12 Student Involvement Exercises
1. Identify problems that a marketing manager might have with establishing and implementing a
newly internationalized supply chain, both backward and forward. How would the manager
negotiate with vendors and suppliers? How would the manager negotiate with distributors,
wholesalers or retailers? An interesting discussion usually follows on the different needs and
interests of each group and how internationalization of the supply chain can impact their
operational costs and profitability.
2. Overby Manufacturing of Boston has begun to build a plant in Bangkok and management is
choosing American personnel who will be sent to fill the top administrative positions. The Vice
President for Procurement wants to send a promising young buyer to head up the purchasing
department of the new operation, but the Personnel Manager in the home office insists that
someone from Bangkok should be hired for the position. What are the arguments for each position?
What would you recommend?
14 Guest Lecturers
1. An overseas purchasing agent or someone who has been involved in designing or implementing
electronic purchasing system, ISO application, or a Six Sigma process.
2. Someone with international quality control experience could be an interesting guest speaker. For
example, a person from the Technical Department of the international operations of a multinational
can relate experiences about getting along with locally-sourced inputs in emerging markets while
trying to maintain company quality standards.
3. Someone who has had overseas production experience (many in the technical department of the
local multinational have been factory managers) can discuss with the class about production
problems and difficulties in motivating workers, installing systems transferred from the U.S. (such
as inventory management or Six Sigma), etc.
The focus of this Worldview explores “Cognizant Technology Solutions: Sourcing Low-Cost Talent
Internationally to Achieve Global Competitive Advantage.” Cognizant is employing low cost
technical personnel, particularly within India, in combination with local service teams to create an
innovative “offshore-onshore” business model that enables the company compete on price, speed, and
adaptability. In conjunction with this business model, the company has invested in an advanced
international communications infrastructure to facilitate effective coordination of its internationally
dispersed teams. This internationalized model in business services is interesting to students and can
provide the basis for insightful class discussion. Asking questions such as, “What benefits might result
from the use of a multi-nation client management team approach?” and “What challenges might result
from such a set-up, and how could they be managed?,” will serve as a starting point for class discussion
on some of the key strategic, operational, organizational, and external environmental issues that face
companies that attempt to develop and implement innovative international business models.
This Global Gauntlet explores “Is Offshore Outsourcing Ending Its Run?” Outsourcing is rapidly
changing from low-cost products assembled by unskilled labor in third world countries to more highly
skilled professional jobs and services that have traditionally been located in high cost countries. This
serves as a starting point for discussion, stimulated by asking such questions as, “What factors will