International Perspective (BMBA9202WB_116) | Online

 … introduce graduate students in business to the world of international business, 
international trade and political economy  … 
Prerequisite: None

Stillman’s Mission

… is to enrich each student’s life through an ethics-centered education focusing on transforming concepts into business practice.

Welcome To The Course

Welcome to International Perspective. This is your course syllabus. I will update this syllabus if I add something to the course or if something unexpected intervenes … like a hurricane or blizzard. It is your responsibility to remain current on course assignments and materials by reviewing this syllabus regularly for updates.

The course will launch on Monday, January 11th and conclude on Saturday, February 27th. You should review this syllabus, the calendar and the other materials included in this site carefully. You will find answers to any questions when you review the rest of the information included on this site. Please DM me in Slack if you have any questions after you’ve reviewed the site and this syllabus.

Online Course

This is an online course. You do not have to be physically present in a classroom or attend at a set time, or place, to take this course. Since this is an online course, you need to be self-motivated and stay on task. All course interactions will occur in the cloud using applications like Slack, Blackboard, Google+ and PBworks. That said, however, you will have assignments that must be completed when due. We will use Slack as our primary communication and collaboration platform. Please DM me in Slack if you need to reach me or have a question. We use Google+ for our video conversations, when necessary.

Some of you may be unfamiliar with an online learning environment. While the subject matter is generally the same as a F2F course the differences in platform and delivery are frequently a challenge for some students. Online courses require you to be self-directed and organize your work differently than your previous experience in F2F classes. Online does not mean less structure or work. It is not an “easier” course than one offered in a F2F environment.

It is important that you consider a number of factors before you enroll in an online or hybrid/blended course. Those factors include time management skills, learning style and technology skills and access. Online learning anticipates that you are an active learner … someone who is motivated, self-directed and stays on task. If you prefer a more traditional lecture style learning environment where you use class meetings as an organizing structure to complete your assignments then an online course may not be the best choice. In my experience, considering these factors is an important prerequisite to enrolling in a course that offers an online or hybrid/blended learning environment.

Before you move forward with this course or any online or hybrid/blended course, I suggest that you complete the short survey prepared by the our Teaching, Learning and Technology Center (TLTC) to help you in your decision to pursue online learning.

If you are concerned with your comfort level with an online learning environment, please DM me in Slack. I am happy to discuss your concerns.

Before We Begin

We will launch on Monday, January 11th and conclude on Saturday, February 27th. We will begin work on the first module of the course on Thursday, January 14th. Please click Before Our Class Begins to complete some housekeeping items that include introducing yourself, agreeing to the learning contract and completing your Slack, Google+ and course wiki account creation. Please complete these items as soon as possible so that we can begin work on the 14th.


We will approach this course’s subject matter from the viewpoint of a generalist, offering information and insights from the broad perspectives of business, economics, finance, political and economic geography, risk management, marketing, ethics and international law. Through an introduction to these fields, it is expected that you will gain a core understanding of the concepts, ideas and vocabulary of international business.

Contact Me

Professor John H. Shannon

  • Office: 651 Jubilee Hall
  • Email: john DOT shannon AT shu DOT edu
  • Office Hours: Mon & Wed, 12:30p – 1:30p (JH651); Tue, 9:30a – 10:30a (Google+); also by appt

We can schedule an alternative meeting time if you are not available during my office hours. Please DM me in Slack with some days/times when you are available and we can schedule a video conference in Skype of G+.

Q&A Sessions

This course does not have regularly scheduled F2F meetings so I have blocked time for three optional Q&A sessions during the time we are working together. They will be held on Wednesday, January 20th, Thursday, February 4th and Friday, February 19th starting at 8p. The sessions will run for one hour and will be hosted on G+.

I will set some ground rules for these sessions since the potential for chaos is high when a group this size gets together in a virtual environment. This is because most of the multipoint audio and video platforms available to me get a bit cranky with groups over a certain size.

I will create a Slack channel for each of the sessions. I will ask you to confirm your attendance since most platforms limit the number of participants depending on the level of interactivity required. I would also ask you to post your topics/questions to appropriate Q&A sessions channel according to the deadlines in the Course Schedule. That will allow me to choose the correct platform for our needs and also organize our session to focus in areas of interest. I will post a link to each session in the appropriate Slack channel.

And, remember, these sessions are entirely optional. We will only hold a session if you express interest. Your decision to attend, or not, will have no impact on your grade.

What Should You Expect?

The subject matter of the course is interesting, challenging and very timely. We will examine the basis and evolution of globalization and its impact on different cultures and political systems. We will also evaluate how the legal system impacts the international business environment and we will focus on intellectual property issues … a most important area of the law. We will close with an appraisal of international trade and foreign direct investment. We will use a variety of digital platforms to interact with each other and the course materials. You will have a better sense of my perspective on learning environments after you read this site’s section on Teaching and Learning.

Learning Objectives

As I noted above, this course is prepared from perspective of a generalist and will expose you to the concepts, ideas and vocabulary of international business. You will have the opportunity to dive much deeper into different aspects of international business in your other courses so this experience will provide a foundation. You will find the course learning objectives described in detail in the individual modules in the Course Schedule.

Required Course Materials

All course materials are available at the course wiki or in the Course Schedule section of this site. Please click here to request access to the course wiki. When you request access you will be prompted for your email address (please use your SHU email to register for the course wiki). Also, please add your full name to the Message box. I will then approve each user’s access to the course wiki.

Additional Materials

I may assign additional materials for use in our course. I will post links to those materials in advance in the Course Schedule. Please check regularly for updates.


Since this is an online course and you have reviewed my Course Policies, you are familiar with my expectations about the use of technology in my courses. Your participation in this course will require you to engage with a number of different digital platforms. Our primary communication and collaboration platform will be Slack. If you need to reach me or have a question, please DM in Slack. We use Google+ for our video conversations, when necessary. If you have a question that will require an extended discussion, I usually use a video conference so that we can share content during the discussion. You will prepare your writing assignments using digital platforms in Slack and Blackboard that will allow you to enhance your text based content. You will use resources as varied as a search engine (GoogleDuckDuckGo or Bing) as well as those available from our own Walsh Library. If you are unfamiliar with any of the platforms we will use for this course, visit SlackBlackboard and Google+ to review their tutorials.

You are responsible for “figuring it out” when it comes to the “how to” aspects of a project. If you don’t know how to do something … “Google” it!

Many of my students have told me that “figuring it out” was both an unexpected and beneficial experience and a critical learning outcome.

Course Policies

It is your responsibility to become familiar with my Course Policies including preparation & participation; assignments; course communication; assessment and plagiarism. Please review them carefully.

As in the law … ignorance (of the Course Policies) is not an excuse.