrorism on services industries. Some aspects of services, particularly for international markets, may vary substantially from those of traditional goods. We investigated the effects of terrorism on the international operations of manufacturing firms.  By comparison, firms in the services sector are often more vulnerable to terrorism.  Substantially affected industries include airlines, transportation, and hospitality, as well as banks, insurance firms, and other financial actors. Most service-providing firms enter foreign markets via Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).  Services are growing in importance. They represent the fastest growing sector in international business and usually constitute the largest proportion of economic activity in advanced economies and emerging markets.

Assuring service resilience by both an industry as well as an individual person is therefore crucial and imperative for the viability of business under the threat of terrorism.

 

Michael Czinkota teaches international business and trade at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and the University of Kent. He is a trade policy analyst and frequent public speaker. His key book (with Ilkka Ronkainen) is “International Marketing” (10th ed., CENGAGE).

Book Foreword: IN MY OPINION

My colleague and former student Dr. Valbona Zeneli, recently, published her book IN MY OPINION. The book presents 39 short articles about the core issues of European security, international trade, and the Western Balkans. She also uses cartoons with each topic. All of which have been drawn by her 12 year old son.

I had the pleasure to write the Foreword of the book as follows:

Foreword

I like this book. The many articles of Dr. Zeneli provide a 360 degree view of the world. This collection of articles offers new decisions and policies that impact current events in our  turbulent times. Equally important, Dr. Zeneli recognizes the fact that even those interested in a topic may not have the time to read and reflect on many lengthy academic treatises. The subsequent risk for the world are decisions made by  policy makers, business executives, and researchers themselves, which are based on very limited information, fragmented insights, and very limited overall comprehension.

With the work presented here, Dr. Zeneli provides an answer to this problematic. She identifies core international policy and trade issues and addresses them with depth and parsimony, thus helping to create a new bedrock of understanding. Her answer is the new use of short and pertinent  commentary.

Her background provides unique strength and capabilities to Dr. Zeneli. She was born and raised in Albania, and educated at leading global institutions. Combined with her exposure to practice, she is  able to bring to her analysis and writing a rare combination of academic expertise and “real world experience”. Her training in economics and security studies took her from Italy, to the United States, and to Germany at the famous George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studie.

I  have known Valbona for 15 years, since  she was my students.  in  International Marketing class at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. she excelled then and ever since I have enjoyed working with her in researching and writing on current important in the fields of global trade, international marketing,  trade agreements, corruption, and international terrorism.  Her extensive exposure to and participation in policy, business, and academic research allows her to glide easily  between the three worlds, and to understand different perspectives. Her international experience at the Marshall Center, where she works with leaders from  all continents to discuss current  security issues and future trends, is clearly demonstrated in her comparative comments, which allows readers to look at different perspectives.

Valbona Zeneli has written numerous research papers in her academic life, and has been a contributor of editorial commentary in the international business and security field. Her work has been published in well-known outlets such as The Diplomat, The Globalist, The National Interest, Atlantic Community, The Japan Times, SriLanka Guardian, Affari Internazionali among others.

Dr. Zeneli’s focus on economics, governance, and the interlocking aspects of world trade matter in these turbulent times.  Her ability to capture current events and connect them to the foundation and requirements of governing and responsible decision making is truly special.  This is where her skill shine best. Her ability to make sense of what makes societies successful, or causes them to fail, is both subtle and effective. By examining her thinking and it’s development over time,  we are treated to key insights into the ongoing rapidity of   change and the consequences of bad decision making. There articles provide us with key lessons.

She is a strong supporter of European integration of the Western Balkans, and a believer oin open trade and strong transatlantic bonds. A  Europeanist and internationalist at heart, these feeling are evident throughout her writings.

Of equal  importance is the fact that the articles presented here illuminate the mistakes to be avoided in a period of our history where decisions made with  rapid reaction but often based on  poor and even deceptive information  are becoming the norm. Zeneli argues with a constant  key take-away in mind. We live in a globalized world and we are highlyinterconnected.. Policy decisions are seldom exclusively national but have regional and global repercussions.  Zeneli’s collection is a reminder of the butterfly effect where seemingly local actions can lead to major shifts even far away. Events such as poor governance, corruption,

migration, and the like in the Balkans can have a far reaching impact in Europe and beyond.  Trade policies need to be separated from emotions with a heightened sense of clinical rigor and honesty and honor. Already today, but even more in the future, will these concerns be the bane of society. They therefore require our concentrated  attention.

Dr. Zeneli’s articles are  accompanied by  a cartoon. With the artistic support of her eleven-year old son this book offers drawings reflecting both simplicity and understanding of  her commentaries, appealing to the reader with words and sights, and and adding the dimension  of humor to complicated security issues.

Valbona Zeneli’s articles capture what are still current events but she tells a story that will endure. I therefore encourage you to go to your nearest book store and buy this book. It is worth your effort to do so, since a systematic reading of the material presented, your reflection of the ongoing implications and your review of the cartoons, will likely make you the smartest person in the room when it comes to discussions of security, regionalism and trade. My congratulations go to Dr, Valbona Zeneli for the fine work she has conducted.

 

Michael R. Czinkota

Georgetown University

Washington D.C., January 2018