The capstone for the Global Challenges in Business specialization will provide a learning experience that integrates across all the courses within that specialization. It will involve analysis of a situation concerning an actual business with a view to work toward a global stakeholder engagement business plan for introduction of a new product. Students will analyze a situation taking the vantage point of a global company and develop a global stakeholder engagement plan for a specific geography (chosen by students’ region or country of residence, or other consideration).
Module 1: Capstone Overview & Company Analysis
Welcome to the Global Challenges in Business Capstone course! In today’s business world, “global” is all around us. There are very few industries and companies today that are not connected to foreign businesses in some way, whether that’s through suppliers, manufacturers, service providers, customers, employees, partners, or some other affiliation to a foreign country. This capstone was designed for those who enjoy learning-by-doing. In this course, you will travel “with” us to Qingdao, China where we spent time with our industry partner, Doublestar. Your work is to help Doublestar expand its business overseas. They are interested in your ideas and recommendations. Your project in this course is not just a case to solve a challenge that was already solved 10 years ago. This is meeting a real need in real time. Through this process, you will integrate the concepts from the other courses in this specialization. You will learn a framework for helping businesses expand to a foreign market. The framework and tools you use here apply to any business. I hope that this will not only be an awesome learning experience, but that you will put this into practice at some point in your own career.
Module 2 Country Selection
In this module, you will analyze two countries, assess their comparative and absolute attractiveness as a target for Doublestar, and determine which of the two Doublestar should enter.The two countries you will analyze are the United States and one other country of your choice. Once you have the two countries selected, you will study and compare these two countries and determine the attractiveness of each. You will need to refer to Chapter 5.2 in the Fundamentals of Global Strategy textbook and also conduct your own research.In your analysis, you will compare the countries based on market size, growth rate, market trends, and competitive landscape. Based on your research, you then need to choose which of the two countries Doublestar should enter, and give a compelling reason as to why that country is the best choice.
Module 3 Customer Understanding
In this module you dive deeper into your target country and learn more about the customers who will buy Doublestar’s products. You will gain an understanding of the customers in terms of what tires they prefer, how they look at features, benefits, and pricing of the tires, where they buy their tires, and especially what value they hope to get from their tires. Using the STP framework and the Problem Tree tool, you will identify the segments of tire customers and choose which ones to focus on. You will help Doublestar position itself to attract these customers. In addition to the macro research, you will conduct more in-depth research through interviews and a survey. With these results, you will develop a problem tree to demonstrate that you can put yourself in the shoes of the customer and understand their needs. This knowledge will be necessary for Doublestar to be successful in its launch in the new market.
Module 4 Entry Strategy
In this module, you will focus on your entry strategy into the target market. You know which country to enter, what the competitive landscape looks like, which customer segment is most promising, and how the customers think and what they value. Now you need to figure out how to get Doublestar’s tires into the customers’ hands. In the Global Strategy course, you learned about six potential modes of entry. Based on your research up to now, you need to decide which of these modes, or some combination of them, Doublestar should pursue. You will then identify potential go-to-market partners and potential ways to distribute Doublestar’s tires.Your recommendations for this assignment will need to be relevant to Doublestar’s strengths and to their goals, and will require a good understanding of the target market and customers. Good luck!
Module 5 Corporate Responsibility
Currently, nearly 300 million scrap tires are generated globally each year. That’s a lot of rubber going to waste! Successful companies focus not only on their financial bottom line, but also on the impact they have on society and on the planet.
To wrap up your work, you will find ways to help Doublestar integrate its efforts in tire waste alleviation into its corporate strategy. You will rely on theories of moral reasoning and the ethical decision-making process you learned in previous courses to help them develop a triple bottom line strategy.
Doublestar has already started this process. They recycle rubber and other waste from their own manufacturing facility. They also provide recycling services to other companies. In this module, consider how Doublestar can continue to benefit the environment and society in ways that not only add value to those stakeholders, but also to its financial bottom line.
Module 6 Final Reflection
Reflection is a critical step of the learning process. In fact, reflecting not only helps you remember what you learned, but it also has the potential to help you learn new things. Reflecting leads to new intellectual connections, often called “aha moments,” where you see the material in a new light; where it makes sense in some new way, and where you can see how it applies directly to you. In this final assignment, you will answer specific “prompts” that will help you reflect on what you have learned in this course. These prompts will also help you to think about how to apply lessons from this course to your own field of work.