Japan and South Korea
Course Pack November 2019

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    Japan is a fascinating country of economic and business prowess, rich culture, technical wizardry, spatial conundrums and contradictions. Japan held onto the title of the world’s second-largest economy for more than 40 years from 1968 to 2010. Tokyo, Japan’s capital city, known for its skyscrapers, shopping and pop culture, is the world’s largest metropolitan area, with a population of over 33 million people. Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku are the four largest islands, making up about 97% of the total landmass. More than 93% of the population live in urban areas, primarily clustered in Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, and a few other major cities. Japan is the world’s tenth-largest country by population, with 127.3 million people as at 2016 with a corresponding GDP per capita of USD38 894.47. Japanese is the major language and Shintoism and Buddhism are the major religions in Japan.


    Japan does not enjoy an abundance of natural resources, so it relies heavily on imports of petroleum, coal and natural gas for energy. The country’s reliance on fossil fuels has led to environmental issues, including smog, pollution and acid rain, which led Japan to seek alternative energy sources in nuclear, solar and wind.


    Japan’s primary exports include motor vehicles and auto parts, iron and steel products, semiconductors, power generating machinery, and plastics. The country is widely recognised as a global leader in automotive technology. Doing business in Japan can be lucrative, but it often presents challenges to outsiders. Japanese consumers are early adopters with a thirst for high-end electronics and luxury goods. Japan’s strong consumer market makes it an ideal location for test-marketing new products as well as providing a strong market for established brands. Unemployment is relatively low, hovering near 3.5%, and consumers have relatively high levels of disposable income (FlashGlobal 2018).


    As global leaders, it is vital to understand the business and socio-economic cultures of various countries around the world. This course offers an on-field, unique learning experience that exposes students to these key issues:

    • Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).
    • Overview of the economic performance of Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).
    • South African corporate investments in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).
    • Japanese (Tokyo) and South Korean (Seoul) economic successes and challenges.
    • Degree of Japanese  (Tokyo) and South Korean (Seoul) interest in South Africa and the rest of the African continent.  
    • Nature of global investment in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).
    • Influence of Japan and South Korea’s investment in South Africa.
    • Japanese and South Korean employees’ values and behaviours.   
    • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).
    • The central role of politics in doing business in Japan (Tokyo)  and South Korea (Seoul).  
    • Private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups in Japan (Tokyo)  and South Korea (Seoul).
    • The special and evolving characteristics of Japanese and South Korean capital markets, and related risks.
    • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle class and its impact on the consumer market and corporate social responsibility.

    This study tour exposes students to different economies and cultures in various destinations, as well as different organisations in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul), including business schools, government agencies, state-owned enterprises. and private corporations.


    On completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Draw on contemporary knowledge about business practices in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul) that will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
    • Critically assess the economies of Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul) to determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business. 
    • Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul), relative to South Africa, and Africa as a whole.
    • Evaluate and analyse business models of selected companies in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).

    Curriculum linked to the context in South Africa

    The study tour draws on diverse experiences of South African companies in various markets. Here,  the extensive use of company site visits highlights comparisons between the companies’ operations in South Africa and their operations in Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).


    Curriculum linked to the context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies

    The overarching objective is to identify opportunities for growth, as well as challenges such as the slow-down of the Chinese economy and the associated drop in commodity prices,  on the African continent. The focus is to map these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms in those countries, in order to stimulate students to consider these issues at a management level.


    The visits to companies and institutions that form part of the study tour, address the optimal overall resource allocation in economies and the role of this allocation in economic systems such as free markets and command economies, or mixtures of these, in  Japan (Tokyo) and South Korea (Seoul).


    Entrepreneurial action

    The visits to companies and institutions provide students with insights into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking, thereby enabling them to make decisions at a management level.


    Critical engagement

    By focussing on examples of not only successful but also unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and other emerging markets, the course enables students to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of business decisions and actions.


    South Korea

    Course assessment and assignments

    Learning Contract

    Please note, all visits and events on the global study tour are MANDATORY. Please refer to the standing orders regarding the tours. As a student you should review the Learning Contract and ensure you are fully aware of the methods and implications of the assessment approach as mark allocations cannot be changed retrospectively. If you have any concerns about the assessment you should raise this with your tour leader at the start of the course.


    The Importance of Preparation for the Study Tour

    The included readings should be read before departure. Students should also research on the companies that will be visited. The scope of this course covers a wide range of topics, thus a variety of readings have been carefully selected to provide different perspectives. It is essential that students focus on these readings and embark on company research. Appended with the readings are the links for ease of access. However, should you encounter any problems with the links provided consult the WITS library e-journals catalogue or consult the WBS Librarian.


    Teaching Methods

    Teaching emphasis in the MBA Global Study Tour is experiential and involves on-site action learning. The tour itself would entail visits to one or more destinations to provide broader international learning exposure for the student. Students should keep a learning log on insights that they gain from each business or organisation that they visit, and these logs are used for debrief sessions during the tour as well as to compile a post-study tour assignment on what they have learnt.


    Copyright Statement

    The articles, readings and cases included in this course pack have been copyright approved.

    Assessment: Exam Equivalent Assignment
    Deadline: 29 November  2019
    Results Return Date: 10 December 2019

    Assessment: Amazing Race
    Deadline: TBC
    Results Return Date: 20 November 2019TBC

    Please note: Students are required to sign and attach the WBS Plagiarism Declaration to each assignment submitted

    Pass Mark Requirements

    In terms of the Standing Orders, to pass a course a student is required to achieve a final cumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a subminimum of 35% for the examination. In a case where an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in the student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be removed from the programme.

    This assignment relates to the following MBA themes: Context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies, sustainability, and entrepreneurial action.


    Purpose: Based on the above MBA core themes, students will be exposed to experiential and on-site learning, thus students will need to contextualise the selected country and company in line with strategic management decisions.


    Requirement: Choose ONE of the following assignments:

    1. Provide a PEST ANALYSIS of a South African company entering into a Japanese industry.


    2. Provide a country risk profile for a company of your choice.


    3. Formulate a business plan for a South African idea that could be sold in Japan.


    4. Please discuss your “take-home learnings” from the trip:

    a. Discuss what you learnt from the Amazing Race; and what was new or different from what you had experienced before. Please include pictures to illustrate this.

    b. Please discuss each business meeting: Give some background information about the company and the environment in which it operates. Please highlight at least 3 key learning points from each meeting.

    c. Please discuss any other key learning points that you gained from going on this trip. (This can be anything you learnt either about yourself, the country or countries you visited, the people living there, your fellow travellers, or anything not covered in the two points above.)

    Submission Deadline: 03 December 2019

    Return Deadline: 10 December 2019

    Mark allocation: 75%


    • The presentation can be in any format you desire, be it PowerPoint, Word, or any other format you wish to use.
    • A 2000 word essay.
    • Please submit a hard copy or e-mail to Karen Trent Karen.Trent@wits.ac.za in the International Relations Office (AWS 02) with a signed plagiarism declaration by 13h00.
    • Use 1.5 line spacing and a 12-point font (Times New Roman).
    • Please ensure that you reference correctly, as per the WBS guidelines.

    Penalty for late submission: For every calendar day, or part thereof, that your assignment is late, 10 % will be deducted from your marks.


    Mark Allocation Criteria:  

    Application of theories developed and learnt throughout the MBA programme 30%

    Integration of theories learnt and experience acquired during the study tour 30%

    Research and use of relevant data to complement the assignment 30%

    Presentation: Referencing, style, presentation, etc. 10%

    TOTAL: 100


    The purpose of this assignment is for you to think quickly on your feet. It’s fun and interesting. You will be put into a syndicate group and will need to work together as a team. This assignment requires you to think out of the box and familiarise yourself with the environment. As a suggestion, download maps, learn about the history of the country, all online attractions, and all modes of transport. 

    On completion of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:

    • A brief report on the successes, challenges, and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
    • Pictures of the locations visited and anything of interest, relevant to the task.
    • A short video summarising the core of the assignment. (Professional editing not required.)
    • Receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.

    Provide all the above, except for the receipts, on a memory stick. 

    The tour leaders will provide details of the assignment.


    Submission Deadline: 20 November 2019

    Return Deadline: 06 December 2019

    Mark allocation: 25% (Criteria will be provided on the day of the field-based assignment/Amazing Race)

    • About TICAD, (2019). https://ticad7.city.yokohama.lg.jp/about/en/.
    • Hayami, Y. & Ogasawara, J. (1999). Changes in the sources of modern economic growth: Japan compared with the United States. Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, 13(1), 1-21. 
    • Tachibanaki, T. (2009). Confronting income inequality in Japan: A comparative analysis of causes, consequences, and reform. MIT Press Books, 1.

    Additional Info and Contact Details

    Don’t forget your documents and chargers. Obtain the relevant adaptor when travelling outside South Africa.


    Bring Formal Wear (School ties and scarves will be provided) and Business Cards for Company Visits.





    Check in 17 Nov 2019

    Address: 171-8505 Tokyo Prefecture, Toshima-ku, Nishi-Ikebukuro 1-6-1, Japan

    Phone: +81 3-3980-1111


    Check in 21 Nov 2019


    119 Sogong-ro, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea


    Address: 4th Floor, Hanzomon First Building, 1-4, Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan, 102-0083

    Phone:  +81 3 3265 3366

    Email: political.tokyo@dirco.gov.za


    Rakgwale R KUBJANE

    First Secretary: Political Embassy of the Republic of South Africa 


    CISCO:  X44352

    Fax: +81 3 3239 2690

    Email:  kubjaner@dirco.gov.za

    Website:  www.sajapan.org


    Mobile: +27 790 205 493

    Email: Zanele.Ndaba@wits.ac.za 


    Mobile: +27 834 427 465

    Email: grant@icgrowth.co.za 


    Mobile: +27 764 772 88

    Email: jabulile.galawe@wits.ac.za

    Lead Academics

    Dr Zanele Ndaba is a Senior Lecturer at Wits Business School. Her research interests are leadership, gender, and race in Organisational Studies. She is also interested in understanding and improving different forms of inequalities that may exist in a society. At the Business School, she teaches in the people management cluster. Dr Ndaba was the Conference Chair for the Fifth International Conference on Leadership, Governance, and Management. After having travelled through and lived in many parts of the world to explore life, she returned home to contribute in making South Africa a better society. Her work experience is that of being an academic, management consultant, and human capital practitioner. She worked for one of the ‘Big Four’ management consulting firms (Deloitte), and started her own consulting firm, in addition to working for organisations such as the Department of Defence. During her spare time, Dr Ndaba enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.

    Dr Grant Sieff is the CEO of IC Growth Group, and founder of the Centre for Consulting & Strategy. He is also a Visiting Professor and a part-time Senior Lecturer in Strategy & International Business. He has a background in strategy, leadership development and general management, and global experience in financial services, management consulting and corporate education, with extensive experience in Australia and South Africa. Grant specialises in strategy development and delivery, change management, and in leadership performance and growth in executive programme delivery. He has a particular interest in strategic behaviour and organisational dynamics. He has worked in Australia as a vice president for Citibank, and as a partner for the Centre for Corporate Strategy, and in South Africa as a partner at Accenture. In 1999, he established Netchoice, an eCommerce infomediary service, followed by Infochoice, a research, education and consulting organisation, and then IC Growth Group, which specialises in consulting, strategy and leadership development. He has served as a faculty member of Citibank’s Asia-Pacific Banking Education Institute, and Duke Corporate Education’s Global Learning Resource Network, and as academic director for Tias Business School in the Netherlands. He holds degrees from the University of Cape Town (BA Economics and Psychology; BSc Honours Computer Science), and the University of Sydney (MA Psychology; MBA). He holds a PhD from the University of Johannesburg, with a research focus in strategic leadership.

    Dr Jabulile Msimango-Galawe (known as Dr J) is the programme director of the MM – Business and Executive Coaching at the Wits Business School. She is also a lecturer of Entrepreneurship, Business Acumen, Research Theory and Design, and Decision Science in the MMENVC and MMBEC programmes, amongst others. Besides her work at WBS she is also an Entrepreneur, Statistician, Business Coach,  Mentor, and Managing Director of JoyG Business services. She has served as a head of adjudication and a judge for the Gauteng Dept of Economic Development (GEP) on the township entrepreneurship awards competition in 2018 and 2017. She holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship and an MSc in Mathematical Statistics – Risk analysis from the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of the Free State respectively. She has over 17 years of work experience, including approximately 10 years spent in the entrepreneurship space. Some of the experience was gained working as a statistician, risk analyst, trader and management consultant when she was still in corporate. She is very passionate about entrepreneurship—especially the development and sustainability of small businesses in South Africa—and helping other entrepreneurs succeed. She spends a lot of time motivating, training, mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs and facilitating strategy sessions for ESD providers.

    Company visits and activities

    Student Commitments

    Legal Declaration of Indemnity, Undertaking and Consent
    1. The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) has insured itself for its liability arising from the acts and omissions of persons acting on its behalf, and that its registered students, staff and individuals who are subject to the University’s rules, regulations, policies, procedures and standing orders as amended from time to time are insured during the course and scope of their registered courses and/or within the scope of University’s business. This is subject to the proviso that the University’s maximum liability will be limited, whether for a single or multiple events, to the extent that is covered thereof;

    2. When the University arranges for me to travel to locations which are outside of the University’s precincts, and when traveling in vehicles which do not belong to the University’s and/or are not driven by University staff, I will enjoy only such cover as referred to in Section 1 above, provided that I depart and travel from the University’s precincts and return to it from an excursion arranged by the University, on a route agreed upon in advance by the University;

    3. In cases where no fault can be attributed to the University, I hereby indemnify, absolve and hold harmless the University, its officials, employees, students and invitees in respect of any damage the property, death or bodily injury to/of myself and/or third parties, whether on/off the University precincts, or whilst engaged in any related activity to the University abroad; and

    4. I understand that I attend and participate in the WBS Global Study Tour in various designated countries around the world during specified periods in 2019 at my own risk where the event falls outside the cover provided to or by the University.

    5. I acknowledge that I have read and understood the contents of this indemnity in every respect.
    This document is applicable to all modes of delivery of the Global Study Tour from 2017 onward. 


    Assessment Policy
    All assignments, including the attendance of the Amazing Race and all scheduled visits to businesses, other organisations, and cultural activities, is compulsory.


    Failure to comply with this policy will result in an automatic failure of this course. A record of attendance at each prescribed tour activity will be kept by the Tour Leader and will be submitted to the International Office as a formal record for student assessment. Should a student fail (including as a result of non-attendance and failure to participate), the tour will have to be repeated.


    A candidate who has not completed all the requirements for this tour by the end of the minimum period of study and who is permitted in terms of Senate Standing Orders to continue will be required to register again for this tour at the beginning of the following academic year and pay the relevant fee.


    Registration for the Global Study Tour
    A candidate is required to register and pay in advance for the Study Tour in order to be admitted to complete the course.


    If a candidate wishes to amend his/her selection of destination, a prescribed period of time will be permitted as indicated by the Global Study Tour Coordinator. However, no changes to the selection of destination will be entertained once confirmed.


    International Applicants
    Applications from international exchange and immersion students are welcome. All international students need to conform with the University’s requirements and the South African legislation that pertains to such students.


    Credits towards MBA or MM to other degrees
    Students may be granted credits for this tour at international partner schools however please note that the granting of credits is based on the credit weighting exchange between the WBS MBA and other international programmes.


    The pass mark for this course
    In order to pass the study tour, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% as a final mark subject to the subminimum rule.


    Students must register for the Global Business Study Tour (BUSA 7442A) in order to pay the travel component cost for the study tour. Students will be advised as to the Rand value that has to be paid for the study tour of their choice. The deadline for the choice of study tour and payments will be communicated to students by the School’s International Office. Failure to pay the full fee for the Global Study Tour in advance or failure to attend the tour for whatever reason will still hold the student liable for the full amount as indicated for the selected tour package. Please note that fees may not involve the same costing as certain travel destinations are cheaper than others. Also, note that whenever indicated students will be responsible for their own transport and cost of meals and incidentals on each tour. Tour leaders do not carry additional funds to allow for students who do not make personal provision for their own expenses.


    Allocation of Marks
    The mark composition for each assignment will comprise a combination of marks awarded for assignment projects and fieldwork, both individual and syndicate work. The mark allocation for the course is detailed in the course pack.


    Syndicates may apply to have non-performing members excluded from the syndicate mark for their assignment, or have a portion of the total mark allocated to the non-performing student.


    Publication of Final Course Results
    The results of the global study tour will be published by the Faculty Office as soon as possible, normally within four weeks from assignment submission.


    Disputes and Grievances
    Any disputes or grievances that arise as a result of the application of, or failure to apply, the provisions of these Standing Orders should be managed within the Faculty’s existing appeals and grievance procedure. Problems should always be resolved as close to the source as possible. The grievance procedure policy and applicable forms are available from the Faculty Office.


    Code of Conduct
    All students will abide by the daily dress code as indicated by the Tour Leader depending on the daily schedule of events and places visited.


    Students are also advised that whilst they are encouraged to enjoy the tour, they are reminded that they are participating in a Wits Study Tour programme and are not traveling for their own leisure purposes. As such, the prime focus is on teaching and learning and at all times students will need to participate in all prescribed activities and field visits.


    Students are advised to heed the guidance and instruction of the designated Tour Leader on each trip. In addition, students are advised to serve as professional ambassadors of Wits University and the Wits Business School at all times whilst on tour. Students are also advised to download a copy of the Wits Student Code of Conduct to familiarise themselves with the policy.


    During visits, students are to ensure that all mobile phones are switched off.
    Students are to be punctual for all visits, failure to attend a visit without a valid reason will render your attendance as incomplete.


    Failure to adhere to the above could result in a disciplinary action being lodged against the student.


    Recording of Global Study Tour Activities
    Business visit sessions may only be recorded (by audio, images or video) with the express written permission of that organisation. Students will be required to agree in writing that:

      • recordings will only be used for purposes of their own private study and revision;
      • recordings will not be copied, shared, communicated, published or distributed in any format whatsoever and using any medium whatsoever, unless requested to do so by the lecturer;
      • unedited copies recordings will be provided to the lecturer if requested to do so; and
      • Copyright of all recordings remains the property of the University.

    It is noted that infringement of any of these conditions may result in disciplinary action being taken against the student.

    Download and complete these forms

    NB: To be completed and returned to Karen.Trent@wits.ac.za before you leave.