19-20 MN3305: Modern Business In Comparative Perspective

The course asks students to consider fundamental questions:

Why have some nations succeeded economically, while others have not?
Why do the world’s living standards vary so considerably?
To what extent are these variations in national wealth and human opportunity explained by differences in national business systems and managerial organization?
Have the causes of economic and managerial change been national or global in their origin?
How do we find the means to explain such large-scale, highly complex events and trends?

The course is based on the detailed study of five major economies, chosen for their significance and size, and for the lessons they might reveal. These countries are the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain and China.

The aim of the course is explicitly to compare the experiences of these five major nations, explore similarities and differences in their economic and managerial organization, and seek explanations for variations in long-term performance.

We will consider general interpretations of national economic success and cases of international competitiveness. We will review issues from a number of levels: from the nation state to localities, individual industries, firms, and core business functions. We will evaluate the international dimensions of business, national characteristics, and selected firm studies.