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University of Colorado Boulder

International Business Venturing Abroad

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera


This course reviews and evaluates the many ways that businesses can engage in international commerce. First presented are the three decisions that any business needs to make to go global, including a model for country selection. Next, modes of exporting and importing are discussed, followed by a review of contract modes of entry such as licensing and franchising, and then foreign direct investment strategies such as joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions. The course concludes with a personal look at going global, including deciding to go, preparing to go, working and living abroad, and the challenges of coming home.


  • IB Entry Strategies
    • This first module reviews international foreign country entry strategies. In the first lesson, we ask the question “Should we go global?” and discuss the factors for making this decision. Assuming the answer is “yes,” we then review the three basic entry decisions that must be addressed - entry timing, country selection, and entry strategy. The module concludes with a discussion of entry timing, and an extended discussion of country selection using the PESTEL model as a tool to assist with making the final decision.
  • Exporting Strategies
    • In this module, we discuss exporting into a foreign market. First described is the relationship between exporting and importing, followed by the steps required for successful exporting. Then three alternative types of exporting are compared: direct exporting, indirect exporting with intermediaries, and piggyback exporting. The module concludes with a discussion of successful importing, which is essentially a mirror image of successful exporting.
  • Direct Entry Strategies
    • In this module we explore methods of direct foreign-country entry including both contractual entry methods and foreign direct investment. Contractual methods include licensing, franchising, outsourcing, management contracts, and turnkey projects where a firm has an arms-length relationship with a foreign company. With foreign direct investment, a firm takes an active ownership position with a foreign firm. Methods of foreign direct investment (abbreviated as FDI) are joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, and Greenfield investment.
  • Living Abroad
    • In this final module, we examine the personal side of international business with a discussion of working and living abroad as an expatriate (expat). We first describe the characteristics of successful expats contrasted with those you are less successful. We then review the many steps needed to prepare for living abroad along with necessary precautions. Next, we discuss life abroad as an expatriate including a description of how to cope with culture shock. And finally, we discuss the challenges of returning home after a long assignment abroad. We conclude with a brief discussion of “is it worth it?” The provisional answer is “Yes!”
  • Operating Abroad
    • "Operating Abroad" course exam

Taught by

Stephen R. Lawrence

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