[Course] Landscape and Challenges of International Business

Msc HEC Montréal - INTE60006A.H2021

Thierry Warin https://warin.ca/aboutme.html (HEC Montréal and CIRANO (Canada))https://www.hec.ca/en/profs/thierry.warin.html


This course presents an integrated overview of international business environment and its related issues. Although you will deepen and leverage your already existing general knowledge about the world, this course will always come back to the reasons why it matters to know the global risks for a company. At the end of the day, being a business manager means being able to take risks, and being a successful manager means being equipped with the right knowledge and analytical tools to manage risks.

This course intents to make you develop some skills that are truly useful to become an international business analyst.

We will develop content, we will always use a data-savvy approach, and we will use tools such as the data analytics Tableau software. Licenses will be provided on the first day of class.

There are six key objectives for the course:


First, make sure you read the important information and details [here]

Participation [15%] [Individual]

More details

Evaluation is based on student’s level of preparation before coming to class, the quality of contribution in-class and the frequency of those contributions.

To help assess participation, each class one student will be asked to provide a grade from 0 to 3 for each participant, with the following ranking:

0 = No contribution/Absent
1 = Minor contribution (few interventions/low value)
2 = Major contribution (frequent participation/medium value)
3 = Stellar participation (significantly changed class discussion/helped students think differently about the topic)

Research Project [35%] [Teams of 3]

Mid-Term Exam [20%] [Individual]

Final Exam [30%] [Individual]


During this period, students will work on our communication platform as well as our analytical platform (optional).

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4 Session 5 Session 6
Monday, January 10 Monday, January 17 Monday, January 24 Monday, January 31 Monday, February 07 Monday, February 14
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Session 7 [Mid-term] Session 8 Session 9 Session 10 Session 11 Session 12 Session 13
Monday, February 21 Monday, March 7 Monday, March 14 Monday, March 21 Monday, March 28 Monday, April 4 Monday, April 11
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Mid-term exam: Monday, February 21, 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Final exam: Saturday, April 30, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


This course presents an integrated overview of international business environment and its related issues.

[Deploy some information by clicking on the triangle-shaped pictogram]

Session 1. Introduction [Click here]

In this session, we will explore two critical questions of this course: what landscape and what challenges?
We will also briefly discuss the (not so recent) phenomenon of globalization.

Session 2. Globalization and its implications [Click here]

Globalization corresponds to the ongoing process of greater interdependence among countries and their citizens. It affects different dimensions of societies: the economy, the flow of people across countries, as well as technological and political changes. Globalization is an important trend in the world, and is thus central to our understanding of the global landscape.

Session 3. Nations in the global environment [Click here]

In last week session, we discussed the challenge of measuring globalization and its effects on industries. This week, we adopt a different position, and look at nations in the global environment. The key question to think about is how can nations “win” in a globalized world (if they can).

Session 4. International Trade: Institutions and Regulations [Click here]

During this session, we take a deep dive into the mechanisms in place to regulate trade between nations. In particular, we look at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In going through the readings, I invite you to think about the following questions: Is the WTO effective at regulating trade between nations? Is the WTO a cause or an effect of globalisation? Why?

Session 5. International Trade: Regional Economic Integration [Click here]

While the WTO provides a framework for trade between nations, it also recognizes regional agreements. In light of this session’s readings, I invite you to think about regional agreements and how they compete/complete the rules set by the WTO, and of their potential effect on multinational enterprises.

Session 6. Financial Integration and Global Governance [Click here]

This session is dedicated to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, to analyze the role of these institutions in facilitating financial integration the global governance of the financial system.

Session 7. Mid-term exam [Click here]

Mid-term exam

Session 8. Foreign Direct Investments and Multinational Corporations [Click here]

Beyond formal international institutions, multinational enterprises have been a major actor in globalization. Countries have long attempted to attract their investments, while at the same time, protecting their industries. In this session, we revisit the role of multinational enterprises in the world order, and the impact of their investments worldwide.

Session 9. Emerging Markets: Base of the Pyramid, Institutional Voids, and Market-based Solutions to Poverty Alleviation [Click here]

During this session, we focus on emerging markets and less developed markets, and the implications for business. For a firm, this brings the challenge of evolving in a significantly different environment to seize new opportunities. For some of these countries, it also implies solving issues of poverty alleviation. How do were concile these perspectives?

Session 10. Global innovation [Click here]

In the last session of our seminar, we discuss about Innovation.

Session 11. Grand Challenges: Solving the World’s Problems (pandemic, corruption, war and terrorism) [Click here]

In this session, we discuss a number of world problems. How do we address these grand challenges that fall outside of the formal international institutions and of the traditional role of firms? And how should we adapt to the governmental responses to address these problems?

Session 12. Simulation [Click here]


Session 13. Research project presentations [Click here]

Research project presentations

Final exam [Click here]

Final exam

Community values and code of honor

In this course, you will have access to some of the tools we use in our data science platform in our lab http://lab.warin.ca. The use of these tools requires adherence to our code of honor.

Community Values

**It is essential to foster a supportive e-learning environment.

In our lab, we believe it is essential that all participants embody and uphold our community values in order to foster a supportive online learning environment where individuals can have open discussion, reflect on their thinking and learn from each other.

Code of honor of our laboratory

**A code of honor and respect.

Our Code of Honour complements the Community Values Statement and reflects the commitment of participants as members of the learning community to participate in, foster and sustain the learning model of our laboratory.


Before the session:

  1. Read this program carefully
  2. Add this page to your favorites: [syllabus].
  3. Add the LMS address to your favorites: [LMS]

That’s all !