Business: International Business Environment BUSS 2067 - Assessment 1 - SP5 2017

Case Study Report

Blundstone Footwear is an Australian footwear manufacturer. Due to the increased costs of manufacturing in Australia, Blundstone has recently been forced to move manufacturing overseas, namely to India and Thailand. While there was a lot of initial backlash to this decision, the company considers the move to have been an overall success. Over the past few years, a few of Blundstone’s global competitors have opened manufacturing facilities in Africa. Intrigued by these investments, Blundstone has decided to investigate the possibility of opening their own manufacturing facility in Africa. Currently, the company is only considering the four African nations of Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe. Such a facility would be considered only as a complement to, not replacement of, Blundstone’s current facilities. Of important note, the facility would not sell any products itself.

You, as the task force of the International Business Department of Blundstone Footwear, are required to choose ONE of these countries and write a report to the Board of Directors. In the report, you need to identify the advantages and disadvantages of operating in that country. Based on your findings, some relevant strategies should be suggested to benefit from the advantages and mitigate the disadvantages. Based on your analysis, the Board of Directors will decide whether to make such an investment.

When preparing your report, you are required to link your arguments to the course content and to use relevant data to support your suggestions.

  • Students are allowed to complete this assignment either individually or in a team of up to 3 students.
  • Both team-completed and individually finished reports follow the same requirements.
  • An assignment group should only have students from the same tutorial class or the same external class.
  • The report will be due 5:00pm on Sunday, October 8 2017

Please check the Course Outline for full details of requirements

Suggestions: Make a plan at the beginning of this study period

  • Choose a country;
  • Break the assignment down into tasks;
  • Assign a due date for each task;
  • Fill in the form “Assignment Plan” (Appendix 2) and talk with your teacher about the plan

Format

  • Be aware that the assignment is in the style of a report (see an example on the course website and talk to your tutor if you are unclear). Please feel free make use of tables, charts, graphs, etc. in your assignment (these are not counted against the word limit)
  • You must write the case based upon any publically available information that you can find on Blundstone Footwear. Please do not contact the company for any additional information.
  • This report must be prepared using 1½ line spacing in Times New Roman 12 font.
  • The report is to be 2,000 to 2,500 words in length. The word limit excludes the executive summary and the list of references.
  • All resources used in your report must be dated no earlier than 2012, and no undated resources may be used.
  • The Harvard UniSA system of referencing is to be used.
  • It is suggested to use about 15 references in the assignment. Using five or fewer references will result in an automatic failure, while using over 20 references may be excessive for such an assignment. Do note that the course textbook does not count as a proper reference and should be referenced minimally in the report.

** IMPORTANT: Please see the Course Outline for further assignment requirements **

Keywords

WHAT do I want to find out? What are the
main concepts and keywords?

To find information for your assignment topic you will need to identify some relevant keywords. You will then be able to use these keywords to search information resources such as the catalogue, databases and the internet.

Some keywords you may like to consider:

  • footwear industry, shoe industry, footwear, shoes
  • shoe manufacturing, footwear manufacturing, manufacturing, manufactures
  • outsourcing, offshoring, contracting out
  • Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa
  • Blundstone
  • international business

These are only some of the keywords or phrases you could use - there are many others you could use to identify the concepts you are looking for information about. What other terms can you think of?

 

Once you've identified your keywords, you'll need to combine them together to find information on your topic.

Have a look at the guide below which will show you how to connect and combine your keywords to enable you to search the catalogue and databases effectively.

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Finding resources using the catalogue

A good place to start searching for your academic references is the Library Catalogue.

The Library Catalogue is a search tool that enables you to find relevant information on any topic from the Library’s collection of print and electronic books,  journals and theses, together with journal and newspaper articles from numerous academic databases. You can access the Catalogue from the Library homepage.

Catalogue search tips:

  • You can limit your search results to articles only, if you would like to. To do this, search for your keywords and then refine by Format > Articles
  • You can further limit your results to peer reviewed articles by refining by Format > Peer Reviewed
  • You can also limit your results by Date
  • Use double quotes for phrases e.g. "international business"
  • Use an asterix * to find alternate word endings e.g. manag* finds manage, manager, managers, managing, management, managerial, etc.

Sample searches:

     "international business" AND africa

     "shoe industry" AND outsourcing

      footwear AND offshoring

Finding resources using databases and Google Scholar

 

Databases help you to find publications (e.g. journal and newspaper articles, conference papers, book chapters) by a particular author, from a specific publication or on a topic.

They can provide either the full text to a publication or the reference and abstract only. You can access databases from the Library homepage. Choose the Databases link underneath the catalogue search box to see the full listing of database titles.

See the individual database tabs in this box for help with finding resources for your report - these are the best databases for this assignment.

Business Source Complete is a large international database which includes many premium peer-reviewed, business related journals and indexing and abstracts for the most important scholarly business journals, dating back as far as 1886.

Content covers the areas of management (including arts and cultural management, human resource management and sport and recreation management), marketing, economics, finance, accounting, international business and tourism. It's also a good source of company information.

Just enter your keywords into the search box to start searching.

This is an example of a search, showing how to combine concepts. Each box contains a different concept, with keywords describing similar concepts grouped in the same box, joined by OR.

You can limit your search to retrieve only peer-reviewed articles by ticking the Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals option. You can also limit your search by date range if you would like to.

For more help with searching Business Source Complete, please see these short videos.

Emerald Insight is an international database which indexes books and peer-reviewed journals across all areas of business. It also includes case studies, literature reviews, book reviews, conference information, interviews, profiles and 'How to...' guides.

Type your keywords into the advanced search box.

All articles indexed in Emerald are peer-reviewed, so you do not need to limit your search results to retrieve them.

You can limit your results by date, if you would like to.

Don't be fooled by the name - ScienceDirect is an excellent source of information on business and management. And, as an added bonus, all articles are peer-reviewed!

Type your search terms into the advanced search box to locate information.

You can limit your search to information related to Business, Management and Accounting selecting them from the subject area box. You can also limit your results by year.

You may also find suitable academic references for your topic using an internet search engine such as Google Scholar. Google Scholar searches only within academic or scholarly sites, rather than over the whole internet like a regular Google Search. For more information on using Google Scholar, have a look at our Beyond Google for your Research Guide.

By accessing Google Scholar from within the library website, you will be able link directly to articles that the Library has access to by clicking on the Full-text at UniSA link.

To use the advanced search option, select the down arrow in the search box. You can use many of the same search strategies you use to search the catalogue and databases to search the web.

Here is an example of a search using in Google Scholar:

 
Articles with a Fulltext at UniSA link next to them are freely available to you through the Library - select this link to open a copy of the article you are interested in.
 
Google Scholar search results
 
Many institutions make their research openly available to everyone, regardless of whether or not you are a student there. If you see a PDF link to a paper you should be able to access it, even if it doesn't have a Full-text at UniSA link next to it.
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How to find...

Have a look at our online guide to finding Company and industry information.

This guide will help you search the web, our databases and the Library catalogue for company and industry information, financial information, annual reports, legislation and regulation, media coverage and information on public/private companies.

Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd is a private company, so it is not listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. You can find company information on private companies using the following databases:

You'll need to research the country you choose to base your report on.  Try the following sources to locate country profiles and information:

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International Business page

For more information see the International Business page on the Business guide. This page contains a wealth of information including links to useful organisations and web resources such as Columbia FDI Perspectives.

International Business Page

Evaluating your information

Image source: Startupstockphotos.com

Not sure if the information you have found is good quality? It is important to evaluate before you use it in your academic work.

Freepik 'Clapperboard', CC Licence: CC BY 3.0, Image source: Flaticon.com  
  Watch our video You be the Judge - learn to evaluate

Referencing

Need help referencing? Follow the roadmap!

You can find additional help with referencing at these sites:

More help

If you need more help try one of these options:"Open Clip Art, 'Help Button', CC Licence: No Copyright, Image Source: openclipart.org"

  • Contact Ask the Library (via Chat, email or phone). Live chat and phone are available from 8.30am to 9.00pm Monday to Friday, 2.00pm to 6.00pm Saturday to Sunday (Australian Central Standard time), email is available 24 hours
  • If you are in Adelaide ask at a Service Point located in the Library
  • If you are studying outside of Adelaide, living remotely or have difficulty in using the Library in person the Off Campus Library Service can help
  • Have a look at our online workshops and videos
  • Contact the Student Engagement Unit for help with referencing, writing reports and essays and plagiarism
  • Use the Help, Tips or Hints screens within the Library Catalogue and the databases