Political Economy of Global Business
Assessment Task 1: Short Individual Essay: Industry Case Study
Type: Individual essay Length: 1,500 words (+/- 10%)
Weighting: 30% Due date: Week 4 - Friday 12 August, 23:59 AEST
In a rapidly changing world of business, the nature and meaning of corporate nationality is in a state of flux. In this assignment you will take up the case of one international firm of your choice and ask whether its national identity carries any real meaning today.
You will select a company (not BHP, the example mentioned in the lecture), research its corporate annual reports and other industry and academic sources. You should look for attributes such as location of production, R&D, headquarters, workforce, product markets, ownership, assets, investment and finance.
The core question here is whether the firm's official -home- is relevant to its operations (as Tyson suggests) or irrelevant (as Reich suggests).
The assessment should be written in the form of an argumentative essay, and it is due at the end of week 4.
The targeted Course Learning Outcomes for this assessment are:
• CLO1: Articulate and apply the core concepts and theories in the political economy of international business.
• CLO2: Integrate the key historical developments in international political economy so as to contextualise and respond to current issues and problems in international business.
• CLO3: Critically analyse and synthesise your conceptual knowledge of how international business and organisations impact on politics, culture and economics.
• CLO4: Develop independent and critical research skills to synthesise theoretical and empirical data relating to the real-world issues of international political economy and the role of global business therein.
Your essay should be written in response to the following question, which should act as its title:
• Corporate National Identity in the 21st Century: Is [FIRM] really a [NATIONALITY] company?
• Corporate National Identity in the 21st Century: Is BP really a British company?
• Corporate National Identity in the 21st Century: Is Huawei really a Chinese company?
• Corporate National Identity in the 21st Century: Is Honda really a Japanese company?
Follow the essay advice given in tutorials, and on the assignment development modules in the course resources section.
2. Corporate national identity in the 21st century (a brief overview of the core points of the Reich Tyson Debate, and other perspectives on corporate national identity)
3. Your firm's corporate national identity (answer the question about corporate national identity as it relates to your firm. This should take up half of the essay or more)
1. Remember that the core question of corporate national identity (as debated by Reich and Tyson) was not merely whether firms conducted operations at home or abroad (these are all international firms by definition), but whether their national -home- is relevant to their business decisions and strategies. Therefore, simply listing the foreign activities of a firm does not necessarily tell us that the company is a -Reich-type- global firm, just as listing its home activities does not prove it to be a -Tyson-type- national firm. Instead, look for evidence that a firm is making decisions relating to the location of its activity that suggest a loyalty to its home country, or a reflections of its national values that can't be explained by merely business strategy
2. Good essays will show a grasp of the the Reich-Tyson debate on corporate national identity, but will supplement this with other relevant (and more recent) scholarly material, some of which you will find in the Canvas reading list. You do not have very much space to do this, so the core skill here is crisp and efficient writing, getting straight to the point and not merely describing or summarising the Reich and Tyson articles.
3. Good essays will also show a thorough and critical search for relevant firm data. You may use information from the firm itself (its website, annual reports, statements from its leaders), but remember to maintain a critical and skeptical approach to this information. Just because CEO says that his/her firm is a proud citizen of its home country, this does not mean that it is true.
4. Choose a firm that will allow you to get flesh out the question of corporate national identity: make sure it is a multinational enterprise (MNE) rather than a small local firm, and make sure you can get enough data on the firm to analyse its operations in sufficient detail. Note that you may not select BHP, as this was the example I discussed in the lecture.
5. It will be important to show some sense of the firm's history in the course of discussing its national identity, but avoid getting too bogged down in this. It is not necessary to give a year-by-year account of the firms history, especially if this comes at the expense of thoroughly discussing its contemporary operations.
6. In determining your firm's national identity, consider the full spectrum of its actions: supply chains, R&D, production, direct and indirect employees, ownership, headquarters, and leadership. You may not be able to cover all of these aspects in the space allowed, but better responses will identify which of these are the most relevant for you firm's industry and its claim to national identity.
7. Remember to maintain high standards of referencing and proof reading - this is always where a lot of good essays loose marks. See this RMIT guide to the Harvard referencing system for help with the correct formatting of citations and references.
This assessment will measure your ability to:
• Appropriate use of theories to establish and address the question (20%)
• Depth and quality of relevant empirical data (20%)
• Clarity and effectiveness of argument, prose, and structure (20%)
• Application of critical thinking and evidence to challenge assumptions and contestable perspectives (20%)
• Correct referencing of all sources using in-text citations and an alphabetised reference list(20%)
Use RMIT Harvard (Links to an external site.) referencing style for this assessment.
You must acknowledge all the courses of information you have used in your assessments.
Refer to the RMIT Easy Cite (Links to an external site.) referencing tool to see examples and tips on how to reference in the appropriated style. You can also refer to the library referencing page for more tools such as EndNote, referencing tutorials and referencing guides for printing.
Academic integrity and plagiarism
Academic integrity (Links to an external site.) is about honest presentation of your academic work. It means acknowledging the work of others while developing your own insights, knowledge and ideas.
You should take extreme care that you have:
• Acknowledged words, data, diagrams, models, frameworks and/or ideas of others you have quoted (i.e. directly copied), summarised, paraphrased, discussed or mentioned in your assessment through the appropriate referencing methods. Any copied text must be presented in quotation marks AND be accompanied by a reference.
• Provided a reference list of the publication details so your reader can locate the source if necessary. This includes material taken from Internet sites
If you do not acknowledge the sources of your material, you may be accused of plagiarism because you have passed off the work and ideas of another person without appropriate referencing, as if they were your own.
RMIT University treats plagiarism as a very serious offence constituting misconduct.
Plagiarism covers a variety of inappropriate behaviours, including:
• Failure to properly document a source
• Copyright material from the internet or databases
• Collusion between students