Task: Research and identify a real life case study of a multinational company operating in a specific market and discuss the ways in which it has (or has not) contributed to local development, as well as the challenges it faces in doing so. You should examine and explain the nature, drivers, and impact of this MNE, leveraging the various theoretical frameworks and aspects of MNEs discussed over the course of the module. If examining a large diversified company, please focus on one product range (e.g. cars or motorcycles in the case of Honda), and possibly a specific investment project (e.g. Honda factory in a given location in Brazil).
In general terms, your case study report should contain the same information as your group presentation. However, given this is a written report, the work will need to be structured and presented slightly differently, particularly in terms of the language and structure. A case study report will also be slightly different to an essay in that it does not address a specific question, nor does it defend a specific argument, theory, or method. Rather, a case study might be addressed using grounded theory, whereby the evidence itself will form the core foundations of your discussion and recommendations.
For guidance on the presentation element of the assessment, see page 3.
You should structure your report in the way your group feels would best suit the particular case study, however, you should generally aim to include the following elements:
1. A contents page
2. An overview of the wider context, ie. MNEs in general and challenges to development.
3. A presentation and justification of your chosen case study, explaining where it fits into the bigger picture. Ie., is it small/large in comparison to the average MNE? Is it relatively old/new? How does it operate? How many people does it employ? Is there anything about the specific environment/context it operates in that is relevant? Some questions you might wish to consider:
a. Are there any trends in the environment that could have an effect on the industry/firm/its management?
b. What is the state of the economy? Inflation? Stagflation? Depression?
c. What is the cultural, social, and political atmosphere? Are there any trends in terms of government control, political, or public atmosphere that could affect the industry?
d. Are there trends or changes in the environment that could be advantageous or disadvantageous?
e. Are there other industries/firms the firm is competing with?
f. How does the firm compare in terms of market share, sales, and profitability with the rest of the industry?
g. What are the objectives of the firm? Are they clearly stated? Attainable?
h. What are the constraints and weaknesses of the firm?
i. What is the corporate culture of the firm? What kind of management style is preferred? How do employees communicate?
4. Analysis, discussion, evaluation. Here you should think about the various weekly topics discussed throughout the module. You may wish to focus on one element more closely, but it is a good idea to demonstrate awareness of the broader picture. Eg., FDI, IT clusters, global value chains, shared value, environmental sustainability, human rights, etc. Some ideas for how to address this section include:
a. Assessing situations
b. Defining opportunities and problems
c. Identifying and evaluating alternative courses of action
d. Interpreting data
e. Evaluating the results of past strategies
f. Developing and defending new strategies
g. Interactions with various stakeholders
h. Making decisions under conditions of uncertainty
i. Critically evaluating the work of others
j. Responding to criticism.
5. Conclusion, summary, and any other considerations/implications of the findings