In my opinion, this term, the module of International Operations is one of the best in the course so far. First, the module has not just one but two lecturers, a British, Dr. Chris Owen and a Brazilian, Dr. Breno Nunes. Despite the fact that both lecturers together possess several years of work experience in the global markets such as China, UK and Brazil, the content itself in the module is quite interesting where we have been analysing not just supply chain and operations but also how globalisation affected the configuration of processes within companies which operate at an international level.
Second, one of the most interesting characteristic in this module is that we have the “live-action” the Business Strategy Game. This game is an online tool where you and your co-managers (group mates) are taking over the operation of an athletic footwear company that is in a neck-and-neck race for global market leadership, competing against rival athletic footwear companies run by other class members. All footwear companies started having the same worldwide market share and the same market shares in each of the four geographic market regions – Europe-Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and North America.
In addition, every company was in sound financial condition, performing well, and their products were well regarded. The aim of this game is the group acting as a company’s board of directors in charge the development of a winning competitive strategy, in order to capitalise based on continuing consumer interest in athletic footwear, keeping the company in the ranks of the industry leaders, and boosting the company’s earnings year-after-year.
Every week means that the company will run “a year” competing in the market. We started leading the competition but after the other companies set up their strategies, we are having an intense competition for the first places. Well, so far what I can say is we are having so much fun also being able to learn a lot about how to manage an entire company. We have been responsible for developing strategies for sales and marketing, operations and production, financial and investments and even CSR initiatives.
I believe that the most important bit about this activity in this module is to provide a “feeling” of how the real competition takes place in a competitive market. I am sure that even if my group not finishing as first we will able to say that we learnt a lot when writing our report. Part of the job will be explaining what went wrong and which strategy was successful.
Thanks for reading.