Ivey Publishing

Global Business Environment

Forum for International Trade Training,5/e (Canada, Forum for International Trade Training, 2008)
Prepared By Vanessa C. Hasse, PhD Student
Chapter and Title Chapter Matches: Case Information
Chapter 1:
The Global Business Environment

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?: AN EXERCISE TO ASSESS YOUR EXPOSURE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD’S PEOPLES
Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9B11M107
Publication Date: 11/8/2011
Length: 11 pages

This exercise assesses one’s exposure to the rest of the world’s peoples. A series of worksheets require the respondents to check off the number and names of countries they have visited and the corresponding percentage of world population which each country represents. By summing a group’s collective exposure to the world’s people, the result will inevitably be the recognition that together they have seen much, even if individually some have seen little. The teaching note provides assignments and discussion questions which look at: why there is such a high variability in individual profiles; the implications of each profile for one’s business career; and, what it would take for the respondent to change his/her profile.

For marketers, it underscores the need to gather greater base knowledge about opportunities abroad.


Teaching Note: 8B11M107 (6 pages)
Issues: Career Development; Intercultural Relations; Team Building; Internationalization
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



TAVAZO CO.
Paul W. Beamish, Majid Eghbali-Zarch

Product Number: 9B10M093
Publication Date: 11/12/2010
Revision Date: 9/21/2011
Length: 13 pages

In June 2010, Naser Tavazo, one of the three owner/manager brothers of both Tavazo Iran Co. and Tavazo Canada Co., was considering the company's future expansion opportunities, including further international market entry. Candidate cities of interest were Los Angeles, Dubai and other cities with a high Iranian diaspora. Another question facing the owners was where to focus on the value chain. Should the family business use its limited resources to expand its retailer business into more international markets, or to expand their current retailer/wholesale activities within Canada and Iran?

The objectives of this case are: (A) to discuss the typical problems that small companies confront when growing internationally and the implication of being a family business in this transition; (B) to provide a vehicle for developing criteria for market selection; (C) to highlight the importance of focus in the value chain regarding horizontal vs. vertical integration.

This case can be used in international business, strategic management or family business (entrepreneurship) courses. In international business, it may be used as an internationalization case and positioned early in the course. In a strategic management course, it might be positioned in sections dealing with managerial preferences, or diversification.


Teaching Note: 8B10M93 (9 pages)
Industry: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Manufacturing
Issues: Market Selection; Family Business; Internationalization; Imports; Exports
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



CANADIAN SOLAR
Paul W. Beamish, Jordan Mitchell

Product Number: 9B10M019
Publication Date: 4/5/2010
Revision Date: 11/19/2014
Length: 18 pages

In late September 2009, the CEO of the Nasdaq-traded solar cell and module manufacturer, Canadian Solar, was at an inflection point in the formation of its international strategy. The company had experienced dynamic growth during the past five years buoyed largely by aggressive incentive schemes to install solar photovoltaic (PV) technology in Germany and Spain. The credit crunch, coupled with changes in government incentive programs, caused a major decline in the demand for solar PV technology and analysts were predicting that full year 2009 sales would decline. Furthermore, competition in the industry was fierce with diverse players ranging from Japanese electronic giants to low-cost Chinese producers. Canadian Solar had decided to focus on 10 major markets in the next two to three years where strong renewable policies existed. Students are challenged with deciding if any changes to the company's global strategy are necessary.

Teaching Note: 8B10M19 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: China; International Business; Growth Strategy; Global Product; Internationalization
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



RESEARCH IN MOTION: MANAGING EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
Rod E. White, Paul W. Beamish, Daina Mazutis

Product Number: 9B08M046
Publication Date: 5/15/2008
Revision Date: 5/24/2017
Length: 19 pages

Research in Motion (RIM) is a high technology firm that is experiencing explosive sales growth. David Yach, chief technology officer for software at RIM, has received notice of an impending meeting with the co-chief executive officer regarding his research and development (R&D) expenditures. Although RIM, makers of the very popular BlackBerry, spent almost $360 million in R&D in 2007, this number was low compared to its largest competitors, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of sales (e.g. Nokia spent $8.2 billion on R&D). This is problematic as it foreshadows the question of whether or not RIM is well positioned to continue to meet expectations, deliver award-winning products and services and maintain its lead in the smartphone market. Furthermore, in the very dynamic mobile telecommunications industry, investment analysts often look to a firm's commitment to R&D as a signal that product sales growth will be sustainable. Just to maintain the status quo, Yach will have to hire 1,400 software engineers in 2008 and is considering a number of alternative paths to managing the expansion. The options include: (1) doing what they are doing now, only more of it, (2) building on their existing and satellite R&D locations, (3) growing through acquisition or (4) going global.

Teaching Note: 8B08M46 (19 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Telecommunication Technology; Change Management; Globalization; Staffing; Growth Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 2:
Canada’s Place in the World

CANADA'S ECONOMY 2012
David W. Conklin, Danielle Cadieux

Product Number: 9B09M008
Publication Date: 1/7/2009
Revision Date: 5/28/2012
Length: 5 pages

This case points to the challenges that Canada faces in regards to its ongoing productivity gap with the United States and its ongoing failure in regard to international competitiveness. This case also discusses the regional differences within Canada in regard to international competitiveness. This case also discusses the regional differences within Canada in regard to economic structure and public policy issues. Finally, the case indicates a series of strategies that Canadian businesses and governments might pursue in order to deal more effectively with Canada's economic challenge.

Teaching Note: 8B09M08 (3 pages)
Industry: Public Administration
Issues: Government and Business; Globalization; Growth; Growth Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



H&R SEWING MACHINE COMPANY
Stephen Hummel, Kenneth Harling

Product Number: 9B08M082
Publication Date: 11/10/2008
Length: 20 pages

This case deals with H&R, a company that distributes sewing equipment in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its future is in jeopardy because of fundamental changes in the global sewing industries stemming from changes in trade restrictions. The consequence is that Canadian sewing activities are in decline as activities in low-cost foreign countries grow rapidly. As Canadian activities decline, H&R's performance has been suffering. But the management of the family-owned company has had trouble seeing the challenge it faces because it has been highly successful for two generations. The case asks what the new CEO and third generation owner should do to save the company.

Teaching Note: 8B08M82 (7 pages)
Industry: Wholesale Trade
Issues: Competition; Strategy Development; Managing Industry Change; Tariffs
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



GLOBALIZATION THREATENS CANADA'S AUTO INDUSTRY: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY
David W. Conklin, Danielle Cadieux

Product Number: 9B06M008
Publication Date: 1/13/2006
Revision Date: 9/17/2009
Length: 12 pages

For many decades, the automobile industry had played a major role in Canada's economy. A large portion of Canadian jobs depended on the auto industry, both directly and indirectly. However, by 2005, Canada faced serious globalization threats. Analysts were stating that in the future the number of automobile-related jobs in Canada would depend upon the international competitiveness of Canadian plants. To continue to increase wages would raise Canadian production costs so far above the levels in Mexico, China and other emerging nations, that the assemblers would shift production to low-cost jurisdictions. Meanwhile, the Big Three were losing market share to their non-union competitors, especially Toyota and Honda.

Teaching Note: 8B06M08 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Globalization; International Business; Business and Society
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



MOLSON BREWERIES OF CANADA
J. Peter Killing, Andrew C. Inkpen

Product Number: 9A89M009
Publication Date: 1/1/1989
Revision Date: 6/4/2003
Length: 24 pages

The brewing division of Molson Breweries of Canada is contemplating a merger with Carling-O'Keefe Breweries, which is owned by Elders of Australia. The case leads to a discussion of GATT, the Free Trade Agreement and barriers to interprovincial trade, as well as a discussion of whether 50/50 joint ventures work. (A 15-minute video can be purchased for the case, video 7A89M009.)

Teaching Note: 8A89M09 (6 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Trade; Mergers & Acquisitions; Joint Ventures
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 3:
Global Trader, Global Business

INTERNATIONAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT INFUSION
Christopher Williams, Melissa Davis

Product Number: 9B11M014
Publication Date: 2/18/2011
Revision Date: 9/29/2017
Length: 17 pages

Infusion had grown over the 10 years between 2000 and 2010 to become a $50 million per year international software services business with 350 employees. The president was wondering how he could move the company towards becoming a $100 million per year international business through a mix of organic growth and initiatives with partners. The entrepreneurial vision of its original founders lived on in many ways, but the company had found it necessary to install an administrative structure with a professional management layer to underpin delivery in both domestic and international markets. It had not been an easy ride. The company had encountered problems in India, and there had been periods of staff attrition and challenging deliveries to clients. Clients were beginning to pull the company in new directions. The pace of technology change appeared to be relentless. While entrepreneurship was still encouraged in the form of an idea incubator called Infusion Angels, the CEO was faced with some critical decisions.

Teaching Note: 8B11M014 (9 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Personal Development; Entrepreneurial Behaviour; Growth Strategy; Technological Change
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



SUN LIFE FINANCIAL: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
Stephen R. Foerster, Tony S. Frost, Eric Morse, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B07M045
Publication Date: 2/5/2010
Length: 5 pages

The Sun Life Financial cases allow students to take a cross-enterprise leadership approach in examining Sun Life's effort to re-enter the Indian insurance market. Set in March 1999, a vice-president in Sun Life's international team is looking at international expansion options. In its domestic market, Sun Life, relative to its peers, has had below average financial performance. With the domestic insurers demutualizing (i.e. converting from a policy holder-held mutual company to a public company), Sun Life needs to find avenues of growth. In addition, there are rumours that the domestic insurance industry will be opened up to competition from the Canadian banks, whose market capitalization dwarfs that of the insurance industry. The (A) case, Sun Life Financial: Planning for the Future, product #9B07M045 lays out the macro issues and describes in general the various insurance markets around the world. The (B) case, Sun Life Financial: A Potential Indian Life Insurance Joint Venture, product #9B07M046, hones in on Sun Life's decision to re-enter the Indian insurance market.

Teaching Note: 8B07M45 (19 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: Insurance
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



RUSSKI ADVENTURES
Paul W. Beamish, Ian Sullivan

Product Number: 9A92G002
Publication Date: 7/9/1992
Revision Date: 3/22/2010
Length: 18 pages

The two major partners in Russki Adventures contemplated their next move. They had spent the last year and a half exploring the possibility of starting a helicopter skiing operation in Russia. Their plan was to bring clients from Europe, North America and Japan to the Caucasus Mountains to ski the vast areas of secluded mountain terrain made accessible by the use of helicopter and the recent business opportunities offered by 'glasnost'. Three options for proceeding were being considered. The first was to proceed with the venture on their own, in the Caucasus Mountains area that had been made available to them by a Soviet government agency. The second was to accept the offer of partnership with Extreme Dreams, a French tour operator that had recently begun operations in the Caucasus region. The final option was to wait, save their money and not proceed with the venture at this time. This is a good case to emphasize small-scale international ventures and the complexities of operating in a rapidly changing and politically unstable environment.

Teaching Note: 8A92G02 (8 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services
Issues: Political environment; joint ventures; risk analysis; luxury services
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 4:
The Global Supply Chain

VALUE CHAIN AND IT TRANSFORMATION AT DESKO (A)
Jean Ethier, Pierre Hadaya

Product Number: 9B11E007
Publication Date: 5/20/2011
Revision Date: 5/20/2011
Length: 9 pages

This case describes the history of Desko, a Canadian manufacturer of wood office furniture, as it faced a crisis that threatened its own existence. The president and CEO needed to decide which actions to take to improve the effectiveness of the value chain activities of the firm and the information technology (IT) supporting it. He was considering outsourcing parts of certain value chain activities, including manufacturing, to specialized partners. The case also depicts the main characteristics of the Canadian wood office furniture industry and the external factors that played an important role in the development of Desko.

Teaching Note: 8B11E007 (11 pages)
Issues: Information Technology; Manufacturing; Value Chain; Operations Management; Office Furniture
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



NISSAN CANADA INC.
P. Fraser Johnson, Kyle Hunter

Product Number: 9B07D018
Publication Date: 8/30/2007
Length: 12 pages

The corporate manager of vehicle planning at Nissan Canada Inc. had been asked by the director of vehicle ordering for Nissan North America (NNA), to review the proposed vehicle ordering process as part of the new Integrated Customer Order Network (ICON). The ICON project would change Nissan's North American vehicle ordering process from a 'make-to-stock' into a 'make-to-order' environment which called for a significant process transformation for Nissan's operations in North America and Japan. The corporate manager of vehicle planning was hoping that the new process would be exactly what the dealers were seeking in an effort to closer align production with customer demand. However, he needed to evaluate the new process from the perspective of all stakeholders to ensure that Nissan's business objectives could be met.

Teaching Note: 8B07D18 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Supply Chain Management; Forecasting
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate



UNIFINE RICHARDSON
Carol Prahinski

Product Number: 9B02D020
Publication Date: 1/10/2003
Revision Date: 11/30/2009
Length: 4 pages

Unifine Richardson is a food manufacturer with 110 employees. The company's sole supplier of honey announced that effective immediately it was no longer able to supply Chinese honey. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had rejected the importation of Chinese honey due to recently found traces of an antibiotic chemical. China had provided 20 per cent of the world's honey supply. Faced with escalating prices, issues with customers' preferences and possible product recalls, the purchasing manager must determine the company's next step. International sourcing, supply disruptions, supply chain management and quality issues must be considered.

Teaching Note: 8B02D20 (13 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Imports; Quality; Supplier Relations; Purchasing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 5:
Trade and Technology

MUSICJUICE.NET: THE CHALLENGES OF STARTING UP A NEW INTERNET VENTURE
Simon Parker, Rocky Liu

Product Number: 9B10A013
Publication Date: 5/21/2010
Length: 6 pages

MusicJuice.net is a new website designed to bring together musicians and a fan-base in order to raise finance for new bands. It enables musicians to bypass the large established record companies and their high royalty takes, while giving fans direct contact and involvement with exciting new acts. It is an example of a venture idea transported from one country (the Netherlands) and applied in a new and larger geographical setting (North America). The case illustrates the novel crowd-sourcing business model, which is designed to raise finance from customers rather than the entrepreneur. Most importantly, the case illustrates the challenges of starting new Internet ventures and the early stage founding issues that are involved. After a long and costly delay in establishing their website, the two founders of MusicJuice.net have struggled to generate any interest or even awareness amongst online musicians and fans, despite only limited competition from other players in the marketplace - a situation, which is already beginning to change. Students are asked what the entrepreneurs behind MusicJuice.net can do to raise awareness of their service and to generate enough customers to survive.

Teaching Note: 8B10A13 (8 pages)
Industry: Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Issues: Internet; Competition; Dominant Designs; New Venture Challenges; Startups
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



PAY ZONE CONSULTING: A GLOBAL VIRTUAL ORGANIZATION
Malcolm Munro, Sid L. Huff

Product Number: 9B08C004
Publication Date: 1/14/2008
Revision Date: 2/16/2008
Length: 11 pages

Pay Zone Consulting is a small, highly specialized global consulting group providing information management solutions for the exploration and production sector of the oil and gas industry. The company operates entirely virtually with consultants and software developers in different parts of the world. The principals are considering growth options but are intent on preserving the quality of life provided by their virtual business model. The case examines the communication technologies employed by the principals in support of their virtual teamwork and describes the administrative information technology infrastructure that enables the firm to operate with no administrative staff or office. The case also discusses the organizational and personal factors underlying the company’s ability to operate successfully virtually.

Teaching Note: 8B08C04 (9 pages)
Industry: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



ANDURO MARKETING: INTERNET SERVICES VS. SOFTWARE SALES
Malcolm Munro, Sid L. Huff

Product Number: 9B07A018
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Length: 14 pages

Anduro Marketing is a Canadian company that sells technical services to companies wanting to improve their search engine website rankings. Though small, Anduro has attracted several major clients in both Canada and the United States, and expects steady profitability and growth. Anduro believes it can generate substantial additional profit by developing and selling a suite of software products that automate its technical service offerings. Anduro's managers must decide whether Anduro is better off staying with its current safe and profitable strategy or if Anduro should instead pursue a riskier but potentially more profitable software sales model. Several tough questions must be answered to determine whether the risk is worth the reward. The Anduro case provides an interesting description of an Internet technical/marketing services business and contrasts this with software sales.

Teaching Note: 8B07A18 (7 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Search Engines; Internet Software; Internet Marketing; Corporate Strategy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



MERIDCO MAGNESIUM: INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Pratima Bansal, Ken Cole

Product Number: 9B01M006
Publication Date: 9/5/2001
Revision Date: 7/21/2008
Length: 14 pages

Meridco Magnesium is an international automotive parts supplier of magnesium die-cast components with manufacturing plants in Canada, the United States and France. The company has a strong market position in North America; however, two out of the three plants are not performing well. The vice-president of the company's Global Technologies Organization division believes the weaker performance in the two plants is due to resistance to technological innovations. He must determine the reasons for this resistance and develop a plan to resolve the weak performance in the plants before the upcoming annual board meeting. Three supplements further discuss the issues each of the plants have with new technology. Meridco Magnesium: The French Perspective, product 9B01M007; Meridco Magnesium: The Canadian Perspective, product 9B01M008, and Meridco Magnesium: The American Perspective, product 9B01M009. AWARD WINNING CASE - This case was a winner at the AIB Case Competition, Academy of International Business, 2001 and first place winner of the 2001 Indiana University Center for International Business Education and Research (IUCIBER) International Case Competition.

Teaching Note: 8B01M06 (7 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Technology Transfer; International Business; Knowledge Management; Strategy Implementation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 6:
Trade in Services

ACTIVPLANT: THE EUROPEAN OPPORTUNITY
Stewart Thornhill

Product Number: 9B06M046
Publication Date: 11/6/2006
Revision Date: 9/21/2009
Length: 12 pages

Activplant is a software firm specializing in monitoring, measuring and analysing the performance of factory automation systems in London, Ontario, Canada. It is a pioneer of the industry, and has installations in most of the largest automobile manufacturing firms in North America as well as some clients in consumer goods. Activplant is considering the opportunity of expanding their business to include a much more aggressive sales and service approach in Europe. An entrance into Europe involves how both sales and service will be delivered to clients, which could be done through a number of different channels including: consulting partners, value-added resellers, a joint venture or fulltime Activplant staff. The case allows students to evaluate both the dollar costs and benefits of each choice as well as qualitative concerns like product quality and maintaining contact with customers.

Teaching Note: 8B06M46 (9 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: International Expansion; Strategy Implementation
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



SUN LIFE FINANCIAL: ENTERING CHINA
Paul W. Beamish, Ken Mark, Jordan Mitchell

Product Number: 9B04M066
Publication Date: 12/20/2004
Revision Date: 10/15/2009
Length: 17 pages

Sun Life Financial is a large insurance conglomerate with $14.7 billion in annual revenues. The vice-president for China must formulate an approach for his company's entrance into China. Sun Life has achieved two important milestones: the right to apply for license and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Joint Venture with China Everbright, a local securities company. The financial vice-president must consider strategic options for entry and choose a city in which to focus his efforts in getting a license. In doing so, he needs to consider Sun Life's overall priorities, strategic direction and how he will sell the concept to senior management in Canada. Intended for use in an introduction to international business course, the case includes assessing internal capabilities against an environmental scan, formulating strategy and making operational decisions relating to city selection. It also introduces the idea of joint venture management and government relations.

Teaching Note: 8B04M66 (12 pages)
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Issues: China; Joint Ventures; Market Entry; Risk Analysis; International Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



HILL & KNOWLTON: KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT
Darren Meister, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B04E003
Publication Date: 3/4/2004
Revision Date: 10/9/2009
Length: 15 pages

Hill & Knowlton is a division of one of the world's largest communication services group. Tagging e-mail communications to support knowledge management codification and connection strategies is an important issue for managers. Issues related to privacy and performance need to be considered. The worldwide director of knowledge management at Hill & Knowlton needs to assess the degree to which tagging should be enforced in a communication services organization that supports numerous clients around the world.

Teaching Note: 8B04E03 (5 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Knowledge Based Systems; Communications; Knowledge Management; Leveraging Information Technology
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 7:
Cultural Considerations

BARRICK GOLD CORPORATION - TANZANIA
Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi, Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9B10M020
Publication Date: 10/20/2010
Revision Date: 11/19/2014
Length: 15 pages

This case examines the giant Canadian mining corporation, Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick), (called Africa Barrick Gold plc since 2009), and the way it engages in sustainable community developments that surround its mining activities in Tanzania. Following recent organized tensions and heightened criticism from local communities, media, international social lobbyists and local not-for-profit organizations (NFOs), Barrick has attempted to deal with the local communities in a responsible manner. At issue for senior management was whether there was much more that it could reasonably do to resolve the tensions.

The case considers: how MNEs seek social license and local legitimacy; the relevance of hybrid institutional infrastructures; the evolving global roles for MNEs and their subsidiaries. The case is appropriate for use in courses in international management, global corporations and society, and international development and sustainable value creation.


Teaching Note: 8B10M20 (17 pages)
Industry: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Issues: Subsidiaries; Business and Society; Corporate Social Responsibility; Cross Sector Social Partnership; Government Relations
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate



CAMECO IN KYRGYZSTAN: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ABROAD
Pratima Bansal, John Scarfe, Richard Johnston

Product Number: 9B03M063
Publication Date: 11/28/2003
Revision Date: 10/22/2009
Length: 18 pages

Based in Saskatoon, Canada, Cameco was the world's largest uranium mining company. It had developed its policy for corporate social responsibility in northern Saskatchewan where it had its major mining operations and where there were a large indigenous population of Cree and Dene Indians. The issue centres on whether the same corporate social responsibility policy can be applied to the company's joint venture with the Kyrgyzstan government to operate a gold mine in eastern Kyrgyzstan. Complicating the decision was a chemical spill that had occurred several months before, and relations with citizens in nearby communities were at an all-time low. The joint venture's vice-president of human resources and corporate relations must decide which of the programs might be succesfully implemented in Kyrgyzstan, what new programs might need to be developed, and how best to communicate company policy to the local community.

Teaching Note: 8B03M63 (7 pages)
Industry: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Issues: International Business; Corporate Responsibility; Communications, Indigenous Peoples
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



TEQSWITCH INC.: BUSINESS IN BUENOS AIRES
Christina A. Cavanagh, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B02C001
Publication Date: 6/21/2002
Revision Date: 10/29/2009
Length: 4 pages

Two engineers formed Teqswitch Inc. to design and produce faster networking equipment. Five years after they began, the company has 120 employees in Canada, England and Australia and sales in the tens of millions. The company decided to expand into Latin America and has worked out a $15 million joint venture with Unitas in Argentina to sell components. Teqswitch establishes an office in Buenos Aires and works with Unitas to develop sales personnel and business processes. As the company is about to launch its next generation of products, the vice-president international of Teqswitch receives information from the joint venture partner about terminating the agreement. He must determine what has gone wrong.

Teaching Note: 8B02C01 (9 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Communications; Cross Cultural Management; Relationship Management; Joint Ventures
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 8:
International Business Practices

JUST US! COMMUNITY-BASED TOURISM
Ian McKillop, Julia Sagebien, Alba Brugueras

Product Number: 9B10M108
Publication Date: 3/3/2011
Length: 10 pages

The development coordinator for Just Us! Development Education Society (JUDES) was reviewing the preliminary agenda for the JUDES Annual General Meeting (AGM). The meeting would take place some time between May 1 and May 14, 2010, during Canada’s National Fair Trade Weeks. The coordinator was preparing her to-do list for the event. Just Us!, a Nova Scotia-based cooperative that offered fair trade products, had a very loyal regional following, and the coordinator wanted to communicate how the premium paid for fair trade products actually helped producer communities. She was planning several events for the AGM, most importantly presentations and discussions of the Community-based Tourism (CBT) trip that JUDES personnel had taken to Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2009, and planned to take again in 2010. For the AGM presentation, she wanted to organize the trip guidelines and the budget information into a triple bottom line format.

Teaching Note: 8B10M108 (13 pages)
Industry: Other Services, Retail Trade, Social Advocacy Organizations
Issues: Fair Trade; Cultural Preservation; Tourism; Triple Bottom-line Reporting; Cultural Sensitivity; Canada; Mexico
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



CHINA MINMETALS CORPORATION AND NORANDA INC.
Isaiah A. Litvak

Product Number: 9B06M013
Publication Date: 2/6/2006
Revision Date: 10/26/2011
Length: 16 pages

The proposed takeover of Noranda Inc. (one of the biggest mineral players in the world) by the Chinese state owned enterprise, China Minmetals Corporation, was cause for Canadian government concern as it required some understanding about the workings and objectives of state owned enterprises. There was particular concern around the labour issues and human rights violations in China, and the possible impact of these on the proposed takeover. Equally important, Canada ran the substantial risk of sending the wrong message to the People's Republic of China if it was to block such a takeover, and in some respects, to be seen as shutting its doors to one of the world's largest and most powerful emerging economies.

Teaching Note: 8B06M13 (13 pages)
Industry: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Issues: China; Government and Business; Ethical Issues; Business and Society; Politics
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



INTELLIBYTE INC.'S EUROLOADER SOFTWARE
Niraj Dawar, Cameron Bramwell

Product Number: 9B00A023
Publication Date: 9/26/2000
Revision Date: 1/7/2010
Length: 10 pages

As cable operators across Europe go digital, they will require a means of remotely upgrading the applications software on subscribers' digital set-top boxes, using some kind of loader software to do so. Intellibyte Inc., a small Canadian software firm, has developed the only remote loader software that currently meets the specifications of the European Cable Communications Association. However, it must sell the software to manufacturers of set-top boxes before cable operators can use it. The competition is no more than two years behind. The president must decide among several pricing and positioning alternatives for intellectual property products in a complex industry.

Teaching Note: 8B00A23 (5 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: New Products; Intellectual Properties; Market Strategy; Pricing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 9:
Market Research and Marketing

BEST BUY INC. - DUAL BRANDING IN CHINA
Niraj Dawar, Ramasastry Chandrasekhar

Product Number: 9B09A016
Publication Date: 6/26/2009
Revision Date: 5/11/2010
Length: 17 pages

A month after Best Buy Inc. (Best Buy), the largest retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, acquired Five Star, the third largest retailer of appliances and consumer electronics in China in May 2006, the management of Best Buy is weighing in on a branding option. Should Five Star lose its identity and be marketed as Best Buy? Or should Best Buy retain the Five Star brand and let the two brands compete with each other in the Chinese market? The option has a sense of déjà vu because, when it first stepped out of its home turf in January of 2002 by acquiring Future Shop, the largest consumer electronics retailer in Canada, Best Buy was facing a similar dilemma. The company had decided, at the time, in favour of dual brand strategy. It had worked. There was no evidence of cannibalization, the single largest risk in dual branding. Best Buy and Future Shop had both grown together as independent brands in Canada. But, does dual brand strategy work in the vastly different retail environment of China?

Teaching Note: 8B09A16 (9 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: China; Brand Management; Retailing; International Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



SAMSUNG: REDEFINING A BRAND
Robin Ritchie, Fan Ye, Christian Kim

Product Number: 9B04A016
Publication Date: 8/10/2004
Revision Date: 10/7/2009
Length: 18 pages

In less than a decade, Korea's Samsung has transformed itself from a maker of low-end consumer electronics into a legitimate rival to Japanese industry giants such as Sony and Panasonic. Success has been due largely to efforts to reposition Samsung as a provider of stylish, leading-edge digital technology. But shadows of the old brand image remain, spurred on by the continued availability of several of the company's traditional products. The president of Samsung Electronics Canada has been directed to solve this problem, prompting difficult choices regarding product, pricing, distribution and promotion that threaten to hurt sales and short run profits.

Teaching Note: 8B04A16 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Marketing Management; Consumer Marketing; Branding; Marketing Mix
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



PACIFIC WESTERN BREWING COMPANY - GOING ORGANIC
John R. Kennedy, Tom Gleave

Product Number: 9A99A006
Publication Date: 3/31/1999
Length: 20 pages

The president of Canadian-based Pacific Western Brewing Co. Ltd. is preparing a Japan market entry strategy for the company's newly developed organic beer. Although she has considerable experience in Japan, several factors are at play which make this product entry particularly challenging. First, the product is unlike any other in the market. Second, Japanese consumer behaviour is undergoing a revolution. Third, the company's last product launch in Japan failed. Therefore, there is a higher than normal level of risk associated with the product launch.

Teaching Note: 8A99A06 (15 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Consumer Behaviour; Pricing; Distribution
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



ELECTROHOME (A): PROJECTION SYSTEMS DIVISION
Adrian B. Ryans, Mark B. Vandenbosch, Neil Miller

Product Number: 9A95A012
Publication Date: 10/5/1995
Revision Date: 2/11/2010
Length: 15 pages

The management team at Electrohome's projection systems division must decide what to do in response to a surprise new product introduction by Sony Projection Systems. The new product threatens Electrohome's position at the high end of the market. The case focuses on competitive analysis as three players from three different regions of the world vie for profitable positions in the industrial projection system market. This case presents Electrohome's perspective of the same event documented in the Barco Projection Systems (A) case (HBS 9-591-133). Two follow-up cases Electrohome (B): The Phoenix Project and Electrohome (C): The Marquee Launch are available.

Teaching Note: 8A95A12 (23 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Competition; Market Strategy; Marketing Planning; Industrial Marketing
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 10:
Entering and Maintaining the Market

DEVELOPING AN INTERNATIONAL GROWTH STRATEGY AT NEW YORK FRIES
W. Glenn Rowe, Christopher Williams, Sharda Prashad

Product Number: 9B11M082
Publication Date: 8/19/2011
Revision Date: 11/18/2014
Length: 10 pages

New York Fries’ president and executive vice president were preparing for the next biannual meeting of domestic and international franchisees. They planned to provide an update on all aspect of corporate strategy and planning for the year ahead, but they only had a few days to formulate a new international growth strategy. The president and executive vice president were hesitant to expand into new territories partly due to poor experiences in Australia and South Korea, yet international franchisees had encouraged them to investigate promising areas of expansion into China and India. Complicating matters was the future development of the company’s chain of premium hamburger restaurants. While New York Fries was a well-received brand in Canada, it had not yet decided if and how to internationalize the brand. How could the president and executive vice president pursue new opportunities while maintaining their premium brands of French fries and hamburgers?

Teaching Note: 8B11M082 (10 pages)
Industry: Accommodation & Food Services
Issues: Location Selection; International Growth; Brand Management; Franchising; Fast Food; Canada
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



SCOTCH-BRITE (3M)
Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9A93G003
Publication Date: 3/28/1994
Revision Date: 3/3/2010
Length: 13 pages

Two 3M plants (one in Canada, one in the United States) are competing for a regional manufacturing and distribution mandate. If the Canadian proposal is accepted, this will mean potentially a major shift in overall parent-subsidiary relations. The case focuses on understanding what it takes for a subsidiary to earn a mandate, how subsidiaries compete for mandates and the pros and cons of shifting (in part) from a miniature replica structure to a regional product mandate for a parent firm.

Teaching Note: 8A93G03 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: International Business; Location Strategy; Subsidiaries
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



TOPPAN MOORE
Paul W. Beamish, Shige Makino, Joyce Miller

Product Number: 9A92G001
Publication Date: 7/9/1992
Revision Date: 3/22/2010
Length: 15 pages

The semi-annual meeting of the board of Toppan Moore, a joint venture between Toppan Printing of Japan and Moore Corporation of Canada, took place in Tokyo. With sales exceeding US$1 billion, Toppan Moore was a leader in the Japanese business forms industry and widely considered one of the most successful international joint ventures in Japan. While pleased with the venture's recent results, the issue for the board members was how to ensure continued prosperity.

Teaching Note: 8A92G01 (11 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Multinational; Growth Strategy; Joint Ventures; Subsidiaries
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 11:
Trade Finance

AIR CANADA - RISK MANAGEMENT
David Wood, Craig Dunbar

Product Number: 9B10N037
Publication Date: 12/13/2010
Length: 11 pages

The chief executive officer (CEO) of Air Canada was reviewing the company's risk management program with the intent to suggest changes to the policy. Risk management was a topic all corporate boards were dedicating time to since the financial collapse of 2008, and boards had come to realize that hard questions needed to be asked about the source of risk, how it was disclosed, how it was to be accounted for and how it was managed. The CEO knew that he needed to consider the impact of his view of the economy, interest rates, exchange rates and the commodity markets on how aggressive Air Canada should be with its appropriate hedges. He decided to start by identifying the most relevant sources of external risk that could materially affect Air Canada's short and long-term financial performance. He then wanted to understand how these risks were managed today and how they compared to West Jet, their main competitor. Finally, he wanted to determine what changes should be made to either eliminate the source of risk or better manage any significant risks that remained.

Teaching Note: 8B10N037 (16 pages)
Industry: Transportation and Warehousing
Issues: Operations Management; Corporate Strategy; Risk Exposure; Hedging Risk; Risk Management; Defining Financial Risk
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



WESTWOOD PLASTICS INC.
James E. Hatch, Manpreet Hora

Product Number: 9B06N017
Publication Date: 10/12/2006
Revision Date: 5/2/2013
Length: 9 pages

The vice-president of finance for Westwood Plastics, Inc. (Westwood), wants to assess the impact of the possibility of a weakening Canadian dollar on the company's financial health given its exposure to the Euro. Because Westwood is required by a loan covenant to generate a minimum level of pre-tax earnings, management is concerned about the possible impact of the exchange rate volatility on projected income and cash flows. The vice-president of finance is considering both an option and a forward strategy to minimize the foreign exchange risk Westwood is facing. She must decide how to use financial instruments to hedge the risk.

Teaching Note: 8B06N17 (22 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Risk Management; Foreign Exchange; Hedging
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



MASKWA RESOURCES: FINANCING WITH A EURO BOND
Stephen Sapp, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B05N023
Publication Date: 6/30/2008
Revision Date: 10/4/2009
Length: 8 pages

The president of a small mining company is faced with an opportunity to purchase a mining refinery to complement its existing mining operations. It has the potential to bring the company into a situation of positive cashflow, but the small size of the company and high risk of the mining industry has left the president with few alternatives to raise the capital. The case focuses on the issuing of a Euro-denominated bond to finance this purchase and provide funds for future acquisitions. The case discusses the alternatives available in such a situation as well as the risks associated with changes in the price of metals and the value of the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar and the Euro on the ability to make regular payments on the Euro-denominated bond and other financing alternatives.

Teaching Note: 8B05N23 (10 pages)
Industry: Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Issues: Capital Markets; Risk Management; Hedging; Foreign Exchange; Financial Strategy
Difficulty: 5 - MBA/Postgraduate



EXPORTING TO GHANA
David J. Sharp, Ken Mark

Product Number: 9B05B006
Publication Date: 1/31/2005
Revision Date: 9/24/2009
Length: 4 pages

A loan assessment officer at Export Development Canada is evaluating a proposed deal involving the export of refurbished machines used in the forestry industry. He must decide whether Export Development Corporation should extend loans to a foreign firm that is interested in purchasing from a Canadian supplier. Issues include international business risk and the role of an export development agency in facilitating a country's exports.

Teaching Note: 8B05B06 (4 pages)
Industry: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Issues: Uncertainty; Risk Analysis; Forestry; Exports
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 12:
Logistics and Distribution

CANADIAN CLOSURES (A)
Louis Hébert, Davin Li

Product Number: 9B00M019
Publication Date: 10/30/2000
Revision Date: 2/11/2019
Length: 8 pages

Canadian Closures was a joint venture (JV) between the Australian firm, Melbourne Closures (Melbourne), and Macklin Breweries (Macklin) which was based in Canada. The JV manufactured beer bottle caps based on Melbourne's technology; its only customer was Macklin's 10 breweries. Continuing product quality and performance problems resulted in the general manager being replaced. The new general manager was faced with the challenge of resolving these issues and balancing what was best for the parent companies in the short-term and what was best for the JV in the long-term. Macklin wanted reimbursement for faulty caps, which would have a significant impact on the profit objectives that both parent companies expected the JV to meet. The general manager had to find a solution that would satisfy both parent companies while minimizing negative impacts on the JV's results. The supplemental case, Canadian Closures (B), product 9B00M020, presents what happened and addresses another challenge later in the JV's life cycle.

Teaching Note: 8B00M19 (5 pages)
Industry: Manufacturing
Issues: Joint Ventures; International Management; Global Manager
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



IKEA (CANADA) LTD.- 1986 (CONDENSED)
Paul W. Beamish

Product Number: 9A88M010
Publication Date: 1/1/1988
Revision Date: 2/23/2000
Length: 14 pages

The mid-1986 Sears new catalogue contained a 20-page section called Elements. This section bore a striking resemblance to the format of an IKEA catalogue, and the furniture being offered was similar to IKEA'S knocked-down self-assembly line. The head of IKEA'S North American operations wondered how serious Sears was about its new initiative and what, if anything, IKEA should do in response.

Teaching Note: 8A88M10 (12 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Supplier Relations; Competition; Value Analysis; Subsidiaries
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 13:
Law, Policy and Regulation

AUDITOR LIABILITY IN CANADA (A)
Vaughan S. Radcliffe, Geoffrey Hewitt

Product Number: 9B08B004
Publication Date: 7/29/2008
Length: 3 pages

A savvy investor was reviewing her investment account statements. She was angry that she had suffered losses due to the collapse of the Live Entertainment Corporation of Canada Inc. (Livent). The investor was a long time investor and prided herself on investing a portion of her income on a regular basis. She was able to read and interpret financial statements intelligently. In 1996, after reviewing Livent's audited financial statements, the investor had decided to buy common shares in Livent. Now she asked herself what had gone wrong. Supplement Auditor Liability in Canada (B) looks at legal issues involving auditors.

Teaching Note: 8B08B04 (4 pages)
Industry: Other Services, Public Administration
Issues: Auditing; Financial Crisis; Legal System; Financial Reports/Disclosure
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



BOWATER'S ACQUISITION OF ALLIANCE FOREST PRODUCTS: CONSOLIDATION IN THE FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
David W. Conklin, Danielle Cadieux

Product Number: 9B02M046
Publication Date: 2/6/2003
Revision Date: 12/3/2009
Length: 23 pages

The takeover of Alliance Forest Products by United States-based Bowater Inc. resulted in job loss for members of the Canadian board of directors and head office staff as well as loss of corporation shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange. Bowater's strategy to reduce costs and enhance productivity may result in additional Canadian job losses in the future. Corporations in the forest products industry are merging or acquiring companies to stay competitive. These mergers are a public policy concern for both Canada and the United States. The frequency and the size of the mergers raise concerns whether antitrust and competition policies should be used to restrain the price increases that the consolidation might entail.

Teaching Note: 8B02M46 (13 pages)
Industry: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Issues: Globalization; International Business; Business Policy
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



CANADIAN AUTO TARIFF DEBATE
James H. Tiessen

Product Number: 9B01M034
Publication Date: 8/9/2001
Revision Date: 12/21/2009
Length: 13 pages

In 1998 it appeared that Japanese auto companies could be forced to pay duty on their non-NAFTA imports into Canada. The U.S. Big Three auto makers (GM, Ford and Chrysler), in contrast did not have to pay such a tariff on their offshore imports such as those made by Ford-owned Jaguar (United Kingdom) and GM's Saab (Sweden). The Japanese and U.S. firms were treated differently because of the 1966 Auto Pact that made all Big Three imports duty-free. However, in the early 1980's, in order to encourage auto investment, the Canadian government granted virtual Auto-Pact status to Japanese firms (Toyota and Honda) that located in Ontario. This eliminated tariffs on the Japan-made models they sold in Canada. Public debate arose during the Free Trade Agreement (1989) and North American Free Trade Agreement (1994) trade negotiations. The U.S., under the Big Three influence, pushed Canada to withdraw the Pact-like benefits it used to attract the Japanese factories. Canada eventually complied with the U.S. demands, while leaving the Pact in place for U.S. automakers. This led the Japanese government to challenge the fairness of the proposed tariff at the World Trade Organization (WTO). While waiting for the WTO process to unfold, the Japanese and U.S. automakers were considering how to respond to the forthcoming judgement.

Teaching Note: 8B01M34 (9 pages)
Industry: Wholesale Trade
Issues: Negotiation; Tariffs; International Trade; Government and Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA


Chapter 14:
The International Business Plan

SHOPSTER.COM
Malcolm Munro, Sid L. Huff

Product Number: 9B07E005
Publication Date: 8/21/2007
Revision Date: 9/27/2007
Length: 18 pages

Shopster.com is a Calgary-based e-business company whose business is to assist other individuals or companies in setting up their own retail transactional websites. Shopster differs significantly from ordinary website developers in that retailers are able to select from a huge inventory of saleable products, through Shopster's network of goods providers. Shopster also provides software tools, and expertise, to allow anyone wishing to create an online retail store to do so quickly and easily. Shopster's business has done well to date, but there are plenty of operational challenges ahead. As well, the principals would like to raise the bar substantially, to something they refer to as Shopster 2.0, the specifics of which are still at a formative stage. The Shopster case provides an interesting example of a small but rapidly growing Canadian company with an innovative business model and big dreams for the future.

Teaching Note: 8B07E05 (9 pages)
Industry: Administrative, Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Issues: Supply Chain Management; E-Business Models; E-Commerce; Virtual Business
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



CARTRIDGE WORLD: THE MASTER FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY
Stewart Thornhill, Ken Mark, Jordan Mitchell

Product Number: 9B05M071
Publication Date: 4/28/2006
Revision Date: 10/1/2009
Length: 12 pages

An entrepreneur has received additional information on the Cartridge World franchising concept - a store focused on the refilling of printer cartridges. The idea for Cartridge World began in Australia in 1988 and has grown to almost 200 locations in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The entrepreneur must look at the market opportunity in Canada and decide whether he should apply for the country's master franchise, a single franchise, or abandon the concept altogether. Students will evaluate a franchise concept based on market opportunity and the franchise contract.

Teaching Note: 8B05M71 (13 pages)
Industry: Retail Trade
Issues: Models; Franchising; Investment Analysis; Market Analysis
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA



WIND TO ENERGY: W2E
Kenneth G. Hardy, Ken Mark, Jordan Mitchell

Product Number: 9B05A004
Publication Date: 1/31/2005
Revision Date: 9/24/2009
Length: 20 pages

An engineer for Wind to Energy has led the creation of the North American division of a German start-up company that designs wind-energy electric power generation units - wind turbines. The engineer and his fellow engineers have licensed the technology to a small-share assembler of wind turbines and are about to receive their first payment from this firm. As they look ahead, they see opportunities for revenue in possibly supplying spare parts to wind farms, or even operating their own wind farm. The challenge is to focus this start-up company.

Teaching Note: 8B05A04 (8 pages)
Industry: Utilities
Issues: Market Strategy; Market Entry; Vendor Selection; Visioning
Difficulty: 4 - Undergraduate/MBA