New York and Dubai
Course Pack November 2019

Table of Contents
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    The United States of America

    The United States of America (USA) is a federal country of 50 states covering a vast area of North America. By total area, the USA is the third-largest in the world covering 9.8 million square kilometres with an estimated population of 350 million people as of 2016. The capital is Washington D.C. The USA is a highly developed economy with the largest nominal GDP. It is ranked competitively high in several socioeconomic measures such as human development, socio-economic performance, productivity, financial market development and many more. 


    The history of New York (one of the busiest economic hubs of the  USA) begins around 10 000 BC when the first Native Americans arrived. By 1100 AD, New York’s main native cultures, the Iroquoian and Algonquian, had developed. The European discovery of New York was led by the French in 1524 and the first land claim came in 1609 by the Dutch. As part of New Netherland, the colony was important in the fur trade and eventually became an agricultural resource, thanks to the patron system. In 1626, the Dutch bought the island of Manhattan from Native Americans. England, in 1664, renamed the colony New York, after the Duke of York (later James II & VII.) New York City gained prominence in the 18th century as a major trading port in the Thirteen Colonies.


    New York is divided into five boroughs – Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, and Manhattan. The latter borough is where you will find most of the city’s top attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, the Chrysler Building and more; and ferries to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island depart from Lower Manhattan. For the best views of Manhattan, it is believed that one should visit the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Centre.


    New York City is about 300 square miles in size. In the city, one mile is roughly equal to 20 streets, with one avenue equivalent to three streets in length. During your walks in the city, you will notice that the Village and SoHo lack the super-tall skyscrapers that other sections of the city have. This is because the middle of the city is situated on soft soil that is not conducive to skyscraper constructions. According to, “The southern tip and centre of the island are virtually solid granite.” Because of this geologic arrangement, Manhattan’s tallest buildings are located in these two large “rocky” areas.

    The United Arab Emirates

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an Arabian Peninsula country situated along the Persian Gulf. As a former British Colony, the country gained its independence in 1971. The UAE, once a fishing and pearl industry country, has grown from a quiet backwater country to one of Middle East’s enviable and most important economic and recreational destinations since the discovery of oil about three decades ago. It is a federation of 7 emirates with Abu Dhabi as its capital. The UAE borders Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. It also shares maritime borders with Qatar and Iran. The estimated population of the UAE stood around 5.95 million (as of 2016), of which 88% are immigrants and predominantly Muslims. Arabic is the official language.


    The UAE has an open market economy with very high per capita income. The government over the years has increased spending on job creation and massive infrastructure developments. The country practices some level of free trade zone policies that offer 100% foreign ownership and zero taxes to attract investors. For the past few decades, it has been attracting huge investments in high technology industries and services. The discovery of oil in commercial quantities and the opening up of the country’s economy have attracted a substantial proportion of foreign direct investment, with others choosing this Persian Gulf state as their preferred tourist destination.


    Dubai, the UAE’s largest, most populous and luxurious city, located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, is home to beautiful shopping malls, ultramodern architecture and nightlife scenes. The city has become iconic for its skyscrapers and has attracted global attention as one of the internationally competitive destinations for businessmen (and/or businesswomen) and tourists alike.


    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 the USA(New York) and the UAE (Dubai).
    • Overview of the economic performance of the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai).
    • South African corporate investments in the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai).
    • The economic success and challenges of the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai). 
    • Degree of interest of the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai) in South Africa, and the rest of the African continent.  
    • The nature of global investment in the USA and the UAE.
    • The influence of the UAE and the USA’s investment in South Africa.
    • Arab and American employees’ values and behaviours.   
    • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai).
    • The central role of politics in doing business in the USA and the UAE.
    • Private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups.
    • The special and evolving characteristics of the USA and the UAE capital markets and related risks.
    • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle class in both the USA and the UAE, and its impact on the consumer markets and corporate social responsibility in those countries.

    This study tour exposes students to different economies and cultures in various destinations, as well as different organisations in the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai), 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 the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai)  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 the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai)  to determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business. 
    • Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life in the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai), relative to South Africa, and Africa as a whole.

    Evaluate and analyse business models of selected companies in the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai).

    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 the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai).


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

    The overarching objective is to identify opportunities for growth on the African continent, especially in the midst of the US-China trade war and the associated drop in commodity and asset prices. The focus is to map these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms in those countries, in order to enable students to begin to address 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 the USA (New York) and the UAE (Dubai).


    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.


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    New York
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    Course assesment 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 above 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: TBC


    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 the USA (New York) OR the UAE (Dubai). 


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


    3. Formulate a Business plan for a South African idea that will be viable in the USA (New York) OR UAE (Dubai).


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

      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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.)


    • 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 is required.
    • Please submit a hard copy or e-mail to Karen Trent in the International Relations Office (IR Office, Ground floor, Outeniqua House 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 submission 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 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. 

    • Bogart, E.L. (2016). The economic history of the United States. Wentworth Press.
    • Burner, D., Bernhard, V., Kutler, S.I. (2005). Firsthand America: A history of the United States. Wiley-Blackwell.
    • Ulrichsen, K.C. (2016). The Gulf States in international political economy. Palgrave Macmillan.

    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.


    The following dress code applies:

    • Conservative suits for men in subtle colours are the norm.
    • Women should avoid wearing high heels and short-sleeved blouses. 
    • Both men and women should wear subtle, neutral colours.
    • Casual dress should be conservative as well.
    • Men and women may wear jeans. However, jeans are not acceptable for business meetings.


    Travel Tips: 


    Free Wi-Fi:


    The Time New York, New York

    224 W 49th St, New York City, NY 10019-7405

    Phone: +1 917-809-5611 


    Zabeel House by Jumeirah Al Seef

    Building A, Al Seef, Dubai Creek-Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    Phone: +971 4-707-7077


    South African Consulate-General, New York, USA

    South African Consulate General: New York

    333 East 38th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10016

    Phone: +1 (212) 213-4880/ +1 (917) 200-8396


    South African Consulate-General, Dubai, UAE

    Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street (also known as Bank Street)

    3rd Floor, New Sharaf Building, Bur Dubai

    Phone: +971 4397-5222 

    Dr Jones Mensah

    (Lead Academic)

    Phone: +27 780475570  


    Dr Jenika Gobind

    Phone: +27 726389658

    Lead Academics

    Dr Jones Mensah joined Wits Business School as a Senior Lecturer of Economics in December 2017. He is the Director of the Postgraduate Diploma in Management (Business Administration) at the Wits Business School. 


    Dr Mensah’s research interests lie at the intersection of finance and macroeconomics, with particular focus on financial interconnectedness, international trade and macroeconomic policy. He has recently studied the optimal financing of fiscal deficits, systemic interconnectedness among banking institutions, market comovement, and the impact of commodity shocks on business cycles. 


    Dr Mensah is the Editor of the African Review of Economics and Finance, the Ghanaian Journal of Economics, the International Editor of the Colombo Business Journal, and serves on a number of editorial boards. He is a Director of the AREF Consult, a research and policy network, and he has consulted widely for leading international organisations.


    He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, and his Masters in Economics, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Brunei Darussalam.

    DR JENIKA GOBIND joined Wits Business School on 1 January, 2018 as Senior Lecturer: Human Resources.  Dr Gobind’s research interest lies in employment relations. Her teaching and learning experience spans over 12 years at a number of institutions. After obtaining her BProc (Law) from the University of Durban-Westville, she lectured at the Durban University of Technology in various legal subjects between 2005 and 2009 and thereafter joined the University of Johannesburg from 2009 to 2015. She then shifted focus to employment relations, human resource management, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and research methodology. She completed a Diploma in Employment Relations through UNISA, holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Relations Management from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and a Postgraduate Diploma in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University (US).  


    Dr Gobind obtained her PhD in Employment Relations at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) in 2014.  Prior to joining WBS, Dr Gobind served as Head of Research at Milpark Business School and lectured in employment relations, collective bargaining and negotiation, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) at UJ, as well as extensive research supervision at Master’s and Doctoral level.  Dr Gobind’s other research interests lie in gender discrimination and HIV/AIDS in the workplace. She holds an MPhil in HIV and AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University.  


    Widely published, her books include South African Employment Relations in Context (Knowledge Resources, 2015) and HIV/AIDS Fact File (South African Board of People Practices, 2012). Dr Gobind has extensive experience in the private sector, chairing multiple disciplinary hearings and consulting on labour legislation, employment relations, and HR issues.  At Transnet Freight she trained the HR managers on employment relations and HR management. She has also contributed extensively to the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) and the University Research Company (URC) in research and the development of local and international publications on HIV/AIDS, TB, leadership and management.  


    Contact information

    Office Tel: +27 (0)11 717 3761

    Office address: Room AB 107, 1st Floor, Outeniqua House, WBS


    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 before you leave.