Business 3175 - Asian Business

Section JAN1 (Course Code 4312)



Department of Business Management

Winter, 2011 Brooklyn College Study Abroad Program in China

(January 1, 2012-January 25, 2012)

Dr. Foulger

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 opportunities and risks associated with Chinese and Asian markets.


(all available in print and electronic versions; print or electronic is fine, but electronic will arrive quicker and be easier to take with you)

  1. Shenkar, O. (2006). The Chinese Century. Wharton School Publishing.

  2. Collins, R. and Block, C. (2007). Doing Business in China For Dummies. For Dummies.

  3. The Business Section of the "Shanghai Daily". See for the web page.

New print editions of these materials are available for $30-$40 (discounted price versus full price) at online retailers including and Electronic copies that can be read on an e-reader or your computer can be obtained for less than $20. 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. I have a subscription on my Kindle.

The big advantage of using an e-reader or computer to do your reading for for this class is small size, light weight, and the device's ability to hold many books. The books for this course would take up more space and weigh more than a computer and e-reader would, and you'll probably want to bring a computer along in any case. A few years ago I could describe all of the possibilities associated with e-readers in a few paragraphs. Today there are many options, so I'll describe them in general terms and leave you to make your own decisions. Today's primary e-reader platforms come from Amazon, Apple, Sony, Barnes and Noble, and Google (there are others). All have associated bookstores that you may be able to buy and download the texts for this course from (prices will vary). All have associated e-reader tablets (the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Sony e-reader, B&N Nook, and Android Tablets) that are easy to read with and offer long battery life. Most (perhaps all) offer downloadable e-reader applications that that can be used on some combination of Windows PC's, Apple Macs, the iPhone, the IPod Touch, Android Phones, among others. The downloads are free. The devices range in price from $79 to $999. What you do is up to you. I will be using Amazon's Kindle e-reader (currently the most widely used platform), but only because it did everything I wanted to do a year ago. I have both texts on my Kindle, but I also have them on my iPad, iPod Touch, and Windows Netbook. I will read the Shanghai Daily on my Kindle because it is convenient to do so, but it is, in some ways, easier to read from the web. I'll probably do most of my book reading on the iPad.

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 view them online later if you'd like. Any assignments that are due for a particular class should be submitted BEFORE the class discussion begins.

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 observation of businesses in China, talking with business people in Nanjing (and perhaps other places if you do side trips), and research and classroom discussions that evaluate the emerging business climate in China (and, more generally, Asia). Students will present the results of their work in papers and group presentations.

The course will consist of:

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. We'll work those details out when we get there.

Specifically Recommended Side Trips

Students taking the Asian Business class are strongly advised to take the side trips to Hong Kong and Yangzhou. Indeed, the Yangzhou side trip should be regarded as a required assignment. Yangzhou was, until roughly 150 years ago, the business capital of China because of its strategic location at the intersection of several of China's great rivers and its early control of key commodities. Your visit there should give you a window to China's capitalist past. Hong Kong, by contrast, is broadly regarded as the economic capital of the Asia-Pacific region (and one of the leading economic centers in the world). Business practice there is a fusion of British and Chinese traditions that is clearly different than you will see in other parts of China. The Yangzhou side trip will probably be the least expensive of the side trips (the current estimate is $70. The Hong Kong side trip, which involves both air transportation and hotels in Hong Kong, will be much more expensive, but will provide a business student with a very different view of contemporary Chinese capitalism.

Learning Objectives/Expected Course Outcomes

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

Outcomes Assessment

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/LearningSpace

Course Rules

Good Advice

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.