GSM 7261: Global Management


Gary Knight, Ph.D.
Professor of Global Management
Atkinson Graduate School of Management
Willamette University

Office: Salem Campus Annex A204
Office Hours: Always after class, by appointment, or by phone


GSM 7261 is a one-credit, graded course. Credits for this course will count towards graduation requirements. Course requires attendance and participation in Saturday class sessions prior to and following the trip.

Course Schedule

Date Text Chapter / Class Lecture Class Activity / Discussion
Pre-departure class Saturday, 9:00am to 2:00pm; Mudd 204, Salem. This class includes a trip to a local restaurant for no-host lunch
Pre-departure assignment Wednesday
12:00 noon
DUE Company Executive Summary
in country Presentations on the companies that we visit, usually on the bus
in country Debriefings on companies
in country Debriefings on companies
Post-trip class Saturday, 9:00am to 1:00pm; Mudd 204, Salem Final Exercise Presentations
Post-trip assignment Monday
DUE Journal due
DUE Final Exercise

Learning Objectives

  • Understand essential aspects of international management, especially market entry and international operations
  • Gain familiarity with the institutions, systems, infrastructure, and other environmental characteristics of target country
  • Understand basic managerial requirements for the successful performance of firms in target country

Course Format

  • The course material will be discussed in class.
  • You will give a Company Presentation, as part of a team.
  • You will write an ongoing Journal in which you record your perspectives and insights regarding the course and the international trip.
  • You will do a Final In-Class Exercise.
ASSESSMENT Percent of Final Grade Grading Scale
Professionalism and Attendance 25% A 95.0-100
A- 90.0-94.9
B+ 85.0-89.9
B 80.0-84.9
B- 75.0-79.9
C 70.0-74.9
F Below 70
Company Presentation 25%
Journal 25%
Final Exercise 25%

Note 1: This class is graded A through F.
Note 2: All the above activities are done individually, except Company Presentation, which is done as part of a team.
Note 3: Please turn in all assignments as Word documents; do not convert to PDF.

Detailed Course Content


A packet of the lecture overheads will be available at WISE, under Resources.

Professionalism and Attendance

Professionalism counts for much of the total grade. Professionalism includes:

  • Attending all class sessions, in Oregon and abroad; and
  • Adhering to the Willamette University Student Code of Conduct, in Oregon and while abroad.

Specifically, professionalism and attendance imply that you will:

  • Attend all classes and all company visits;
  • Wear appropriate dress – business attire – for all company visits;
  • Give full, courteous attention to speakers and presentations;
  • Ask useful questions of speakers that support learning;
  • Refrain from disruptive or inappropriate behavior abroad that might harm Willamette University or its reputation;
  • Generally follow the Willamette University’s Student Code of Conduct. Failure to comply with the Willamette University Student Code of Conduct may result in a failing grade, dismissal from the program, or other disciplinary action.
  • If you miss a class, you must attend a make-up class -- one of Gary Knight’s classes.

Industry/Company Presentation

This assignment comprises two parts. As part of a team of about two people, please

(i) Write an Executive Summary. It should be 1-2 pages, single spaced. If more than 2 pages, the professor will reformat the document so it fits on one sheet of paper (front and back).

(ii) Make an Oral Presentation, on one of the companies we will visit in the target country. Try to choose a company that suits your career or other interests. You will give your presentation in the target country, just prior to visiting the company. The presentation should be 5-10 minutes.

Submit your Executive Summary to the Drop Box at WISE by the due date, and the professor will make copies and distribute to the class in target country. We will assign teams and companies during our first pre-departure class.

Suggested Outline for the Presentation and Executive Summary:

  • Industry Background (including state of the industry in target country)
  • Company Overview
  • Products and Operations (including key personnel, competitive advantages, and strategies)
  • Financial Condition (e.g., sales, income, stock performance, other details)
  • Company Current Situation (including notable problems and opportunities)
  • References

Note: Occasionally a company does not have a significant, understandable web presence, or you may be unable to find specific information on the company. If that arises, please focus your executive summary and presentation on the relevant industry.


You are to keep an electronic journal during the class in which you provide your reflections on the readings for the class and the study abroad program. Specifically, you are to write a minimum of seven single-spaced pages of reflection (about one page per day of the program trip) that expresses your comments and insights about the readings, lectures, and especially the trip itself, particularly material you found helpful or interesting. Emphasize your perceptions and insights on the material and the trip. Be substantive. It may help to focus on material and experiences that hold particular meaning to your job or career goals. We strongly recommend that you take notes at meetings and collect your impressions while we’re in the country, and then incorporate them into the journal. Working on your journal every day while abroad is best. This will help ensure your learning and thoughts are fresh.

There are several benefits to keeping the Journal. It forces you to read the material and think about it in a substantive way. It helps you develop writing skills and the ability to formulate and express your thoughts efficiently. It aims to foster learning in a substantive way. I will be looking for journal entries that provide evidence of your reading and learning from the material and the trip.

Submit your completed Journal to the Drop Box at WISE by the due date. In the past, many have included photos in their Journal. I will grade the Journal at the end of the term.

Final Exercise

In this exercise, you are to give a brief oral presentation in class and write a short report, based on your experiences in target country. The exercise, to be completed individually, requires you to address dimensions of the business environment, the organizations that we visited, the business methods, career aspects, and/or your personal insights, on target country. The exercise will be distributed in the first class in Salem. In brief, the exercise will require you to:
(i) Give a brief (5-minute) oral presentation that addresses a subset of the above dimensions, in class on Saturday, date.
(ii) Write a report, addressing a subset of the above dimensions. You may need to access information from online sources. The final report should be single-spaced, and 2-3 pages in length. Submit the written report to the Drop Box in WISE by the due date/time.

Debriefing Sessions

In target country, we will hold debriefing sessions on each company following the visits.
Typical questions for the debriefing on each company:

  • What were the highlights of the visit? What points explained by the speaker stand out most? Did anything surprise you?
  • What are the organization’s objectives? What is it trying to accomplish? What problems is it trying solve?
  • In what areas does the organization meet or miss its objectives?
  • What has caused the results the organization has produced so far? Do you think the strategies and approaches the organization is following are viable? Why or why not?
  • What should the organization start, stop, or continue doing? How can they improve? What strategies would you advise them to follow? Be able to justify your answer.

Administrative Notes

Honesty and Integrity: Plagiarism is verbatim copying of material from the Internet, library databases, books, articles, and other such sources, without attribution. The Atkinson Graduate School of Management requires that students (1) uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in their own work, (2) refuse to tolerate violations of academic integrity, and (3) foster a high sense of integrity and social responsibility. Consistent with this policy, you should conduct yourself in an honest and professional manner. This implies that all work must be yours. Plagiarism and cheating will be dealt with to the fullest extent possible. I have given ‘F’ grades for plagiarism in the past.

It is okay to draw on others’ work, as long as you attribute the source of this work (i.e., by providing appropriate citations and associated references in a bibliography) and use quotation marks for material that is taken verbatim from a given source. You must develop the habit of attributing any work or ideas that are not your own. Careers have been damaged or destroyed due to plagiarism. Throughout your career, plagiarism can be avoided by appropriately attributing others’ work. At the same time, while using and attributing others work is often useful, it is best to acquire the habit of formulating and communicating your own thoughts and ideas. Thus, I strongly discourage written assignments that are not essentially your own work.

Students with Disabilities: Students with disabilities who require accommodation should notify me of the nature of accommodation you require in the first week of class. Additional support is available from the Willamette University Accessible Education Services Office, telephone 503-370-6471.

Attend and participate in all classes. The success of class discussion depends on advance preparation and eager participation. Discussion and participation constitute a significant part of your final grade. Your thoughtful contributions, discussion, and active listening are important. Notify the professor if you are going to be absent.

Teamwork and Team Evaluation. You must participate actively in the assigned team. You can use a form (at the course website) to assess fellow team members, based on their respective contribution to the team project. Complete and email this form to the professor. It will be treated confidentially.

Recommended Reading
Bloomberg Businessweek(, Economist(, International Business Times (, and Wall Street Journal ( are good periodical sources for international business.

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.

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