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BSc in Business, Asian Language and Culture - Asian Studies Programme
Presentation of ASP
The Asian economies and the Asian markets continue to grow. Companies are not only moving their production to Asia; they are also looking at Asian countries and companies as trading partners in other ways. The Asian Studies Programme gives you the competences to deal with the situations and problems that a company may experience when they are doing business in countries that are so different in terms of economics and business structures, but also culture.
Courses and content
Understanding how markets work is very important in this context. You are introduced to basic economic theories and concepts, learn how competition works, and how companies plan and prioritise in international markets.
We will also talk about business strategy and marketing, which will give you a better understanding of international market strategies in general - and Asian market strategies in particular.
Cultural and societal understanding
Doing business in foreign regions requires more than a good understanding of business and economics. You need also to understand the culture and society of that region to be able to handle the challenges you may face.
The ASP offers courses in societal analysis and intercultural organisation. The course in societal analysis will give you an understanding of the development and nature of different parts of society and culture, in particular different economic, political, social and cultural traditions of China. The course in intercultural organisation focuses on how a company is organised and the opportunities and problems that may arise when moving onto a foreign market. The course focuses on the differences and similarities between cultures and you will learn how to improve communication between companies located in different cultures.
Knowing how to speak the language of a specific country or region will make it easier to understand the culture. In the Asian Studies Programme you choose to study Chinese.
The language courses teach you grammar, vocabulary, and written and spoken language. You will be working with texts about the societal, political and economic situation in China.
The Asian Studies Programme is a three-year bachelor programme, which is divided into 6 semesters. The fall semester runs from September through November with exams in December and January; and the spring semester from February through April with exams in May and June.
The programme consists of a number of obligatory courses, some elective courses and ends with a bachelor project.
Options during the programme
The preparatory year
The language is your starting point for understanding Asian culture and market structure. If you do not meet the language requirements for Chinese you will start with a one-year preparatory language course, the so-called “year zero”. Year zero is a year of intense language courses and a course named PALCS - Presentation of Asian Languages, Culture and Society. Most ASP students start with this preparatory year.
PALCS provides a basic insight into the social, historical, political and economic situation in mainly China. The course prepares you to enter the Asian Studies Programme by enhancing your knowledge about Asia. PALCS teaches you how to select relevant information about Asia and how to present this knowledge to other people.
The language course in Chinese is very demanding and probably very different from what you are used to. The Asian languages are very different from other languages you know. The written language consists of characters instead of letters, and the sounds of the words are very different from western languages. You will have to learn a lot in a very short time. We expect you to do a lot of homework; you have to practice to write and remember the characters, and this requires a lot of repetition. You should expect to study between 40-60 hours per week during the preparatory year.
The third year
The fifth semester consists of electives. You can use this semester to specialise in one or more areas taught in the obligatory courses, or you can choose new areas of studies.
You can choose between the following during your fifth semester:
- Doing electives at CBS or another university in Denmark
- Going abroad on exchange at a partner university
- Doing an internship in a public or private organisation in Denmark or abroad
Most students choose to go to China; however , some choose other destinations in Asia such as Malaysia or Singapore.
The sixth semester ends with a bachelor project.
Oversigt over uddannelsen
The focus of teaching is applied language use in order to enable the student to communicate in elementary to lower intermediate Japanese about general topics related to culture and society.
The course will provide a general introduction to appropriate language and formality level governing social interaction. We expand the range of vocabulary and kanji according to syllabus.
Teaching is based on a comprehensive textbook system with a vast online repertoire to be used as self-study aid including audio-visual input. Through three interrelated weekly exercises and lecture, the student will practice speaking, reading, translation, grammatical analysis and finally some writing.
- Relative reading fluency with regards to pronunciation, speed and suitable pausing while allowing for occasional misreading and intonation flaws.
- Deliver a direct translation from Japanese into English.
- Grammatically analyze a sentence identifying the main constituents and their mutual relationship.
- Engage in a conversation with examiner comprehending questions and responding appropriately although occasional hesitation, repetitions and restarts may occur. May have pronunciation/intonation/stress issues that require listener adjustments, but on the overall level, (s)he is intelligible.
- Respond in a coherent, well-pronounced and appropriate way with minor errors that don't derail.
- Utilize a variety of familiar vocabulary and grammatical expressions, collocations etc.
The focus of teaching is applied language use in order to enable the student to communicate in elementary to lower intermediate Chinese about general topics related to culture and society. The course will provide a general introduction to appropriate language and formality level governing social interaction. We expand the range of vocabulary and Chinese characters according to syllabus. Teaching is based on textbooks as well as audio input, and the student will practice through speaking, reading, translation and writing exercises.
- Relative reading fluency with regard to pronunciation, speed, suitable pausing while allowing for occasional misreadings and tonal and intonational flaws.
- Oral delivery of a faithful translation into English.
- The ability to grammatically analyze a sentence, identifying main components and their mutual relationship.
- A skill to engage in dialogue with examiner, comprehending questions and responding appropriately although occasional hesitations, repetitions and restarts may be needed and may have pronunciation, intonation, tonal, and stress issues that require listener adjustment, but on the overall level (s)he is intelligible.
- The ability to understand and respond in a coherent, well pronounced and appropriate way with minor errors.
- Variety (i.e. use of familiar vocabulary, grammatical expressions and collocations etc).
The focus of teaching is applied language use in order to enable the student to communicate in lower intermediate Japanese about general topics related to culture and society. We continue to work with translation as a tool to ensure reading comprehension, and continue to expand the range of vocabulary and kanji.
The course consists of three interrelated classes: 1) translation, 2) speaking and writing, 3) syntax analysis.
Japanese 2 is a intermediate language course that builds upon the knowledge acquired from Japanese 1, while gradually increasing the level of difficulty.
At the written exam the student should demonstrate that s/he:
- Can provide an accurate English translation of a written Japanese text with regards to syntax, genre, audience and function (providing explanatory footnotes when deviating considerably from the original syntax).
- Can make a syntactical analysis down to word level grammatical sentence; describe the individual sentence elements and define their mutual funtion and relation to the whole sentence.
- Can write with minimal competence on the rhetorical- and syntactical level.
The focus of teaching is applied language use to enable the students to communicate in lower intermediate Chinese about general topics related to culture and society. We continue to work with translation as a tool to ensure reading comprehension, and continue to expand the range of vocabulary and Chinese characters even further.
The course consists of 3 interrelated classes:
1) translation and grammar
2) written exercises
3) speaking classes
Chinese 2 is a lower-intermediate language course that builds upon the knowledge acquired from Chinese 1 while gradually increasing the level of difficulty.
At the written exam the student should demonstrate that s/he:
- Can provide an accurate English translation of a written Chinese text with regard to syntax, genre, audience and function (providing explanatory footnotes when deviating considerably from the original syntax).
- Can make a syntax analysis down to word level, identify the different sentence elements and define their mutual function in the sentence
- Can write with a minimal competence on the rhetorical and syntactical level. This requirement can be met by submitting 2 smaller compositions during the course
The focus of teaching is communicative language compentency through innovative learning. The aim of the classes is to enable the student to express him-/herself in a consistently intelligible and coherent way.
Topicwise there will be a focus on Japanese culture, society and economy. The aim of this course is two-fold:
1) written production
2) oral interaction.
Or message may be clear and expressed fluently, but language use is somewhat simplistic.
- Can produce simple and connected text on topics related to syllabus
- Can discuss a familiar topic in Japanese using appropriate vocabulary.
- Can express her/his opinions in a clear manner. However, the message may require more than a little noticeable effort for the student to compose, or delivery may be too slow.
- Can pronounce in a clear and intelligible manner with only occasional mispronunciations.
- Can interact with other participants in the group with pragmatic competences (flexibility, turn-taking, thematic development and fluency) as well as socio-linguistic appropriateness in communication. Good listening comprehension. Minimally adequate lexico-syntactic resources are necessary.
The focus of teaching is communicative language competencies through innovative learning. The aim of the classes is to enable the students to express her-/himself in a consistently intelligible and coherent way. However, the message may require more than a little noticeable effort for the student to compose, or delivery may be too slow. Or the message may clear and expressed fluently, but language use may be somewhat simplistic. Good listening comprehension. Minimally adequate lexico-syntactic resources necessary.
Topics covered in class will focus on Chinese culture, society and economy. The aim of the course is twofold:
1) written production
2) oral interaction
- Can produce simple and connected text on topics related to syllabus
- Can discuss a familiar topic in Chinese using appropriate vocabulary
- Can express his/her opinions in a clear manner
- Can produce in a clear and intelligible manner with only occasional mispronunciations
- Can interact with other participants in the group with pragmatic competences (flexibility, turn-taking, thematic development and fluency) as well as socio-linguisitc appropriateness in communication
The focus of teaching is to enable the students to communicate in intermediate Japanese. The texts will deal with socioeconomic topics. The course will strengthen vocabulary, textual comprehension as well as spoken competence. Through the class activities, the students will practice their oral presentational skills on topics related to syllabus.
Through the exam the student should demonstrate that s/he:
- Can give a rehearsed presentation on a specific topic concerning culture, society and/or economy using appropriate vocabulary.
- Can make an oral presentation in which her/his viewpoint is clearly stated and put into a broader context
- Can debate and sustain a dialogue on topics from syllabus
- Can communicate without major grammatical, lexical, idiomatic or pronunciation errors.
- Can auto-correct errors while speaking.
The focus of teaching is to enable the students to communicate in intermediate Chinese. The text material will deal with socio-economic topics. The course will strengthen vocabulary, textual comprehension as well as spoken competence. Through class activities, the students will practice their oral presentational skills on topics related to syllabus. Students will build upon their vocabulary range to cover more specialized topics related to Chinese society and economy and train the reading of authentic texts.
The student must demonstrate that s/he:
- Can give a rehearsed presentation on a specific topic concerning culture, society and/or economy using appropriate vocabulary
- Can make an oral presentation in which her/his viewpoint is clearly stated and put them into a broader context
- Can communicate without major grammatical, lexical, idiomatic or pronunciation errors.
- Can auto-correct errors while speaking.
Electives / Exchange / Internship (30 ECTS)
On the fifth semester you can take electives, go on exchange or do an internship in a company.
The primary focus of this course is to enable the students to use the Japanese language to communicate effectively about aspects related to Japanese business. It is not a practical course in Japanese business language.
Throughout 9 weeks the students will be provided with opportunities to articulate and debate in Japanese their understandings of particular company cases. The students will specialize and expand their range vocabulary through content-based texts and learning activities.
It is of critical importance for the success rate of this course, and thereby the learning outcome of the student, that each and everyone of the participants are active in class and constant in their attendance.
At the exam the student should demonstrate that s/he:
- Can make a clear and well-structured presentation on a topic related to Japanese business life and companies (i.e. oral presentational skill).
- Can answer questions and sustain a dialogue on topics from syllabus (i.e. oral interaction skill).
- Can speak without grammatical and phonological errors that cause misunderstandings in spoken Japanese (i.e. linguistic skill).
- Can choose the appropriate words and terms when presenting and discussing the topics related to syllabus (i.e. accuracy and content management).
The primary focus of the course is to enable the student to use the Chinese language to communicate effectively about aspects related to Chinese business.
The course provides the student with opportunities to articulate and debate in Chinese their understanding of particular company cases. The student will specialize and expand her/his range of vocabulary further through content based texts and learning activities.
At the exam the student should demonstrate that s/he:
- Can make a clear and well-structured presentation on a topic related to Chinese business life and companies (i.e. oral presentational skill)
- Can answer questions and sustain a dialogue on topics from syllabus (i.e. oral interaction skill)
- Can speak without grammatical and phonological errors that cause misunderstandings in spoken Chinese (i.e.linguistic skill)
- Can choose appropriate words and terms when presenting and discussing topics related to syllabus (i.e. accuracy and content management)
Business Research Methods
The purpose of this course is to provide students with the required research skills that will make them educated users of quantitative and qualitative techniques needed in addressing a variety of problems in economic and business research. The study of the material will allow the students to understand how methodological tools blend together in order to result in competent design and analysis of research projects.
The course introduces students to basic statistical skills in business analysis. These skills include graphing techniques, the use of spreadsheets and statistical software, discussion of the type of data used in business research, methods of data collection, summary measures of location and spread, statistical distributions most frequently used in business research, estimation and inference from population samples, hypothesis testing, correlation, single and multivariate regression analysis, and residual analysis. Further, the course introduces students to two main theoretical approaches in modern interdisciplinary business research, namely interpretivism and positivism, which will help them in building their methodological and reflexive skills. These skills include formulating a research question, making a research design, collecting and analyzing relevant data, and analyzing and writing up the research material.
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
- Distinguish between different types of data and present them in a graphical and summary form
- Estimate and make basic statistical inferences (tests) about population characteristics from samples as well as interpret the results
- Calculate and interpret measures of correlation, partial correlation, and regression coefficients from different regression models
- Identify a research topic, critically review the appropriate existing literature and develop hypotheses that reflect the theoretical setting
- Apply the use of appropriate qualitative tools including interviews, qualitative and quantitative surveys
- Critically reflect on the notions of validity and reliability
Overall course objectives
To introduce students to the basics of Marketing as well as the wider context for a company’s marketing efforts. The course will introduce students to a combination of
- the essentials of marketing
- the wider business and societal context in which Marketing Management must navigate.
The course will focus on introducing students to BtB and BtC markets and the factors influencing both markets. Focus will be on the driving forces affecting the company’s options in the marketplace, such as shifting consumer preferences, societal and other trend drivers, and the need for continuous innovation, social responsibility etc.
Highlights of course contents
The course will introduce students to:
- Tools for understanding and analyzing internal and external factors influencing the company’s choice of marketing approach
- The relevance and difficulties of designing best fit between the company’s overall strategies and choice of marketing strategies, including the strategic role of marketing in the company
- The importance of aligning marketing efforts with the company’s overall supply chain and network considerations - i.e. the company’s marketing efforts as part of the company’s overall strategies
- Tools for aligning the company’s marketing efforts with intercultural characteristics of target markets
- An understanding of the importance of customer preferences and how they are affected in both BtC and BtB markets
The focus of the course will be of special relevance to ASP students as central themes will be highlighted - as much as is feasible and relevant – through cases and material aiming for a better understanding of Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc. consumers, trends etc.
Emphasis will be on ongoing reference to ASP-specific countries and areas and heavy student participation allowing for references to ASP specific countries.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Understand/discuss the increasing importance of the market place and important driving forces, such as societal trends, focus on sustainability and CSR, the importance of considering intercultural differences and how this impact on company options
- Identify relevant overall marketing options for the company while considering implications for the company, its network and supply chain
- Analyze a company’s situation and challenges, internal as well as external, in relation to its current and future marketing efforts – using relevant tools and frameworks for such analyses
- Propose viable marketing strategies solidly aligned with the imperatives identified through analyses of all relevant factors
- Apply their insight from the course in order to develop marketing strategies for companies addressing and incorporating relevant issues
- Additionally, upon successful completion of the course, students will have enhanced their competences through a more holistic overview of societal, cultural and market drivers in relation to marketing options
Aim of the course
The aim of Managerial Accounting is to give students knowledge about how companies are using Managerial Accounting as a tool for controlling. The economic control is using information about costs, prices, benefits, resources etc. to make decisions on a local or central level in a way to secure the best possible result for the company.
More specific, Managerial Accounting will address planning and organizing of a company, with focus on calculations, design and implementation of performance goals, measuring and reporting, and interpretation of the achieved results. This is giving the opportunity to handle practical tasks in the operation (e.g. budgeting) and to view every single task in a more overall perspective.
During the course, the following central issues will be presented and discussed:
- The nature of costs and cost allocation
- Opportunity cost
- Organizational architecture
- Transfer pricing
- Absorption cost and standard cost
The course relies on lectures, exercises and case-discussions of different issues in the field managerial accounting. More specifically, the topics include the analysis of costs and cost behavior, standard and activity based-costing, break-even analysis, planning and budget preparation, divisional performance measurements but also some basic financial statement analysis.
The purpose of this course is to understand, implement and discuss managerial accounting concepts and tools used to manage organizational operations in the short and long run as well as at the local and global level. To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
- • Describe and understand the notion of opportunity cost and organizational architecture and explain how they together constitute a framework for analyzing management accounting systems in a decision making and a control perspective
- • Describe and understand different management accounting theories and discuss their strengths and limitations from a decision making as well as a control perspective
- • Use terms, models, perspectives and theories on specific cases to identify the economy-based problems.
- • Analyze the cost of improving accounting systems decision making ability and effectiveness as a control device and reflect upon the trade-off between the use of accounting for different purposes
- • Reflect on and assess the value and relevance of specific management accounting systems in a particular organizational setting.
Principles of Corporate Finance
This course is an overview of the principles of corporate finance and is designed for undergraduate students who have no prior knowledge of corporate finance. Importance is placed on techniques related to investment decisions and financial decisions made by companies. Financial managers in corporations work with other managers to identify investment opportunities, to analyze and value the opportunities and to decide whether and how much to invest, as well as decide how to raise the money to finance corporation’s investments.
Therefore we start with an introduction of what a corporation is, and describe the role of a corporation’s financial manager. We then proceed with how to measure corporate performance (value added, efficiency, profitability etc), since the main goal of corporations is maximizing the current market value.
Since companies invest in a lot of things such as tangible or intangible assets, the decision on capital outlays is among the most significant a firm will have to make. In introducing decision making on capital expenditure, first the students will be exposed to “time value of money” calculations and then proceed to the fundamentals of valuation of bonds and stocks, emphasizing present value techniques. These techniques will be also useful during capital budgeting decisions, which involve comparing the different investment criteria in the presence of capital shortage. After careful grounding in valuation practice and theory, the concepts of the cost of capital and capital structure will be examined, covering risk-return analysis in capital budgeting.
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
- Define and discuss key concepts from theories and models introduced and discussed in the course.
- Apply the correct financial techniques to a given issue.
- Calculate and perform the analysis from the perspective of a chief financial officer in decision-making.
- Interpret the results of the analysis with respect to the efficiency of decision making.
International Business in Asian Markets
The course focuses on the following issues faced by international business across emerging markets in Asia.
• Business Environment: How do emerging markets differ from established market economies? Why is the development of institutions so important? How do the specific business conditions impact on the strategies and operations of local businesses? How do multinational enterprises manage their relationships with host governments?
• Entry Strategies in Emerging Markets: Why do multinational firms consider engaging in business in less advanced economies? How do they design their entry-strategy, with respect to for instance entry mode and entry timing?
• Operating affiliates in emerging markets: What specific issues arise for multinational firm operating within emerging markets? How do firms handle the gap in terms of culture and economic development between their country of origin and the host country?
The course shall enable students to analyse issues of international business in Asian emerging markets. Furthermore, the course will enable students to analyse international business relationships from the perspectives of both the multinational enterprise and local stakeholders. At the end of the course students must be able to:
- Assess risks and opportunities in emerging markets and transitional economies
- Describe various FDI motives and business strategies in emerging markets
- Discuss entry modes and marketing in emerging markets
- Distinguish between various types of business network in an Asian context
- Discuss human resource management in emerging markets and transitional economies
- Describe different modes of employing culture in Asian business practices
Asian Societies from a Comparative Perspective
Aim of the course: To provide students with the sociological foundation to understanding different aspects of society and culture, particularly Chinese and Japanese societies. By moving beyond economics and management practices, the course aims to offer a holistic understanding of Chinese and Japanese societies and cultures. The issues will be relevant to foreigners conducting business in China, Japan and other Chinese-dominant Asian countries because they will learn about the cultural and institutional foundations behind these societies’ practices and behaviour.
Course content: With regards to China, Japan and also other societies, the course will offer specific discussions on (1) theories to understanding society and culture; and (2) various social institutions, such as education, family and the labour market. A set of theoretical and methodological tools is thus presented to students to further their studies in ASP.
- To demonstrate the ability to comprehend the complex and dynamic inter-relations between different parts of society and culture holistically
- To demonstrate the ability to analyse different social institutions through various sociological perspectives, including functionalism and conflict theories.
- To demonstrate knowledge of course material concerning sociological approaches to various social phenomena, such as the linkages between economics, culture and society.
- To demonstrate competence in comparing Chinese and/or Japanese societies with other societies, using relevant sociological theories as the common bases of comparison.
International Relations in Asia
This course introduces major theories of international relations, and discusses how they can help us understand issues of conflict and security in Asia. Particular attention will be paid to developing strong analytical skills for dissecting the complex nature of relations among Asian countries and thus situate security issues in the wider economic and social dynamics of the region. Throughout the course the history and positions of enmity and amity of important regional actors such as China, India, Japan, and Southeast Asian countries will be discussed.
The course is divided into two parts. The first part is organized according to schools of international relations theory: Realism and Liberalism, Neo-realism and Neo-liberalism, The English school, Marxism and Critical Theory, Constructivism, Securitization and Regional Security Complex Theory as well as theories on foreign policy and domestic agendas. These theories are applied to explain and interpret Asian phenomena, but at the same time Asian experiences are employed to critique existing theories that are mainly based on Western history.
The second part discusses international issues central to Asia with an emphasis on Asian values, growth and development, climate and sustainability, regionalism, and the relations between Asia and the rest of the world.
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of major schools of international relations theory, and be able to identify their different assumptions, logics and arguments.
- Show a basic understanding of the role of the state, institutions and politics in social and economic affairs at the national, transnational and international levels.
- Be able to apply international relations theories on empirical realities in the Asian region, with an emphasis on China and Japan.
- Develop an understanding of the heterogeneity of Asian countries and how it shapes dynamics among them in regional and global affairs.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically think about and discuss international relations in Asia, both from a conceptual angle and from empirical evidence.
Asian Economic Organisation & Competitiveness
The overall aim of the course is to provide a comprehensive outline of the economic organization and competitiveness of Japanese and Chinese business organizations, in the context of contemporary Asian society, the international environment and the global production networks.
The course will start with an overview of Japan’s and China’s role in the global economy, followed by a series of lectures on the nature of Japanese/Chinese economic organizations. In addition the competitiveness of the two countries will be discussed in overall terms as well as from the perspective of selected industries and branches. Against this background the course then explores issues related to Japan’s/China’s approach to market economy and examines in detail Japanese/Chinese business networks, the form and structure of the Japanese/Chinese firm, the institutional, economic and political environment as well as the development of “alliance/network” capitalism.
At the end of the course the students should be able to:
- • Identify the “East Asian Challenge” in terms of economic growth, foreign trade, foreign direct investment and role in global production chains.
- • Discuss competing theories on national and global competitiveness, such as Porter’s Diamond and Nolan’s Big Business Revolution, in the context of contemporary Asian society with particular reference to China or Japan.
- • Compare business networks and/or corporate governance models in China and Japan and evaluate the importance of recent reform.
- • Define similarities and differences in enterprise organisation and management in China and Japan.
The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge of organisational and intercultural communication and competence challenges for international managers in their business operations in Japan and China.
During the course students will become familiar with different theories and methods of analysing intercultural organisation and communication in companies doing business in Japan and China. Students will be challenged to apply additional research concerning their case companies. They will also be challenged to describe and apply the theoretical models of organisation, intercultural communication and competence in relation to practical case issues.
Workshops and guest speakers are planned to exchange information between teacher, students and practitioners in the field. The speakers represent Danish national and international corporations and entrepreneurs. They share their professional practices and strategies in organizing markets, stakeholders, employees, alliances and subsidiaries in China and Japan.
In completing the course the students will be able to:
- Explain the field of intercultural organization in relation to communication and competence at the global, national, departmental, professional and team contexts.
- Define the concept of intercultural organization in relation to communication
- Define and solve a research question concerning organizational practices and intercultural communication and competence in relation to doing business in China and/or Japan.
- Explain and compare the organization and intercultural communication and competence models presented in the curriculum.
- Present and discuss the research question and findings in a clear and structured manner
- Systematically and appropriately select and apply theories and models to practical cases. E.g. apply theories and models to describe the influence of intercultural organizational differences/similarities when doing business in China/Japan.
The bachelor project is the final project in the undergraduate programme and the objective and requirements should be seen as a continuation of the First and Second Year Projects.
The objective is to further develop the students’ abilities to formulate an interdisciplinary problem and conduct a systematic analysis within the framework of a complex theme.
In the bachelor project (3rd year Project) students are to demonstrate the unique qualifications obtained during all three years of undergraduate studies. On the basis of their studies, the students should be able to formulate one or several multidisciplinary research question(s) suitable for methodological guided analysis within the framework of a complex theme. During the 1st year at ASP the focus was primarily on the concepts and methods for analysing society and culture combined with macro- and micro-economic models and theories related to national and international business. The 2nd year nurtured the ability to view industrial sectors and business enterprises as functioning systems in relation to national and international social and political systems as well as specific and general economic conditions. The 3rd and final year at ASP focuses on concrete problems found in international economic and political situations in which companies and organisations typically find themselves. By combining the aggregated knowledge accumulated during the three years of undergraduate studies the 3rd year project should thus take its point of departure in this aggregated knowledge.
On the basis of the above the 3rd Year Project thus focuses on an international management problem within the thematic framework of “International and Global Corporate Strategies”
For example, competition and co-operation takes many forms. There are various consequences and implications for the parties involved. Companies have to develop their resources to be able to be part of the international competition, and international organisations work politically to create a better environment for the global distribution of economic and knowledge based resources. Companies and organisations have to understand these processes to engage in international competition or international co-corporation, and both internal and external relations of the company are influenced by changes in the political, social and cultural environment in a given societal context.
Accordingly, the project can deal with both market and co-operative relations, and the chosen problem can be viewed from a social, company-specific or actor-centred angle. However, the company/organization must always be at the centre. Furthermore, the project shall combine and apply economic theories and models together with various societal perspectives learnt during the three years of undergraduate studies at ASP when dealing with the selected topic in their project.
It is thus required that the project:
- Is based on economic models and different theoretical perspectives on various societal manifestations
- Is interdisciplinary, i.e. integrate at least one of the academic fields taught, for example, within economic, political and sociological disciplines
- Incorporates an international and an Asian perspective
It is important that the students demonstrate abilities to consider the financial consequences of proposed ideas, projects, marketing initiatives, communication or organisational change. That is, the project design needs to assess how these activities influence the financial situation of the company/organisation. These considerations should be included even if your research issue does not imply a financial analysis or accounting aspects.
The chosen problem must be discussed in the light of the economic, political and cultural internationalisation that characterises the development of society. The project need not therefore exclusively focus on external or internal relations, but can deal with internal relations in an internationally working company or organisation or a company/organisation that to a significant degree is affected by internationalisation. Inspiration for establishing this perspective with regard to empirical data, theory and method can be taken from, for example, comparative social analysis, communications and more general Asian studies. As stated in the thematic framework, Asia must have a central role in the formulation of the project. It may deal with an Asian company seeking international relations or a European company working in Asia, however, different and creative angles are most welcome.
The student must demonstrate the ability to:
- Define the project’s research issue or question, which should be clear, consistent and in every way controlling the structure and analysis of the project
- Specify the empirical sources and/or theories appropriate to the analysis of the issue or question, as these have been derived from project fieldwork and/or course material
- Explain and evaluate the hypotheses (if appropriate) or method of analysis developed for the project
- Identify and evaluate the variables (or issues) of interest and, when appropriate, correctly identify their type, scale, and role in the project
- Describe and evaluate the primary or secondary data sources used. Please note that Bachelor Projects must be based on primary data, with supportive secondary data.
- Explain and evaluate the characteristics of the project method that make it an interdisciplinary research project at the corporate level
- Clearly and concisely state the problem(s) to be solved at the corporate level in an international perspective
- Link the theoretical/analytical/empirical perspectives used in the project to ASP course material with particularly emphasis on models, theories and methods taught during the business courses. Apart from the business economic fields, the project must also draw on material from at least one the following courses: Comparative social analysis, Communications or Asian studies
- Discuss the chosen problem in the light of the economic, political and cultural internationalization that characterizes the development of contemporary society
- Communicate findings to two target groups: CBS and the company or organization with which the group has collaborated. Evaluate the reactions of the company/organization
- Evaluate the project achievements and limitations (as appropriate): Implications for the specified company/organization/issue support for hypotheses, or theoretical confirmation. Also, suggest further steps for inquiry given research opportunity.
- Concisely present, communicate and discuss the project findings orally
First year Project
The theme for the 1st year as well as the First Year Project is “Comparative Cultural and Social Analysis”. The First Year Project is designed to follow up on course instruction by providing participants the opportunity to work independently, and across disciplines, with those concepts and methods presented during the courses. The teaching during first year focuses primarily on the concepts and methods for analysing society and culture. Through this project, students will be challenged to go beyond mere recollection of facts, concepts, and theory; the project encourages development of a practical sensibility about the deployment of theory and method toward concrete research goals under constraints of time and other resource (praxis).
In Asian Societies from a Comparative Perspective (Sociology), students examine the relationship between the individual and society/culture, between actor and structure/system, with society itself analysed according to three categories: state, market and civil society. Society has been introduced as an economic system regulated by market mechanisms, certain economic structures and a set of politically economic institutions. The course presents concepts and theories for understanding and analysing various forms of “society and culture”. All courses deal with different socio-analytical and cultural themes under the common framework constituted by the concepts of state, market, civil society, communication and culture. From the content of the various courses, students can gather project ideas about political, economic, social and cultural problems – and in particular, problems that cut across such traditional categorisations.
- Projects that focus on the relationship between industrial structure, growth and welfare and which, for example, include macro-economic elements from economics lectures and aspects of Japanese/Chinese welfare and on industrial, economic and social conditions from sociology lectures.
- Projects that focus on the relations and co-operation between countries and which build on theories about nation, identity, culture and state, on the international component of economics and on a review of foreign policy issues in Japan/China, Denmark, or another country.
- Projects on economic policy, using macroeconomic theory as a basis, could incorporate analyses of political-economic institutions in Japan/China, Denmark, or another country. The project would then view national structure and activities from a cultural perspective: which values are evident in the structure, and which concepts and values are expressed in their outward communication.
The First Year Project is the first major group-based student research project in the ASP. The aim is to get students to apply and expand their academic knowledge about theories and methods for analysing society and culture. In order to achieve this, we encourage students to work in groups. Here they must learn to identify and solve a particular problem and handle the challenges and benefits inherent in problem-based project work. The learning objectives of the First Year Project include research methods, a certain mastery over the substantive area, and organized analysis and writing. The student must demonstrate the ability to:
- Define the Project’s research issue or question
- Present a general understanding of theories and methods relevant for the project
- Have the ability to select and apply theories and methods systematically and coherently when dealing with specific research issues
- Structure a plan and present research material in a clear and accessible way both in terms of language and content
Asian Business Systems: State, Institutions and the Global Economy
It begins by introducing them the literature on variety of capitalism to students and explains the theoretical perspectives on business systems as evolved over time starting from the pioneering works of Richard Whitley. It offers an insight on the broad framework of macroeconomics with a focus on macroeconomic actors and their interrelationships and explains how the state, social and cultural institutions, and the global economic forces interact within that framework to determine the structure and dynamics of national business systems. It highlights how Asian business systems are distinctly different from those in the West and, as a consequence, cannot be understood through categories identified in the West. The key focus of this course is on in-depth analysis of business systems and management styles and their dynamics in response to globalization, in four major economies of Asia: Japan, S. Korea, China and India. The comparison is structured around the key dimensions as suggested in the literature. It will also analyse the major features and evolution of business management in South East Asian economies of Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines in a comparative analytical framework. Broadly it is structured as follows:
- Understanding the concept of Business Systems: What constitutes a business system? What are different varieties of business systems? How national are the business systems? How are business systems linked with the political economy? How do national and international factors interact to shape business systems? What are different theoretical perspectives on national business systems? Why is the understanding of business systems important for managers?
- Introduction to Asian Business systems: How do the Asian business systems differ from those in the Western developed countries? What have been the historical contexts of national business systems in Asia? What are the challenges that these systems have been facing in this era of globalization? How have the forces of globalization affected them? What has been the role of the state in their reforms?
- Basic Characteristics of the business systems in selected Asian countries: Japan, China, South Korea, India, and selected south East countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philipines)
- Globalisation and Asian Business systems: Are the business systems converging or diverging in the global era?
The objective of the course is to provide the students a comprehensive understanding of the business systems in selected countries of Asia. The learning objectives of the course are:
- Develop specialised knowledge of the key tenets of business systems in the selected Asian economies; alternative theoretical perspective on the concept of national business systems; dynamics of Asian Business Systems in a global era; and interactions between the state, institutions and globalization and their impact on management and business practices.
- Demonstrate the cognitive skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise relevant literature on Asian business systems and understand recent developments in these systems; compare and contrast the business systems and reforms therein; and offer critique on the tenets of the theoretical framework through exploratory analysis
- Apply knowledge and skills to identify opportunities and threats offered by the different Asian business systems; and analyse the business systems in other countries or regions using the knowledge and skills acquired through this course
Second year Project
The Second Year Project gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work in an integrative and interdisciplinary manner with the academic materials taught during the Second year. Starting from a concrete problem and empirical data, students are expected to conduct an independent methodological discussion and theoretical analysis. Compared to the First Year Project and the examinations in AEOC, Regional Economic Integration in Asia and Intercultural Organization, the Second Year Project is expected to demonstrate a deeper engagement with theoretical issues.
The theme for the Second Year Project is “economic and cultural contexts of business enterprises and organizations”. Whereas the First Year Project concerned East Asian culture and society, the Second Year Project focuses on the level of industries or economic sectors, by analyzing the way in which societal conditions – economic, political and/or cultural – influence and are, in turn, influenced by, the competitive conditions of an industry. Students are free to decide which industry or trade sector will be the subject of study. The Second Year Project also involves a comparative element. A trade or industry sector in China or Japan must be compared with an equivalent non-East Asian sector. Here East Asia refers to Northeast Asia (China, Japan, North and South Koreas, Mongolia, Taiwan) and Southeast Asia (the ten countries in ASEAN).
The aim of the Second Year Project is to further develop the student’s ability to analyse real-world problems relating to East Asia and global societies. The project must be multidisciplinary, including the disciplines taught in 1st and 2nd year ASP, in as far as they are relevant to the subject chosen. The Second Year Project must include both empirical data and appropriate theoretical and methodological tools for the analysis. Students are welcome to use Porter’s Diamond, Nolan’s Global Business Revolution, Dunning’s OLI model, functionalism, conflict theory or other theories to analyse the empirical question. They are encouraged to criticize, combine or compare theories. They are also welcome to put national industries or economies in the context of globalization. If the project builds on the topic of the students’ report in Intercultural Communication & Organisation, the project should present a definite development, in terms of theory and method, in relation to that report. A good project is one that demonstrates, first, a general grasp of the readings presented during the 1st and 2nd year within the academic fields relevant to the research issue, and second, an ability to apply theoretical concepts in a comparative empirical analysis. In addition a good project is driven by a specific research interest (an idea), which arouses curiosity. Students must demonstrate the following in terms of research method and particular Second Year Project features:
- Overall grasp of relevant theories and research methods.
- Ability to select and apply theories and methodologies systematically and coherently when addressing the specific problem as well as describe and evaluate the grounds and consequences of the choice of theory and methodology.
- Ability to identify, define and analyze a research issue and question within the industrial sector.
- Ability to identify the variables (or issues) of interest and, when appropriate, correctly identify their type, scale, and role in the analysis. Ability to describe and evaluate the connections between the different elements of the project: research question, methods and theories, data, analysis and conclusion.
- Ability to structure a report and present an analysis in a clear readable form in terms of language, style and content.
- Ability to link the theoretical, analytical, or empirical perspectives (whichever are appropriate) used in the project to ASP course material studied - particularly Asian Economic Organization and Competitiveness and whenever appropriate utilize input from: Intercultural Organization and Chinese or Japanese language studies.
- Ability to specify the primary and/or secondary data sources used. (Depending on the research issue, Second Year Projects may involve both primary and secondary data sources. Be aware that the primary data is defined as exclusively the outcome of interviews and questionnaires you yourself conduct, whereas the secondary data amounts to almost any other kind of data.)
- Ability to reflect on the project's achievements and limitations (as appropriate). These may include implications for the specified industrial sector, support for hypotheses, or theoretical confirmation / rejection.
- Ability to propose further steps for inquiry at the industrial sector level, given research opportunity.