Date: March 20-26, 2016
Program Fee: $3,198 with 21 participants
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND RATIONALE
The trip includes visits to numerous companies and other organizations in Munich and Berlin. In this course we study fundamentals of international business, (ii) the environments and challenges of Germany and other European markets, (iii) strategies and operations for succeeding in such markets, and (iv) specific aspects of business in Germany.
Germany comprises 16 states with 81 million people. It is the leading economy and the most populous country of the European Union. Germany was the site of two world wars. After 1945, Germany split into two states, West and East Germany, and reunified in 1990.
In the decades following the devastation of World War II, Germany became one of the world’s wealthiest economies. From base of leading industries and high-tech firms, Germany has become the world's third-largest product importer and exporter. The country also has led the way in numerous social and public policy initiatives, including social security, universal health care, and environmental protection. Germany has a rich cultural history, giving birth to many influential artists, musicians, philosophers, entrepreneurs, and scientists.
Germany is home to a high-skill labor force, massive capital stock, low corruption, and world-leading innovation. The service sector comprises about 70 percent of Germany’s economy. As such, the country is home to numerous top services companies, including SAP (enterprise software), Metro (retailing), and Allianz (financial services). Leading multinationals in the manufacturing sector include Siemens, BASF, and Adidas. Germany is home to perhaps the most competitive and innovative firms in the global automotive industry, especially Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, and Porsche.
Germany is recognized for its specialized small and medium enterprises – the Mittelstand. Some 1,000 of these firms are global market leaders in their segment and labeled “hidden champions”. The country is also home to many thriving startup companies. Germany has Europe’s lowest unemployment rate (5 percent) and one of the world’s highest labor productivity rates, a testament to its economic strength.
The European Union consists of 28 countries and some 500 million consumers. Germany is the EU’s leading member and home to the European Central Bank, headquartered in Frankfurt, which is also the financial center of continental Europe.
In Germany, we will stay in Berlin, the nation’s center of government and start-up firms, and Munich, at the heart of Bavaria and German culture, and one of the world’s most livable cities. In Berlin we will travel mainly by bus and train. In walking-friendly Munich, we’ll often travel on foot.