Questions for Discussion
1. Using the chapter’s definitions for Totalitarian systems, identify a country that you feel matches the text’s definition. What are the plus and minus that come from the political system for managers that are expected to ‘conduct business and live’ in the country you have selected.
North Korea is an example of a country that employs a totalitarian system. Obviously, this is an extreme example, as North Korea has basically cut itself off from the rest of the world (excepting China in some part). One of the main benefits of operating in a business in a totalitarian system is that a manager does not have to worry about political pressure from the people. Generally speaking, if the government has allowed the company to operate in the country, it will most likely be able to continue doing so without interference. That being said, getting into the country may have exorbitant costs. For example, government officials may need to be bribed. Additionally, it is likely there will be backlash from the company’s customer in its home country.
2. You are studying in a master program, is it possible for you to create ‘intellectual property’ in your role? How about one of your professors? Give one or two examples as you develop your answer.
Even though my work in a master program is directed, it should still belong to me as my intellectual property protected by copyright law. In order for the copyright to belong to the university, I would have had to sign an agreement that transferred my work under their ownership. Honestly, it’s quite possible I did that when agreeing to the program, and I’ve since forgotten! Whether or not a professor owns the copyright for his work may depend on the context under which the work was produced. For example, developing a course for a university would transfer ownership of that IP to the university. On the other hand, scholarly works by a professor (books, essays, etc.) would remain the intellectual property of the professor.
3. After listen/reading our media story for Lesson 3, you will know something about ‘net neutrality’ and the FCC ruling in February, 2015. Internet access has so many implications that it is difficult to pick out one or two issues that the FCC rulings will impact. In reading Chapter 3, however, pick out one chapter topic and comment on the role that ‘net neutrality’ will play for that topic. Explain your reasoning.
Although much of the discussion around net neutrality has been focused on fair business practices, it does impact political practices in the US. Freedom of expression is a cornerstone of representative democracy as described in the textbook (p. 78). Without net neutrality, it would be possible for Internet service providers to control what content their users had access to. This could be used to further a political agenda that is profitable to ISPs. They could even limit access to information regarding net neutrality!
Wild, J. & Wild, K. (2013). International Business: The Challenges of Globalization. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.