MA-IBP Modules and Courses

The 12-month M.A. in International Business and Policy (MA-IBP) program consists of six one-week, in-person modules. Four of the modules take place on Georgetown’s Washington, D.C., campus. Two modules are held outside of the United States in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, and Frankfurt, Germany.

Each in-person module consists of three courses: one McDonough School of Business course, one Walsh School of Foreign Service course, and one theme course incorporating industry practitioners, site visits, and relevant coursework pertaining to the current events of the region.

Please note that module sequence, dates, and locations are subject to change from year to year.

MA-IBP courses may be adjusted due to developments related to COVID-19. Students will learn of further updates, if any, from the MA-IBP Program Office.    

Business, Government and the Global Economy
This course examines the political economy of international business. It offers an introduction to the way firms compete in a “rules-based” global economy, focusing on trade and investment. Ina rules-based global economy, corporate strategy is strongly influenced by non-market (i.e., political, legal, and other) factors. The course surveys topics in trade and investment with an eye to assist firms in their effort to “go global.” The course looks at issues ranging from tariffs and nontariff barriers to the role of the World Trade Organization and preferential trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Case studies are used throughout.

International Economics & BusinessInstructor
This course provides frameworks, tools, and concepts to help students analyze and understand key inter-relationships in the global economy. We will study the larger economic forces that shape production, capital flows, interest rates, exchange rates, and other variables that create the global economic landscape. The ultimate objective is to help you develop a toolkit for analyzing both opportunities and risks in the global economic environment. While the course will focus on the objectives of policy-makers, this is not a public policy course. The perspective of the course is the business manager. The course opens with an examination of why firms choose to produce where they do. Next, we turn to why some countries run current account(trade) deficits and others run surpluses. We then turn to the role of monetary and fiscal policy in shaping business conditions. Last, we examine the forces that influence exchange rates. We finish with a case that draws together many of the themes from the course.

Introduction to the Global Economy
Globalization is under considerable strain. Debates over the appropriate degree of global economic integration lie at the heart of several surprising recent political events. From Britain’svote to exit the EU to the election of the unabashedly protectionist Donald Trump as president of the United States, many of the world’s democracies are revolting against globalization’s social and economic consequences. Where is globalization headed? How would possible changes in international economic policy and institutions affect businesses? This experiential course focuses on the policy issues that shape the globalization of goods, capital, and people. Our primary objective is to explore the political economy foundations of policies relevant to leaders of globally engaged enterprises.

The Political Economy of Globalization
This course will analyze the political economy of globalization, focusing in particular on international trade and migration. The first part of the course begins with an overview of models that explain why countries trade and the effect of free trade on welfare and income distribution. Next, we discuss which trade policies are efficient from an economic point of view and compare them to trade policies implemented in practice. This leads us to an inquiry into the political processes by which trade policies are formed. We examine the drivers of public opinion on trade and how trade can affect election outcomes. The second part of the course focuses on international migration. We first investigate the determinants and impacts of international migration. Among the determinants, we single out migration policies of destination countries. We develop a political-economy model of migration policy and investigate its components, in particular public opinion on migration. Finally, we discuss how migration affects election outcomes. The objective of this course is to understand which trade and migration policies should be carried out, compare them to the policies which are carried out in practice, and, finally, understand what drives the difference between the two in political-economy terms.

Big Data Management & Analytics
This course will introduce students to the world of big data analytics. Though the term “Big Data” is seen everywhere in the popular business press, few have an understanding of what it really is and how it will have an impact on the future. Students will learn about the terminology and methods that will prepare them to leverage big data for better decision making in an organizational context. They will receive hands-on experience with several of the tools and techniques of big data. Since data visualization is such a useful tool for making better decisions, students will learn how data visualization techniques can enhance big data analytics. Throughout the course, students will be developing a project in which they select a source for big data and then proceed to analyze it using the tools they have covered in class

Global Mobility
Global migration is on the rise. This course is intended for students interested in understanding research related to the topic of global human mobility. It focuses on trends in international migration, including future economic, social, demographic, political, and other factors that influence population movements; elements of normative and legal frameworks on which coherent migration policies may be based; relationships between international migration and economic development, economic growth and competitiveness, poverty alleviation, trade, national and international security, social support systems, human rights, transnational organized crime, and public health; and institutional arrangements that enhance international cooperation to promote safe and orderly migration. This course focuses on the policy issues that influence global human mobility. Our principal objective is to examine the challenges and opportunities that global human mobility offer to leaders of public and private sector organizations.

Multinational Strategy
Leaders of multinational organizations must formulate and implement strategies that place their organizations in advantageous positions relative to an increasingly global set of competitors. Multinational strategy is an integrative course that accordingly prepares students to assume such responsibilities by providing a solid understanding of the relationship between strategic global leadership and an organization’s competitive advantage. We focus on managing a multinational organization’s competitive position in industries increasingly characterized by globalization, technological and regulatory change, and demands for strategic execution across national borders. Understanding microeconomic concepts enable managers to conduct industry and firm analyses that inform strategy. Understanding strategy concepts enables managers to formulate plans to achieve and sustain competitive advantages. Understanding cross- border differences enable managers to execute multinational strategies that enhance organizational performance and survival chances. We cover qualitative and quantitative analytical frameworks for evaluating industry determinants of success and for formulating multinational strategies. Specifically, we consider internal and external factors that influence organizational performance; organizations’ positions relative to rivals; the resources and capabilities that organizations can leverage for competitive advantage; specific strategies for obtaining advantage from multinational operations; the challenges of managing cultural, administrative, geographic, and economic differences; and evidence-based approaches to strategic management.

Global Marketing Management
Looking at the ever-growing power of global brands, we can tell that global marketing is a key ingredient of contemporary globalization dynamics. “Global Marketing Management” introduces participants to the most essential conceptual tools of marketing management (in general) and global marketing management (in particular), in the context of case discussions and through an involved simulation. Equipped with these tools, participants will be able to better understand global marketing strategies and tactics, and to productively engage in strategic and managerial decision making in this domain, with a particular sensitivity towards the complex coordination problems and subtle cultural issues involved in establishing a presence in foreign markets. Beyond the learning of practical tools, our intention (and this is why the course is case-based and relies on a simulation as well) is to develop a “global marketing mindset,” a strong personal sense of urgency towards the topics of this course, and also to educate your intuitive judgment (both moral judgment and business acumen) in the field of global Marketing.

Globalization in Developing Economies

Why is inequality on the rise, despite remarkable advancements in the global economy? How might this play a role in the ongoing controversies about globalization? This course will provide students with insights into the connections (or not) between the standards of living/ quality of life for the poor and globalization in developing economies. We will emphasize the kinds of policies and practices that help (or hinder) poverty in a global economy. Students will hereby analyze the societal impacts of globalization, particularly as it relates to human development and support for the global economy. Using these tools, we will identify the challenges and opportunities that trade, and international capital flows can provide the government and its people in developing economies.

Comparative Politics, Development Economics
Why are some countries wealthy, stable, and thriving, while others are impoverished, volatile, and stagnant? What explains historically why some countries became prosperous while many were left behind? What role do policy, geography, and politics play in explaining growth and stability? And how did some formerly poor countries grow richer? This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the economics and politics of development. It aims to provide professionals with insights into, and explanations for, the differences in the performance of economic and political systems across the world as well as the tools for assessing that performance. The emphasis throughout will be to provide a deeper understanding of development policies adopted by governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, and international organizations as well as the numerous risks and vulnerabilities faced by low- and middle-income countries in the 21 st century. The course starts with the basics: the meaning and measurement of “wealth” and an analysis of the growth trajectories of countries and regions around the world. The course then takes a closer look at political and economic explanations of development. The course concludes with a look at various international aspects of development.

Organizational Management and Cross-Cultural Communication 

This course focuses on effective teamwork, leadership, and talent management in a global context – drawing on ideas regarding global mindsets, cultural intelligence, cross-cultural competence, global dexterity, etc. We will cover issues at five levels: Individual, Relationship, Team, Organizational, and National. We will do so through readings, cases, lectures, class discussions, and exercises; self-assessments; and, guest speakers, and site visits in Vietnam. The class will operate in tandem with the “Comparative Politics & Development Economics” course and the rich array of activities planned for our time in Vietnam.

Opportunities & Challenges in Emerging Asia
Many of the most attractive opportunities for business expansion and development lie in today’s “emerging markets” in Asia. These countries offer a highly dynamic and business-friendly environment with many advantages for firms seeking new markets, low-cost production opportunities, or high-yield investment. At the same time, however, these business environments also pose special risks and challenges. Indeed, beyond traditional factors such as cost and market size, the ability to achieve competitive advantage through globalization is increasingly determined by the firm’s ability to manage critical “non-market” factors. These factors include the risks posed by weak legal systems that limit the enforceability of contracts and property rights (including intellectual property rights). Furthermore, contentious international policy issues such as labor rights, free trade, and access to advanced technology also influence risks and opportunities in a given national environment. Identifying and formulating strategies to mitigate these risks requires a deeper understanding of the impact of globalization beyond the economic sphere in these specific business contexts. Thus, focusing on the experience and developments in Vietnam, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, this experiential course introduces participants to the non-economic implications of market liberalization, including the environment, civil society, rule of law.

This course is designed as an introduction to the fundamentals of financial markets. The course begins with the core concept of “Time Value of Money”, and moves onto “Bond Valuation”. Next, we will explore how “Returns and Risks are defined in the Financial Markets” and we end by examining the “Concept of Efficient Markets and Valuation of Stocks”. The majority of the content is delivered asynchronously, with the exception of the first three weekly live class sessions that will be held on dates and times announced at the start of the course. You are expected to work through the course materials and prepare for the Live Session through our Anytime Media (e.g., read relevant chapters in the textbook, watch Professor Presentations and Interviews, and participate in discussion forums, etc.) We then discuss how to apply these materials to real-world business cases in our Live sessions. Your attendance for the Live Sessions is mandatory and will be part of your grade.

Institutions, Diplomacy, and International Business
This course will provide students with an introduction to international relations and examine the implications of international politics for the international business environment. Students will learn about the historical origins of the international system, contemporary dynamics within that system, and possible future developments. We will ask the following questions: what is the structure of the international system? Why does war occur in the international system at some times but not others? Do democracies behave in unique ways in international relations? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different instruments of foreign policy available to actors in international politics? The course will conclude with a simulation of a potential crisis involving Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Global Investments and Operations
International business invariably involves international financial markets and institutions. This course starts with a reinforcement of the material on financial markets from Mod 4. Financial crises occur regularly in both developed and emerging markets. The causes and consequences of the recent financial crisis are examined in detail, along with the ongoing challenges facing the euro. Currency fluctuations are a key factor in multinational financial decisions as well as government policy decisions. We will introduce the risk management tools commonly used to deal with currency risk, including forwards, futures, and options. We then explore real options in the context of international expansion opportunities.

Crisis and the Future of Europe
In this course, you will be given a smörgåsbord of experiences related to being in Frankfurt, Europe. The course will include 4 field trips, one to the European Central Bank (ECB) to learn about how they work and European monetary policy more generally, one guided walking tour of the city and two visits to distinguished professors at Goethe University Frankfurt to hear about some of their current research on management practices and firm productivity and financial innovation. We will discuss a bit of what it means to be European (hint, lots of variation), the current state of the European Union, and some of the current bright spots and challenges.

This course will provide you with an understanding of the most pressing issues in contemporary international security. Each week will feature one asynchronous online session followed by a synchronous discussion-focused session. The course will begin with a general overview of contemporary security issues and then will focus on the specific issue of terrorism. In the discussion of terrorism, students will examine the causes of terrorism as well as the possible range of responses, including national responses and international responses.

Global Cooperation
We analyze the international system as the confluence of three processes: democratization, interdependence (globalization), and institutionalization. Scholars have argued that these three things go together. As states become more democratic, they cooperate more with each other, get more integrated, and join more international organizations. These processes also create feedback effects: with states growing ever more interdependent as they get more embedded in the liberal international system. In the 1990s, it seemed like the only way was up. But what happened? Was the premise wrong? Did liberal theorists underestimate the role of power asymmetries and cultural and ideological differences? Or domestic politics? Or is the supposed crisis of the system overblown? Two different types of issues shape the current turbulence in the world order: the increasingly prominent role of non-Western and non-democratic states and the erosion of liberal democracy and support for interdependence and institutionalization in the Western world. How are these two challenges changing the institutional order and global cooperation?

Politics of Economic Transformation
From the end of the Second World War until the mid-1980s, U.S. and European-based multinational firms and U.S. and European government regulatory policies set the agenda for the global economy. With the collapse of the state-directed models of economic development in the late 1980s and early 1990s, billions of consumers/workers in dozens of here-to-for isolated states have commenced integration into the global economy. Multinational firms have ‘fragmented their value chains’ and have embraced workers and consumers in the previously isolated market. This economic integration has produced a dramatic reduction in global poverty. Integration has created political and economic strains, however, in the domestic economics and politics of U.S. and Europe. We explore these strains and the resulting politics of the strains in this module.

Future of the Global Economy 
Globalization affects every country regardless of its economic, political, or social situation. In this context, as states endeavor to adapt their policies to new demands, companies deploy strategies to attain an increasingly globally integrated production system. The globalized world forces us to seek and develop appropriate ways to undergo this process. Today, discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of globalization are insignificant and unimportant in the face of the great need to determine the essential conditions for countries, companies, and individuals to really benefit from it. Globalization requires a company to make strategic decisions about each component of the business model. Market participation decisions include choosing which specific markets or segments to serve, domestically, or abroad; what methods of distribution to use to reach target customers; and how to promote and advertise the value proposition. In this session, we assess how global the world economy has become and what implications that has for companies addressing the future of the Global Economy.

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