Take It to the Web

1. Video Report. Visit this book’s channel on YouTube (YouTube.com/MyIBvideos). Click on “Playlists” near the top of the page and click on the set of videos labeled “Ch 12: Analyzing International Opportunities.” Watch one video from the list and summarize it in a half-page report. Reflecting on the contents of this chapter, which aspects of analyzing international opportunities can you identify in the video? How might a company engaged in international business act on the information contained in the video?

2. Web Site Report. Because the U.S. market absorbs the vast majority of Mexico’s exports, it is no surprise that the fates of the two economies are closely related. Yet the relative high cost of Mexico’s economy means that some Western companies are heading instead to Asia.

Research Mexico’s economy on the Internet (both Mexican and U.S. publications if possible) and update its performance using the business press and statistical databases. (Hint: You may begin your Internet research by visiting some of the many Web sites listed in this chapter.) If wages are rising, why are companies still investing in Mexico? If wages are rising, is it across the board or just in specific sectors? From what sectors are investments flowing into Mexico, and from where are they coming?

Select a country that competes with Mexico for foreign direct investment. What characteristics make Mexico a better production base? What makes it a worse production base? Compare the two countries in terms of their long-term market potential.

Ethical Challenges

1. You are a member of the Council of Economic Advisors to the U.S. president. The Council is asked to assess the moral basis for outsourcing to low-wage countries. Many globalization protesters argue that multinational corporations from wealthy countries endanger the global economic system by investing capital in developing countries and laying off workers at home. They say globalization pits the interests of more prosperous workers in wealthy countries against the interests of lower-paid workers in developing countries. It is also claimed that the practice pits nations against one another as companies move from one developing country to another in search of lower wages or bigger market opportunities. Do multinationals have an ethical obligation to try to preserve jobs for workers in their home-country markets? How do you believe the council should advise the president on this issue? Justify your advice.

2. You are the CEO of a large multinational company that has become highly profitable by investing in a Latin American country. As a catalyst in mobilizing the nation’s low-cost labor force, your company has helped the nation achieve double-digit economic growth. Following a political upheaval, however, a military government takes control. Workers’ rights are being violated, as are those of individual citizens. As CEO, it is up to you to decide on a course of action. Do you pull out of the country, effectively abandoning your employees? Do you publicly and directly confront the leaders of the new government and insist that they respect workers’ rights? Do you proceed more discreetly and pursue diplomacy out of the public’s eye? Or do you advise a different course of action? Can you make an ethical decision that is also a good business decision?

3. You are the executive director of Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), an organization designed to assist market research practitioners. As part of their membership agreement, QRCA members agree to abide by a nine-point code of ethics that forbids practices such as discriminating in respondent recruitment and offering kickbacks or other favors in exchange for business. The code also calls for research to be conducted for legitimate research purposes, and not as a front for product promotion. Why do you think the QRCA and other market research organizations create such codes? Do you believe they are helpful in reducing unethical research practices? As QRCA director, what other areas of marketing research do you believe should be covered by ethical codes of conduct?

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