International Finance: A Course Overview Note
Posted: 6 Jul 2006
Date Written: 2006
This overview note describes the International Finance course at Harvard Business School. The note begins by arguing that the forces of globalization have fundamentally changed the scope and activities of firms thereby altering the practice of finance within these firms. As a consequence of an increasing reliance on tightly-integrated foreign operations, a parallel world of finance has been opened within every multinational firm and this world has been overlooked. The course materials are designed to address the many aspects of financial decision making within global firms prompted by these changes that are not addressed in traditional materials. The second section of the note briefly explains the overall structure of the course. The seven course modules are introduced with a brief discussion of the larger issues considered within each module and the rationale for the structure of the course. The three modules that constitute the core of the course are discussed in greater detail in this section. The third section of the note outlines an analytical framework that has been developed through the creation of the course materials to guide critical financial decisions on financing, investment, risk management and incentive management within a multinational firm. This framework emphasizes the need to reconcile conflicting forces in order for multinational firms to gain competitive advantage from their internal capital markets. The note concludes with a discussion of the course's pedagogical approach and detailed descriptions of all the course materials, including 19 case studies, corresponding teaching notes, several module notes and supplementary materials.
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