Shinji Hasegawa (Waseda University)


Course description
Traditionally, foreign markets for companies were merely places where they exported domestically produced products or imported raw materials. Today, it is common for companies to produce products abroad, provide services to local customers, and conduct research and development in many different countries, irrespective of their nationality, industry, or size. We are experiencing an era of business globalization.
Once the activities and organizations of a company are globalized across national borders, problems that cannot be fully explained arise in existing academic fields such as economics and business administration, which have been based on the assumption that companies remain within national borders. Global business is an interdisciplinary study that applies knowledge, concepts, and analytical frameworks that have been systematized in various academic fields, such as business administration, economics, politics, sociology, and psychology, to solve such problems specific to global business activities.
In this course, we will first summarize the concepts and definitions that are essential for understanding firm globalization, such as multinational companies and foreign direct investment. Next, we will briefly review how companies have been globalized over the past 200 years of their history since the 18th century, confirm where they are now, and then look ahead to the future. We will then study the principle of globalization of firms through some major theories that have sought to elucidate the mechanisms by which companies have become global and deepen our understanding of the principles by which multinational companies have emerged and acted throughout the two centuries of global business. These include the market-power approach, oligopolistic reaction models, product cycle modes, transaction cost economics, and the eclectic paradigm. We will also consider on what principle the globalization of a company will increase efficiency and benefit the company, the individual, the economy, and society as a whole.
Furthermore, we will learn how companies organize and manage various business activities that have spread around the world, addressing ethical and human rights issues. The topics addressed there will include the fundamental dilemma facing global business and its possible solutions, market portfolio selection and management, market entry strategies, global organizational structuring, global marketing, overseas production strategies and technology transfer, global R&D and knowledge management, international human resource management, diversity/inclusive management, code of conduct for multinational companies, supply chain responsibility, etc. By examining the development dynamics of each global business in the resource, manufacturing, and service industries separately, we will also investigate whether there could be a logic specific to each industrial sector.
Finally, we will address the implications of firm globalization. These include its impact on home and host economies, the impact on workers in multinational companies, and its relationship with the formation of global cities and socio-economic inequalities at both international and domestic scales. We will also address the actual disruption of global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic and intensified geopolitical risks.

Note: The course content and structure may be adjusted at the discretion of the instructor to better meet the learning needs of the students.


Learning outcomes of the course
The goal of this course is to acquire the ability to examine how changes in environmental factors surrounding a company will affect its globalization. Students will learn theoretically and empirically about how international business arises and behaves. By doing so, they will understand the dynamics of international business development, with a particular focus on Japanese firms expanding overseas and foreign firms entering the Japanese market. It also aims to understand how firms do/should organize and manage various activities that spread around the world, always keeping in mind the essential issues faced by cross-border businesses. This will help develop the ability to logically and empirically examine problems facing the global business.


Teaching and evaluation methods

Teaching methods
Each class will consist of a 50-minute lecture and a 40-minute group discussion. In the latter half of the course, students will be asked to give individual presentations related to lecture topics.

Evaluation methods
Participation in each class (20%),
Group presentations and Individual Presentation (50%),
final report (30%)


Bartlett, C.A., and Beamish, P.W., Transnational Management: Text, Cases and Readings in Cross-Border Management, McGraw-Hill, 2013.
Dunning, J.H., International Production and the Multinational Enterprise, Routledge, 2013.



Last updated: June 14, 2024


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