Business 76.5 - Asian Business
Business 76.5 Section JAN1 (Course Code 4377)

Department of Economics and Management
Winter, 2009 Brooklyn College Study Abroad Program in China
(December 30, 2009-January 24, 2010)
Dr. Foulger

Course Moodle Discussion Learning Space / Course Discussion Notes

Course Description

Introduction and overview of the business environment in the Asia-Pacific region, but with a particular focus on the country we are visiting, China. Students will learn about the origins of the emerging Chinese market economy, the distinctive characteristics of the business management in Chinese and Asian markets, the challenges of starting and managing a business in China, and of the evolving relationship between the Chinese business environment and other Asian markets. Students will complete the course with a better understanding of how they can identify and evaluate the risks and opportunities associated with Chinese and Asian markets.

Texts (all available in print and electronic versions; either is fine)

New print editions of these materials are available for $30-$40 (discounted price versus full price) at online retailers including and I will not be asking the Brooklyn College bookstore to order copies, as very few students in this class attend Brooklyn College. You will have to order copies online or obtain them from a local bookstore. It is presumed that you will get access to Shanghai Daily from the web, but it is available in other electronic formats as well.

Electronic versions for's Kindle e-reader can be obtained for roughly $22. They may be available for other electronic platforms (like the Barnes and Noble Nook and the SONY e-reader). I haven't checked text availability for those platforms. The big advantage to an e-reader for a traveler is its small size, light weight, and ability to hold many books.

I will use Amazon's Kindle e-reader, which is available in three major variants, for read both texts and Shanghai Daily. One variant is downloadable software that works on the iPhone and iPod Touch. While the display is a bit small, its very portable. A second variant is downloadable software that works on your Windows PC (a Mac version is in the works but probably won't be available before we leave for China). A third version is a family of electronic devices. The version I use has a six inch screen, limited international wireless connectivity and a price of about $260.

Online Materials and Submissions

We will use an online class discussion/learning space called a "Moodle" to manage the class schedule and submit most or all assignments. Instructions for accessing the Moodle can be found below. Pointers to this syllabus ( and the course discussion Notes ( can be found there. This will be taught as a hybrid course, with Internet based activities mixed with class discussions. It is my usual practice to make my discussion notes directly available via the Internet during the class discussion. You can print them out later if you'd like. Any assignments that are due for a particular class should be submitted BEFORE the class discussion begins.

Additional Costs in Nanjing

Each student in this class should plan to for additional fees (about $25) to hire transportation and translators for site visits to businesses in Nanjing.

Course Objectives

The aim of the course is to provide students participating in the Study Abroad in Nanjing China programs a framework for understanding of the Chinese business environment and, by extension, other Asian markets, including Japan, India, Korea, Taiwan, and the ASEAN nations. Topics include: Asian management theory and practice, identification and evaluation of risks and opportunities in Asian markets, problems faced by international firms in doing business in Asia. We will explore international business issues in light of historical, economic, technological, political, and socio-cultural environments. This is especially recommended for students following an international business track or minoring in Asian Studies.

Course Approach and Schedule

The course will be conducted in two parts. The first part will combine readings on Chinese and Asian markets with online assignments based on those readings. This portion of the course can be regarded as a structured learning experience that can (and should) be completed, as much as possible, before we leave for China. The second portion of the course will combine close observations of businesses in China, conducting interviews with business people in Nanjing, and classroom discussions that evaluate the emerging business climate in China. Students will present the results of their work in a final paper.

The course will consist of:

  1. Pre-departure readings
  2. Several types of online assignments, including a cumulative exam.
  3. On-site visits with Chinese businesses in Nanjing
  4. Journal entries, posted to an online blog I will provide
  5. Class discussions and presentations in Nanjing
  6. A final paper that draws on journal entries, interviews, and on-site visits.

It is in the nature of the winter study abroad program that it will be a little hard to anticipate the schedule of the class meetings in Nanjing. The specific schedule of visits and discussions probably won't be known until we arrive in Nanjing, but I expect to post a list of potential visits and discussion topics well before then.

Learning Objectives/Expected Course Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate, through written work and class discussion (some online), an understanding of key issues in the Asian business environment
  2. Understand the effect of culture on business management and practice, the difficulties associated with overcoming the assumptions of one's native culture when operating in a different culture, and the skills that are required to overcome those assumptions and conduct business effectively in another culture.
  3. Utilize the Web and other resources to conduct international business research. (A good, if slightly dated, guide is "Methods of Effective Internet Research" by Prof. Eric Popkoff; see
Non-Brooklyn College students are required to keep a course portfolio of all work and assignment submissions for this course, to be evaluated by the appropriate office and committee for equivalent credits at the home institution. All work submitted to the Moodle will be retained there for a period of several months after the completion of the course, but it is ultimately the students responsibility to organize and safeguard their portfolio.

Outcomes Assessment

  1. 10% Participation in Class Discussions. I expect there will be 10 such discussions during the trip.
  2. 10% Submission of Questions based on the course readings. Each student should submit two questions based on each set of readings before the class at which those readings are due..
  3. 20% Submission of Think Assignments assigned over the course of the trip. Each student should respond to any think assignment provided before the class at which it is due.
  4. 10% Contents of a Journal/Blog that the student should maintain over the course of the trip.
  5. 25% A final paper that discusses your experiences in the context of Intercultural communication
  6. 25% based on the exam.
  7. As this course is part of the study abroad program, students are advised that their behavior during the program may affect their final grade for the course.

Instructions for Accessing the Moodle Discussion/Learning Space

  1. Point your web browser at
  2. Click on "Login" at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Press the "Create New Account" button in the right column of the login screen.
  4. You'll be asked to fill in a series of fields that include your user ID, password, e-mail address, location, etc. Fill them in as accurately as you can. Remember your userid and password. You will need them to log in again.
  5. When processing of this page completes you will be sent an e-mail at the address you specify. Open that e-mail and confirm your registration by pressing the confirmation link in the e-mail.
  6. When you submit this page you will enter the moodle environment. If you see a button marked courses, press it. You will see this course (Asian Business Winter 2009) listed. Select the course.
  7. You will be asked for a key. It is "expo2010".

Course Rules

  1. Attendance is required for all class discussions. Punctuality is much desired.
  2. Complete reading assignments, questions, and think assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss readings.
  3. Write in your own words. Reference the ideas you use to the original sources. Plagiarism and cheating will are unacceptable.
  4. Unexcused late assignments will be penalized 1/2 of a letter grade if one period late and one full grade thereafter.
  5. If you have a problem in the class I encourage you to contact me as quickly as possible. Note, in particular, that I will not grant an incomplete for the course unless you talk to me about it in advance or I am aware of conditions which would make it impossible for you to do so.

Good Advice

  1. A lot of this course will be based on your observations while touring China. It will be a good idea to have a notebook and pencil or voice recorder with you all the time. Your notes will be useful when you are writing your journal or responding to think assignments.
  2. The reading and writing load for this course is shouldn't be particularly challenging. There is only one major writing assignment, but it will be set up by lots of little online writing assignments along the way. Keep up with the little assignments (readings, questions, think assignments, and journals) and you'll do fine..
  3. Keep a copy of everything you submit, just in case the original gets lost.
  4. Write your name on the front of any assignment you submit on paper. There shouldn't be many of those
  5. Maintain backups of your assignments in a reliable and convenient format. USB flash drives work on just about all computers now, can be readily obtained for less than $20.00, and are much less likely to fail than diskettes. Assume the worst. Maintain two backups (e.g. two USB drives).
  6. If at any time you find yourself confused or have questions, especially in terms of the writing assignments, please ask me (either in class or in private) for help. One person's question may help countless others during class discussions.
  7. Please speak with me confidentially if you have a disabling that may require some accommodation in class. I'm here to help.

Plagiarism and Cheating:

I have caught a number of students attempting to pass off other people's work as their own. Such behavior is unacceptable in any classroom, and I won't accept it in mine. My usual practice will be to zero any assignment on which a student has been found to be cheating and consult with the department chair on what other actions may be appropriate. Examples of cheating include duplicate test answers (test answers should always be in your own words) and presenting someone else's words or ideas as if they were your own. There should be an indication of who the original author any time you use someone else's words or ideas). Any time you use their words directly the quote should be set apart with quotation marks or a block quote indicator. Where, in the course of writing a term paper, you present the ideas of others, you must indicate where they came from with a reference. This is true even when you have stated the ideas in your own words or if the ideas or their sources seem obvious. I encourage you to look at and cite content from a wide variety of sources, but the content of your term paper should be in your own words.