This assignment is an Essay. There are 6 essay questions.
1 OR 2 OR 3,4 OR 5 OR 6. Please feel free to pick one which will be easy to write. Based on the topic you choose i will need to do the presentation so could you please choose which will be easy to do presentation later on for me.
I will upload the file contain 6 questions topics. And some important information to be careful. Pls read carefully.
20 citations sources. I will upload an example of citations.
In your Essay, have you read and taken into account the question and the accompanying notes?
Have you made sure your argument is logically consistent, and are you ready to defend your conclusion in a class presentation? Note that if your opinion on a topic or issue is exactly the same after you complete the Essay, as it was before you started, then you have very likely not completed the exercise properly.
Have you used at least 7 sources of the required quality? Have you provided at least 20 citations of sources?
Have you used one of the two permitted systems of citation? Have you used that system correctly?
Have you presented your list of references correctly? Have you named and submitted your essay file correctly? Have you submitted using both links?
Please go through the details.
If you need anything let me know.
Thank you very much!
Blair Macquarie University 2017 1 BBA 320 ASIAN BUSINESS ENVIRONMENTS – 2017 ESSAY TOPICS This Unit crosses over a range of disciplines and, as you will see, there is room in the essays for topics in Marketing, Sociology and even History, as much as for Business and Economics. As noted below, these questions are not easy – which is good for you. The essay questions are hard, and will be marked with this in mind. This is much better than questions that are too easy, and therefore need to be marked severely. So don’t be scared of them – a good attempt will be rewarded, even if it ultimately results, to some extent, in failure to get a solution to the problem posed in the question. Also, be prepared to disagree with the premise of the question – the statement contained in the question might be wrong by any objective measure (I often deliberately put forward a proposition that I know or believe to be wrong). The answers to these essay questions are not readily visible in the literature – you’ll have to think about it, and hunt around for evidence. Certainly there will be no ready-made answers that you can download using Google. In other words, these topics are hard, so a genuine attempt, and noble failure to get an answer, will be respected, and will receive generous marks. Another point before we start – this is a skills exercise. We want you to have the experience of writing an essay, but not the trauma. A noble failure for your essay is perfectly acceptable. Do not use anyone else’s work than your own, if for no other reason than because their work very, very often fails. Write it in your own words, and make sure of the basics, such as the citation of sources and lists of references. Use your sources but do not cut and paste from them, supply all the essay prerequisites, and if you don’t get a Passing grade, relax. You will learn from the experience, and still have the other assessments upon which to base your passing in the Unit. Having said that, let’s cover some additional points based on experience from previous years (so don’t be offended if it sounds harsh at times). 1. Students don’t pay enough attention to the fundamentals of essay writing as described later in this handout, such as writing in your own words (much easier than you think it is), giving citations of the correct number and type, and doing the necessary research. Read the last section of the handout regarding how and when to cite sources – it matters. For example, any less than 20 citations of sources; or if the citations aren’t of a recognised style (there are only two); any less than 7 academic sources (mostly journal articles, plus a few books); anything apart from quotations that aren’t written in your own words – and you’ll fail the exercise. Doing these things is much easier than it sounds, and is worth it. 2. Following on from 1., your essay should look like an essay. Citations in the right style (there are only two choices so consult my style guide); double line spacing; margins (c. 2.5 cm all round); list of references in the correct style; good font (a useful standard is Arial 11). ). By the way, one good strategy is simply to compare your work with one or two academic journal articles – if your essay looks like the article, in terms of formatting, references and citation of sources, you are likely on the right track. 3. Research is now much easier than when I was a student. This is not so much because of the Internet generally, such as Google (which you shouldn’t use unless it leads you to an actual academic source, which is quite rare since most are subject to copyright). It’s more because of the specialist electronic search systems that are now available, such as Google Scholar (which specifically targets sources from academic journals) and the databases such as Emerald and EconLit. Use them (start with Google Scholar); you’ll find it takes a few minutes to get at least two or three sources on your topic, and not much more than an hour to get all the ones you need (remember, 7 minimum). If you use Google Scholar and other academic search systems through the Library, you should get student privileges in terms of access and cost. Now, remember to also go to p.6 to see more on these points, and others crucial to your success in this exercise. Meanwhile, the actual question choices follow just below. Blair Macquarie University 2017 2 Choices of Essay Questions 1. “It has often been claimed that guanxi is a fundamental of Chinese society springing from the teachings of Confucius. Yet nowhere in the works of Confucius can we find any reference to, foundations for, or validation of, the practice of guanxi as it is experienced in China today.” Critically discuss this statement (remember you do not have to agree with it). A crucial issue, because the business and economic success of the Asian economies is often attributed to cultural foundations – if that is true, we have to understand what these are. This essay question is obviously related to Question 2 below, but is a much more explicit challenge to those who argue that guanxi is culturally-based. Based on past experience with Japan, as China grows towards becoming the world’s largest economy, concepts such as guanxi will become as familiar in the West as ie, wa, and amae were in the 1980s. And from past experience, most of you will be trying to prove the statement in the question about guanxi to be wrong. The question encourages you to do this but if you disagree with the statement, make sure you have evidence. Simply saying that you do not agree, doesn’t make your disagreement valid. In the Japan as Number One period in the 1980s, many scholars (and students) found it very hard to be objective; it seemed such an attractive idea that lifetime employment and other Japanese employment practices were cultural in origin, and explained Japan’s economic success, that there was too little discussion of the fact that the evidence was actually very weak, especially for the first part of the argument. Similarly now, much of the literature on China takes it for granted that guanxi is cultural (tracing its roots back to Confucius) and provides a competitive advantage. It is often taken for granted that both assertions are true, even by those who claim to be objectively investigating whether they are true. They argue the case, by simply stating the case, and take it as a matter of fact that since they just wrote it on a piece of paper, it must be right. This is a very harsh criticism of the academic literature; if you disagree, then include that disagreement in your essay. And remember, as important as they are, investigating these ideas is not the sole point of the exercise – being able to construct a logical, cogent argument is a valuable business skill, as well as an academic one, and as with all the essay topics, logic and cogency is what you are aiming for here. Warning!!: A question like this is always a little dangerous, because people have so many preconceptions about the answer, including in the academic literature to which you’ll be referring. It will be more dangerous if you don’t read the question! Note that this question is asking you to do something that is too rarely done in the literature itself; it’s asking you to look at the recorded works of Confucius, and secondary sources directly discussing those philosophical works, to seek evidence as to the origins of guanxi. Don’t rely on the standard guanxi literature to do this, although in the course of the essay you will probably refer to it. Your focus is on the works of Confucius himself, and on the scholarly works which analyse his ideas in depth (whereas the guanxi literature tends to mention Confucius in passing, with no real analysis, and are absolutely convinced that his writings are the source of guanxi behaviour without ever substantiating the claim). That task of looking at his original works makes this a genuine research exercise and, as always, honest attempts at that difficult task will be rewarded even if the attempt is not fully successful. Just keep in mind that assertion is not proof. Once you get past that, this can be a fun and rewarding topic to attempt. OR 2. Japanese cultural traits such as an emphasis on harmony (wa) and teamwork, have been widely seen as a source of competitive advantage for Japanese firms. To what extent does the literature on the current Chinese economy see guanxi as a source of competitive advantage? Blair Macquarie University 2017 3 This one has been around a while, and I am keeping it because being around for a while hasn’t seemed to make it easier and I’d like to see that change before we retire it. This question may seem to be, and to an extent was originally intended as, an easier alternative for those of you who would love to discuss guanxi but who just can’t be objective about it (and for whom therefore Question 1 is just too dangerous). In the past it is turned out not to be an easier alternative. A lot of students have not done well in this and similar past questions, again because there’s not enough attention paid to the question itself. Note that you are not being asked your own opinion. Whose opinion are you being asked to report on? Note therefore this question does not explicitly require a conclusion (for example, as to whether guanxi actually is a source of competitive advantage). Note also that you don’t need a long discussion of the Japanese comparator. In the past, those distinctive Japanese institutions were seen as a source of miracle growth in the Japanese economy; a brief mention of that fact is fine, before you move on as soon as possible to the Chinese case. OR 3. “The economy of the People’s Republic of China has reached its Lewisian Turning Point, earlier than expected. In fact, much earlier, and the consequences for China and for the global economy could be tremendous”. Critically discuss this statement. One from 2014, and still relevant because opinions still differ and the question is still open. This question lies closer to economics, but there is nothing particularly technical about it and it can easily be attempted by non-Economics students. Your essay should indicate that you understand the nature of the Turning Point, and review the evidence for it having occurred in the Chinese case. Then you have a chance to speculate on the consequences (and note that “tremendous” can mean tremendously good or tremendously bad). 4. “The South Korean economy never really recovered from the Asian Financial Meltdown of 1997. And the changes in their economic policies and their domestic economic structures mean they never really will.” Critically discuss this statement (remember you do not have to agree with it). Warning: Given the content of this Unit BBA 320, we would expect you to be aware of the growth strategy, including key institutions, adopted in the Tigers before the Crisis. Then to see to what extent that growth strategy has been abandoned (remember that to some economists, this is a good thing). An essay therefore that doesn’t reference that pre-Crisis growth strategy would end up unbalanced. Second Warning!! Have a look at the ‘Getting Started’ section below and make sure you do what it says – in particular, look at the GDP numbers. There is a clear pattern there – don’t ignore it, remember to address it in your argument. Look for average rates of growth over several years at least up to, ideally, a decade before and after clear shifts in strategy for the economy. In other words, on average, when is growth higher? There are many platitudes voiced in the literature on this, question them and maintain an air of scepticism. Getting started: Again, numbers are unavoidable, and here, rarely, conventional search engines such as Google are quite useful (at the beginning but not afterwards). Type in “Korea gdp growth” and you should get a set of charts of growth rates, not only for Korea but other countries as well. The software is quite easy to use, especially for direct comparison over time and between countries. This will start you on the path to determining whether the first part of the question is correct. OR Blair Macquarie University 2017 4 5. Japan, South Korea, and the PRC all have distinctive business structures, such as the keiretsu, chaebol and the TVEs. To what extent are there distinctive corporate and business structures in the Taiwanese economy and, if there are, what might explain these distinctive features? To what extent does Taiwan share business practices such as guanxi, and what might this say about the origins of guanxi? A new one as of 2017 and, as always, wait until you see the evidence, and consider that evidence carefully, before you answer the last two sections (sentences) of the question. And remember you’re being asked about two aspects of the Taiwanese economy – its particular guanxi networking practices, and whether it has distinctive business institutions, just as Japan has its sogo shosha and keiretsu and South Korea its chaebol. I suspect some people may be tempted to just talk about Taiwanese guanxi – an interesting issue, but only half the question. OR 6. “East Asian culture is the source of East Asia’s economic success. This is why Singapore now (based on 2016 statistics) has a higher per capita GDP than its old colonial power, Great Britain.” Critically discuss this statement (remember, you do not need to agree with it). Remember that in your answer you do not necessarily need to focus on Singapore (or Great Britain). First warning!!: The particular dangers here are similar to those posed by Questions 1 and 2, so read the comments on those questions as well before your start. The question is based on an article, in the form of an interview with the former and founding Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew (note that in citations in Google Scholar, the name is given incorrectly, but you should have no trouble finding the article in any case). Zakaria, F., and Lee, K.Y (1994). “Culture is destiny: A conversation with Lee Kuan Yew”, Foreign Affairs, 109-126. The article presents views that a lot of you will agree with. That is all the more reason to be sceptical of those views and develop some self-awareness of your own, and be willing to play ‘Devil’s advocate’. Even if, in the end, these views are valid (and I’m sure you know my thoughts on this) the logical path by which they are arrived at can be flawed. As always, that is a path to a low or failing grade in this exercise. In particular, I urge you to check actual GDP per capita data (this is very easy to find) to check the truth of the statement. (The ‘Getting started’ section of Question 4 will help you here). As you do that, you will also likely find ways of testing the implications of the question. So, check other examples from the data, and think about their implications. You might also usefully look at: Krugman, P. (1994). The Myth of Asia’s Miracle.” Foreign Affairs (November/December). Second warning!!: Do not simply accept what is written in the question, or in the two articles. All three could be easily refuted or at least challenged by readily-available counter-arguments and evidence. Your job will be to see whether the claim made in the essay question can survive scrutiny, and explain your answer. Blair Macquarie University 2017 5 Please see here essential information regarding the essay. An essay like this can be done in around two weeks of relatively uninterrupted work (in other words, you can be doing other things, but nothing too big). If you spend any longer than that, you tend to get diminishing returns. Any less than that, and you risk being unable to complete the task. My advice would be to gather enough relevant sources to be able to commence your reading before the break, and then start writing around two weeks before it is due (or any two-week gap where you have nothing else major to do). Note carefully the submission instructions. These may differ from what you’re accustomed to. The benefit of this submission process is that, for Essays submitted correctly by the recommended date, we can return your work with a range of useful comments in time for your presentation. Incorrect submission will prevent that, so make sure you get it right (and of course, reading and following a set of instructions is an important business skill). Essay Length: not less than 2,000 words, and not more than 2,400. Note: Essays must contain one of the two recognised citation systems, and a list of references, properly formatted. Training in these essential elements is part of the purpose of the exercise, and their omission will lead to a failing grade. See the accompanying presentation guide. Dates for submitting Essays: Your choices are the following: 1. Submit the essay by the recommended date of 8pm on Tuesday 3rd October, and you will get it back, marked, with comments (again, we write lots of comments) in plenty of time to help you with your presentation. Or: 2. Submit by the final date. If you submit your essay between 4th October and 8pm on the 3rd November, then it will not be possible to return the essay to you in time to help you with your presentation, nor will it be possible for you to know your essay mark before the Final Exam. The failure rate for this subject is similar to that of other Upper Level subjects: it’s relatively low, but it’s not zero. Of course, any essay submitted after the specified final date, will attract the penalty specified in the Unit Guide. Submission Date for return with comments: Tuesday 3rd October 2017, 8pm Last acceptable Submission Date: Friday 3rd of November 2017, 8pm Your Essay file should be named: FamilyName_GivenName_StudentID_Qx For example, if you attempt Q2, your file name will end with Q2. Blair_Alex_99887766_Q2 Blair Macquarie University 2017 6 Submission details You need to go to the bottom of the iLearn page to the section labelled “Assessments”. In this section you will find two links. You need to: 1. Submit your essay to both links (Link 1 & Link 2). Instructions as to how to submit are included under each link. 2. Submit the same essay to both links within 5 minutes of each other. 3. Submit in Word format only. Presentation In most cases the least satisfactory aspect of a students’ essay is how it is presented (both generally and in terms of citation of sources etc). Referring to style guides often doesn’t help. So let’s try a different strategy. When you are completing your essay, make sure you take into account the following essentials: 1) You must cite at least 2 or 3 sources per page. This can depend on the nature of the topic (for example, on how often you cite statistics etc) but 2 or 3 per page is an absolute minimum. Some students have only 3 or 4 citations in the whole essay. That is simply not enough, and now that you have been warned I will feel free to simply fail any essay that does not comply with the minimum standards of referencing in academic work. I would expect to see a total of at least 20 citations in your work. When should you cite your source? In general a) when you cite statistics; or: b) when you give a direct quote (and these should be no more than 10% of the essay word length); or: c) when what you say in your essay involves a matter of opinion (especially if controversial to some degree). So, saying that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo would normally require no citation; but saying that he lost the battle, because of the advantage given to the British Army by the Industrial Revolution, would require a supporting citation. 2) You must utilise at least 7 academic sources in your bibliography (and again, as noted above, from them you would draw at the very least 20 citations. Note that: twenty or more, and the number should really be 30 or more for essays of the required length). I am prepared to concede that, realistically, you will use only four or so sources intensively, with the others contributing only one or two points (and therefore one or two citations) in total. By the way, you should only include a book or article in the bibliography if you have cited it at least once in the text of your essay. The Internet is not reliable – only a small fraction of your sources should be from the Net – so let’s say, no more than three. DON’T simply ‘Google’ the topic, but do make use of Google Scholar, an increasingly reliable source and easy to use. And DO use one of the academic databases available (the academic equivalents of Google). For Economics topics, for example, it’s hard to beat EconLit as a starting point. (Note my too relaxed use of the term “bibliography” above, because I find it more convenient: technically, a bibliography is a list of all works looked at, whilst a reference list includes only the sources actually cited in the text. You want the latter). 3) You must express yourself in your own words. I am marking your work, not that of your source (you can write better prose than they can, anyway). I will give you a mark for every Blair Macquarie University 2017 7 error you can find in this handout……..OK, I probably won’t but it makes the point that academic authors aren’t perfect and you should not just copy them, nor will you get away with copying). I know and accept that for many of you, English is a second language, and I make allowances for this when I read your work. So don’t worry if there are errors in your written English. In any case, expressing yourself in your own words is the only way to improve your prose, and is an essential work, and life, skill. By the way, an excellent way of testing your English prose in your essay is to read it out loud. Mistakes that are not obvious on the page become very obvious when you hear them spoken. Any copying from your source should be indicated by quotation marks. Long quotes should be indented (again, these should total no more than 10% of the essay word length). Be aware that technologies are available to check essays for plagiarism, and are being used in many Universities (yes, including this one). 4) You must use a proper citation system, and you have only two choices. Note that the Harvard system (with the [Name, Year: Page] system embedded in the text) is the preferred system of Economics. It is by far the most convenient, and is becoming standard. It also frees up footnotes for tangential discussions away from the main topic, and other useful sidenotes. So if in doubt, use that system. On the other hand, I was brought up on, and feel nostalgia for, the Oxford system of Ibid., op.cit. etc. So I won’t prohibit that system. Make sure you can use it, though. Do you know what op.cit means? If not, don’t use that system. No other citation system will be accepted. (See above note about reliable ways and means of failing this Unit. A bad method of citation is one of them). Pay careful attention to the meaning of the essay question. The worst mistake students can make is to hand in an essay which has no relevance to the essay question (this has happened). Note the words “critically discuss” – you do not have to agree with whatever is being suggested in the topic. Not long ago, one student put forward an argument in her essay, and then put exactly the opposite argument in her conclusion – because she wrongly believed her conclusion had to be in agreement with the statement made in the essay question. In fact, topics are often devised in the hope that you will disagree with their core statements. Finally, you should be trying to present an argument to prove a point – this gives you the structure of the essay, and solves your biggest problem, what to put in, and what to leave out. In other words, you should include in your essay, not everything about the topic, but rather the evidence relevant to the particular argument that you are trying to make. This should include the evidence both for, and (for the sake of academic balance) against, your argument. Have a look at the sample essay pages on the Unit website. As I say, I’ve given up referring to style guides, so let me put it this way. When it’s finished, your essay should look like either the page on the left or on the right (depending on which referencing system you use). If it doesn’t, do it again until it does. Have fun, people and don’t be scared. This is a skills exercise, rather than one designed to accumulate marks. These questions are hard; just do your best, but make sure you handle the basics such as citations. That is very easily done, and if that is done we will be happy. Blair Macquarie University 2017 8 Essay and Class Presentations: After you’ve completed the Essay, it will be marked with comments. If you submit by 8pm on the 3rd October, you will receive the Essay back with the mark and the comments. If you submit between then and the second submission date of 3rd November, there will be no marks penalty, but it will not be possible to return the mark or comments to you. But in either case, after you submit you will have the opportunity to defend your conclusions in the Class Presentation. This will be a very short (less than four minutes), PechaKucha style exercise; more details are available in the Unit Guide and the Class Presentation handout. The fact that everyone will need to defend their argument in this way makes it even more important that you think carefully about your question, put aside any preconceptions, and make your arguments logically consistent and your conclusions supportable. Essay checklist: In your Essay, have you read and taken into account the question and the accompanying notes? Have you made sure your argument is logically consistent, and are you ready to defend your conclusion in a class presentation? Note that if your opinion on a topic or issue is exactly the same after you complete the Essay, as it was before you started, then you have very likely not completed the exercise properly. Have you used at least 7 sources of the required quality? Have you provided at least 20 citations of sources? Have you used one of the two permitted systems of citation? Have you used that system correctly? Have you presented your list of references correctly? Have you named and submitted your essay file correctly? Have you submitted using both links? Note that the mark you receive for the Essay, and for the Unit as a whole, is not just an indication that you have mastered a certain set of materials. It is also a signal that you possess vital professional and business skills. The mark is a signal that you can read a set of instructions, interpret them correctly and put them to good use. It is a signal that your work is professional, presentable and useful. It is a signal that you can deal courteously and professionally with your staff and your fellow students. Make sure you can satisfy the checklist of points set out above, and all the other requirements set out in this Essay Guide. Alex Blair 2017