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Course Description
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Business: Doing Business in Emerging Markets
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
Barcelona, Spain

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Business 300 English 3 45 N/A


Emerging economies account for about 120 of a total of 160 countries recognised by the
United Nations. In today’s global environment, as companies seek sustainable
competitive advantage, they need to develop effective strategies to deal with emerging
markets. This course is centred on the challenges and opportunities associated with
organizational management and business strategy in emerging economies. Business
cases in emerging economies from diverse geographical regions such as Asia, Latin
America, Middle East and Eastern Europe will be discussed. Major learning objectives

· Identify and understand the main differences and similarities that characterise
emerging economies.

· Understand and analyse the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging

· Identify the institutions of emerging economies that are relevant to managers and
understand how they work.

· Comprehend how cultural idiosyncrasies affect business operations in emerging

· Get acquainted with distinct strategy options for emerging economies.
· Get familiarised with negotiation practices for dealing with business partners in
emerging markets.

· Analyse the additional ethical challenges and issues of social responsibility common
in emerging markets.


Classes will be conducted in seminar format promoting student’s participation.

Attendance is not compulsory, but it is crucial to attain a satisfactory grade. It is
important to remark that most of the theoretical material is needed to undertake the case
studies and the final exam. Fundamental theoretical notions and special issues regarding
management in emerging markets will be discussed in class and applied on case studies.
Although there is a theoretical base, the class is mainly case study based.

The outline of the course follows:

1. Understanding emerging economies:
· What are emerging economies?
· Why are emerging economies important?
· Why are they still emerging?
· Perspectives for evaluating emerging market potential.

2. Managing challenges in emerging economies:
· Identifying risks in emerging economies.
· Economic, institutional and political frameworks.
· Privatization and market liberalization.
· Culture management and development.

3. Doing business in emerging economies:
· Strategies for emerging markets.
· Market entry strategies.
· Marketing and sourcing.
· Managing joint-ventures and partnerships.
· International negotiations.
· Growing emerging economies companies.
· Corporate social responsibility in emerging economies.


The final grade of each student is determined considering the following weights:

1. Participation: In-class participation and involvement in class debates during the
presentations (20%). The following categories will be used to evaluate class

Outstanding contribution 10 points
Very Good 8 points
Good 6 points
Managed to say something 3 points
No contribution 0 points

2. Case studies (and presentations): Quality and originality, as well as commitment
will be considered (35%).

3. Group project (45%): Each group should prepare a report, including
recommendations, for a company’s overall foreign market entry strategy into an
emerging market. A synopsis for this assignment containing detailed information
regarding requirements will be provided in class.

All case assignments should be solved in groups of minimum 2 and maximum 5
students. Groups should be established during the first week of the course, no future
changes in the group’s composition being allowed. Also, students have to prepare a
short presentation (slides in Power Point), because there is the possibility that they
present it in class. When requested, the students must make use of the theory exposed in class (short presentations, up to 20 minutes). All groups must be prepared to do so
since the group that will present will be randomly selected.

Punctuality is crucial when delivering the case studies assigned. No case will be
accepted after the pre-agreed deadline. All the case studies must be sent by email.
Students will also receive a mid-term feedback report including an assessment on the
evolution of their learning process and recommendations for improvement.

In the case that the students want to receive specific feedback from the professor, they
must ask for an appointment.


All necessary readings as well as the case-study pack and additional material will be
handed to students during the course.

In addition, the following books are complementary readings:

Merchant, H (2007) Competing in Emerging Markets. Cases and Readings. Routlege.
Taylor&Francis Group

Cavusgil, S.T., Ghauri, P.N.; Agarwal, M.R. (2002) Doing Business in Emerging
Markets. Sage Publications Inc.

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