This course offers the USF MBA student an engaging experience on how business operates in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay and within the Latin American continent. The center focus of this Academic Immersion are the nearshoring services offered to developed nations (mostly, but not exclusively, North America) by emerging countries of South America. One institution of particular interest will be CORFO (Corporacion de Fomento) en Santiago (Chile), similar economic development agencies will be used as a platform to develop the program. USF MBA students will learn from practitioners and academics the rapid development of “nearshore” and “offshore” industries in the visited countries. Students will learn from this experience the Argentinean, Chilean and Uruguayans best practices and compare and contrast to other key Latin American countries competing in this market: Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Costa Rica. They will also explore other successful strategies in conducting business in this region. Furthermore, the practices observed in Latin America will be compared and contrasted with the traditional leaders of offshoring: China, India, Philippines, etc. Prior to the trip, the class will research the history of the region, review local customs and business practices, and explore the regulatory climate and trade incentives available for investment.
The macroeconomics, geopolitical and socio-cultural environment as well as the historical trajectory of each country will be reviewed in the pre-trip classes. Furthermore, the class will provide magnifying glasses over each country comparative position of the countries visited vs. other countries in the same geographical region or similar countries in the rest of the world. Rankings and indexes will be heavily used to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as a tool to compare and contrast to other countries and their performance over the last decade.
The class will be visiting approximately 25-30 organizations over a 17 day period in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Each student organized as groups handling each country (with the assistance of the instructor and a local key contact) will organize and lead the visit planned during the trip for the assigned geographical area.
II. COURSE OBJECTIVES
In this new millennium, two trends seem unstoppable—globalization and the transformative influence of market economies on the delivery of goods and services. Instant communication is one of the key drivers of globalization and this is affecting how work is organized, distributed and performed in the enterprise. The advent of the internet and its marginal zero cost of telecommunications has changed the equation in the distribution of “screen -based-activities”. In fact, most corporations, under global pressure to remain competitive, constantly seek new mechanisms to increase efficiency and productivity by adopting new technologies and relocating activities such as R&D, engineering, manufacturing, etc., to regions of the world where they are best positioned to provide the most cost effective service. Over the last two decades we have observed acceleration in the migration of these screen-based-activities to China, India and other low cost regions around the world.
This Academic Global Immersion (AGI) will explore the opportunity of certain Latin American countries to position themselves as a near-shore alternative to the traditional offshore destinations of India, China and other low-cost regions in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.
The students will become familiar with the following major class objectives (among others):
• Achieve an understanding of the complexities of the global business environment;
• Understand the political, economic, legal and cultural constraints of conducting business in Latin America;
• Experience, through intensive immersion, the business environment in the South Cone;