Recent Question/Assignment

The world of international business is complex and contested. It is also changing rapidly. These changes apply to international business as a whole, the frameworks and structures of businesses themselves, and the way we understand them.
Your task is to write a referenced essay in response to one of the two questions below.
Please use the following cover sheet:
Assignment 2 Cover Sheet.docx Download Assignment 2 Cover Sheet.docx
Learning Outcomes
The targeted Course Learning Outcomes for this assessment are:
• CLO1: Articulate and apply the core concepts and theories in the political economy of international business.
• CLO2: Integrate the key historical developments in international political economy so as to contextualise and respond to current issues and problems in international business.
• CLO3: Critically analyse and synthesise your conceptual knowledge of how international business and organisations impact on politics, culture and economics.
• CLO4: Develop independent and critical research skills to synthesise theoretical and empirical data relating to real world issues of international political economy and the role of international business therein.
Assessment details
General advice:
Before listing the essay questions, consider this general advice, which relates to the marking rubric and is relevant to all of the essay questions. For more detailed advice on essay writing, see the course assessment development modules and consult your tutor.
• All essays must have an argument. It is up to you to decide exactly what you will argue in your essay, but it must speak directly to the question.
• Each essay must refer to one or more of the theories discusses in weeks 5 and 6 of the course. Take the time to read widely on the theory (or theories) relevant to your question before you start forming your analysis and argument.
• Each essay question relates to the historical development of a contemporary outcome. Good essays must show an awareness of these trends.
• Essays must cover a sufficient amount of scholarly literature on the topic. This should involve a minimum of 10 scholarly sources - but remember that the quality of your analysis of these sources is as important as the number of them used. In addition to these scholarly sources you can also use data from industry sources and other reliable non-scholarly sources.
• Remember what we discussed in our first writing module: the accuracy of business theory is not the same things as the effectiveness of business strategy. Avoid writing about what firms should and shouldn’t do for their own benefit and think about the bigger picture of how businesses are structured and their relationship with social/political context.
• Essays must be referenced consistently in the Harvard in-text system.
• It is your responsibility to avoid plagiarism. You will receive a copy of the Turnitin originality report as a guide - note that the numerical -score- of this report is not what we use to judge for plagiarism.
Structure advice
Each essay question will have its own structure, but the following basic form applies to all. More detail on the structure of an essay can be found in the assessment development modules
• (Do not include a table of contents or an executive summary)
• Start with an introduction
• Include a section addressing the theory (or theories) relevant to the question
• Include a section applying this theoretical understanding to your selected industry
• A conclusion
• A reference section

Answer one of the following:
Question 1: Will the Covid-19 pandemic lead to a fundamental reconfiguration of global value chains?
Further guidance for this question:
• This question relates to the content of week 5: global value chains. Before researching a response, make sure youve viewed this lecture and read the essential materials.
• It is crucial that you show that you understand what GVCs are, and how they are different from other forms of multinational business.
• Pick a case industry that has clearly embraced GVC production patterns.
• The question refers specifically to how GVC structures will be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. You should search for literature about Covid-19 within the GVC literature and develop an argument as to whether the pandemic will lead to a -fundamental reconfiguration- or not - both generally and in your case industry.
• Follow all of the -general advice- and -structure advice- stated above, and discussed in the writing modules.
Question 2: Has the -platform economy- created a system of uncompetitive monopolies in major industries? Answer in reference to one industry of your choice.
Further guidance for this question:
• This question relates what we looked at in week 6: intangible capital, platform businesses and the ways that they operate differently to other major business models. Before researching a response, make sure youve viewed this lecture and read the essential materials.
• Answers must assess the debate about how platforms often form market monopolies, and whether this presents a fundamentally different market system than other business models or eras.
• The question asks for a case industry, but if that industry is monopolised by one major platform firm, you may end up focusing mainly on that one firm. Your essays argument must respond directly to the question posed: has the rise of the platform economy led to a fundamental shift in this regard, or does competition remain an important element of platform business? There is no right or wrong answer - look for the best evidence to make your case for your argument.
• Follow all of the -general advice- and -structure advice- stated above, and discussed in the writing modules.
Assessment Criteria
This assessment will measure your ability to:
• Appropriate use of theories to establish and address the question (20%)
• Depth and quality of relevant empirical data (20%)
• Clarity and effectiveness of argument, prose, and structure (20%)
• Application of critical thinking and evidence to challenge assumptions and contestable perspectives (20%)
• Correct referencing of all sources using in-text citations and an alphabetised reference list(20%)
Note that these are the same criteria as Assignment 1.
Referencing guidelines
Use RMIT Harvard (Links to an external site.) referencing style for this assessment.
You must acknowledge all the courses of information you have used in your assessments.
Refer to the RMIT Easy Cite (Links to an external site.) referencing tool to see examples and tips on how to reference in the appropriated style. You can also refer to the library referencing page for more tools such as EndNote, referencing tutorials and referencing guides for printing.

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