Course Outline

Brazil, a Portuguese speaking country, occupies roughly half of South America and is currently emerging from deep economic recession resulting in continued decelerated growth. In 2015 and 2016, the Brazilian economy faced a negative growth rate due to political instability, high unemployment and unfavourable tight credit conditions (World Bank report, 2017). Despite the challenges, Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy with rich biodiversity, abundant agricultural, mineral and energy potentials coupled with enormous internal growth potential. The country leads the world in terms of coffee production for over 150 years. Brazil represents nearly 50% of the economic territory of Latin America and a key member of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). In 2015, the five BRICS countries represented over 3.1 billion people, or about 41% of the world population, and outpacing the United States and the European Union in terms of real GDP growth. Socially, Brazil is noted for their exceptional football performance, with the country characteristically called a football nation. The latest 2018 QS World University Rankings placed the University of Sao Paulo as the third best university in Latin America. Culturally, Samba is recognised around the world as a rich Brazilian cultural expression through iconic music and dance. It epitomises Brazilian national identity.

Similarly, the Republic of Argentina, a Spanish speaking country is South America’s second-largest economy with GDP of over US$550 million and a population of about 44 million in 2016. The country boasts of very high ratings in Human Development Index ratings in the region, with very high literate population. Argentina has vast fertile lands and natural resources in renewable energy and agriculture. Despite all these resources, its economy is currently in recession with unemployment rate around 10% and about 40% inflation. Nevertheless, the Argentine’s economy presents some new investment opportunities (especially in manufacturing sub-sectors and innovative high-tech industry services) in the face of its political risks. Argentina is undergoing economic transformation creating business environment that attracts foreign investment across all sectors and implementing policies that promote sustainable economic developments (Forbes; 2017). Argentina has a high urban population, with more than 90% of its population living in cities. It boasts of the largest rain system in Latin America.

As global leaders, it is vital to understand business and socio-economic culture of countries around the world. This course is on-field learning which will expose students to a unique experience covering the following key issues:

  • Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of Argentina and Brazil.
  • Overview of Argentina and Brazil’s economic performance.
  • South African corporate investments in Argentina and Brazil.
  • Argentina and Brazil economic success and challenges
  • Nature of global investment in Argentina and Brazil
  • Influence of Chinese, North America and Canada’s investment in Argentina and Brazil
  • South Americans (Argentina and Brazil) employees’ values and behaviours
  • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in Argentina and Brazil
  • The central role of politics in doing business in these countries.
  • The special and evolving characteristic of Argentina and Brazil capital markets and related risks
  • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle class and its impact on the consumer market and corporate social responsibility.

Intended Learning Outcomes

This study tour will provide students with exposure to different economies and cultures in various destinations. It is designed to expose the student to different organisations in Argentina and Brazil including business schools, government agencies, state-owned enterprises and private corporations.

At the end this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop contemporary knowledge about business practices, in Argentina and Brazil, which will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
  • Critically assess the Argentina and Brazil economy and determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business.
  • Compare different cultures and the way of life of Argentina and Brazil in relation to South Africa.
  • Evaluate and analyse business models of selected company examples in Argentina and Brazil

Addressing the Core Themes of the Tour

This study tour underlies all other MBA courses as it contributes to the overall MBA qualification by providing a capstone integrated learning experience, whereby students can bring to bear their knowledge of the whole MBA programme. This knowledge will allow them to analyse international markets and how businesses respond to global challenges. Also, this course directly supports the core themes of the MBA regarding critical engagement, context of South Africa and issues of sustainability.

Decisions and methodologies which students are exposed to in their company visits and cultural in country interactions – from Strategy to HR to Operations to Marketing – are expressed as the underlying issues and learnings of this course.

Curriculum tied to the context in South Africa

The study tour draws on various South African companies experience in various markets. Here the extensive use of company site visits shows comparisons between companies operating in South Africa and Argentina and Brazil.

Curriculum tied to context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies

The overarching objective is to identify the opportunities for growth of the African continent as well as its challenges such as the slow-down of China economy and the associated drop in commodity prices. It maps these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms therein, thus enabling students to begin to address these issues at a management level.


With the use of company and institution visits, the study tour addresses the optimality of overall resource allocation in economies and its role in economic systems such as free markets and command economies and mixtures thereof in Argentina and Brazil

Entrepreneurial action

The institution and company visits provide insight into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking thus enabling students to make decisions at a management level.

Critical engagement

By focusing on examples of successful and unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and emerging markets, the course enables the student to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of action and business decisions


Essential Readings: Articles


  • Abreu, M. (2004). China´ s emergence in the global economy and Brazil. No. 491. Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  • Besley, T. (2015). Law, regulation, and the business climate: The nature and influence of the World Bank Doing Business project. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 29, 3, 99-120.
  • Batten, J. A., Szilagyi, P. G. and Wong, M. C. S. (2014). Stock Market Spread Trading: Argentina and Brazil Stock Indexes.” Emerging Markets Finance and Trade 50.sup3, 61-76.
  • Berg, J, and Sandrine C. (2007). The Doing Business indicators: Measurement issues and political implications. Geneva: ILO.
  • Lael, B. and Martinez-Diaz, L. eds (2009). Brazil as an economic superpower? understanding Brazil’s changing role in the global economy. Brookings Institution Press.
  • Carolyn, T. and Cachanosky, N. (2016). Argentina’s post-2001 economy and the 2014 default. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 60, 70-80.
  • Epstein, G. A., ed (2005). Financialization and the world economy. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Ghemawat, P. (2001) Distance Still Matters: The Hard Reality of Global Expansion, Harvard Business Review, 1-12.
  • Ghemawat, P. (2007). Differences across countries: the CAGE Distance framework. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Review Press.
  • Gragnolati, Michele, et al. (2015). As Time Goes By: Economic Opportunities and Challenges of the Demographic Transition in Argentina. 341-338.
  • Hallward-Driemeier, M. and Lant, P. (2015) “How business is done in the developing world: Deals versus rules.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 29, 3, 121-140.
  • Mercenier, Jean, and M. C. S. Sousa. “Structural adjustment and growth in a highly indebted market economy: Brazil.” 1994). op. cit (1994): 281-310.
  • Neto-Advogados, Pinheiro. Doing Business in Brazil. Juris Publishing, Inc., 2013.
  • Nayyar, Deepak. “China, India, Brazil and South Africa in the world economy: Engines of growth?” Southern Engines of Global Growth 1 (2010): 9-27.
  • Peng, M. W., Wang, D. Y., u0026amp; Jiang, Y. (2008). An institution-based view of international business strategy: a focus on emerging markets. Journal of International Business Studies, 39, 920-936.
  • Sinha, M., u0026amp; Sheth, J. N. (2017). Growing the pie in emerging markets: Marketing strategies for increasing the ratio of non-users to users. Journal of Business Research (May), 1-8.

Recommended Reading (Other Useful Links)”


Learning Contract and Student Commitments


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

Students should read the materials provided before departure. You should also research the companies that will be visited. The scope of this course covers a wide range of topics, so 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. You may use google scholar, the WITS library e-journals catalogue or the library to obtain the readings.

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 learned.

Copyright Statement

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


Course Assessment


Pass Mark Requirements

Regarding the Standing Orders, to pass a course, a student is required to achieve a final accumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a sub-minimum of 35% in the examination. When an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in a student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be failed off the programme.


Amazing race

Syndicate Assignment November 2018 Exam equivalent assignment 20November 2018 December 2018 Total

Exam Equivalent Assignment


Your exam equivalent assignment will be integrated with the assignment in Brazil.  It is a combination of both syndicate final project presentations, which will be both oral and a submission of a power-point presentation, that will be conducted on 09 November 2018, and a 2-3 page individual written assignment.

The details of the project syndicate assignment will be provided to you on 06 November 2018, in Brazil.  In addition to the final syndicate presentations on 09 November, you will be required to write 2-3 pages on your perceptions of business opportunities in Latin America, as an individual assignment.

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


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


At the end of this assignment, you should gain practical skills in assessing business opportunities in Latin America.  Your ability to conduct market sensing and due diligence will be enhanced. Finally, you should be familiar with various business opportunities in Latin America.


Syndicate Assignment Brief: You will be given on 06 November 2018, in Brazil (50% of the exam equivalent assignment).

Individual written Assignment Brief: (50% of the exam equivalent assignment)

Assume that you have recently been appointed as the Head of International Markets for an organization. With consistent growth over the last 5 years, the Board of Directors believe that it is time to enter new markets to sustain further growth and profitability. So, your organization has sent you on a business trip to Brazil and Argentina. Your task in your new role is to determine, among other things, the business opportunities in Latin America, in particular Brazil and Argentina.

During your trip, you are required to address the following issues:

  • Is Brazil / Argentina suitable markets for your organisation to enter for ONE of the industries discussed during your lectures in Brazil / Argentina? (Choose one industry ONLY). You may also choose an industry that was not discussed, but only if you are familiar with.  In answering this questions, the following questions should guide you.

Some of the key issues to consider for this brief are the following:

  • Should your company enter Brazil / Argentina? Why and why not? Motivate your reasoning and rationale for your decision.
  • What business opportunities and challenges are present in these Latin American countries?
  • What are the cultural implications that your company may need to consider when entering these markets?



  • Report must be 2-3 pages long (without references and appendixes)
  • Please submit on 26 November 2018
  • Use 1.5 line spacing and 12-point font

Submission Deadline: 27 November 2018

Return Deadline:         14 December 2018

Mark allocation:         50% of the exam equivalent assignment

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


Field-Based Syndicate Assignment



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

At the end of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:

  • A brief report on the success, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (PowerPoint presentation).
  • Pictures of the locations visited and any other thing of interest relevant to the task.
  • A short video summarising the core of the assignment (professional editing not needed)

Provide all the above (except receipts on a memory stick).

Details of the assignment will be provided by the tour leaders.

Submission Deadline:  05 November 2018

Return Deadline:         TBC

Mark allocation:          30% (Criterion will be provided on the day of the field-based assignment/amazing race)


Additional Information


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

Bring formal wear and business cards for company visits:


Travel Tips:


Tour Schedule

Download the Itinerary link=””

Emergency Contacts


Emergency Numbers for the Tour Leaders, Hotels and South African Embassy



South African Embassy – Buenos Aires, Argentina



Ayenida Marcelo T de Alvear 590, 8th floor
Buenos Aires 1058, Argentina.

(+54) 11 4317 2900



South African Embassy – Brasília, Brazil


Lote 06 – Quadra 801, SHCS – Brasília,
DF, 70406-900, Brazil

(+55) 61 3312-9500



Zanele Ndaba (Dr.)


Argentina and Brazil Mobile Number to be provided in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo respectively



Emmanuel S. Quaye


+27 617713369
Argentina and Brazil Mobile Number to be provided in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo respectively



Lead Academics


Zanele Ndaba is a senior lecturer at Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand.  Her research interests are gender and race in organisational studies. She is also interested in understanding different forms of inequalities that exist in a 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) where she focused largely on Transformation, Organisational Design, Gender Mainstreaming and Strategy Implementation Projects.

She also started her own consultancy firm, in addition to having worked for organisations, such as, the Department of Defence, where she assisted in the processes of integrating former non-statutory forces (e.g. the military wing for the ANC – MK) into the now South African National Defence Force (SANDF).  She has expertise in the areas of Transformation, Organisational Design, Women in leadership, Human Resources Management and Indigenous Research Methodologies.  During her spare time, Dr Ndaba enjoys spending quality time with family and friends.


PhD in Management (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
MBA concentration in Finance (Solvay Business School, Belgium)
M.SC – Industrial Psychology (University of Hull, UK)
B.Sc. – Psychology (South Carolina State University, USA)


Emmanuel Silva Quaye is the Assistant Lead Academic and a Ph.D. candidate in Marketing at Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand. He holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing and Brand Management from the Norwegian School of Economics, Norway, and an MPhil in Developmental Psychology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Philosophy from the University of Ghana.

Emmanuel has held other roles as Head of Communications, Sales Manager, and Customer Relationship Executive.  He was also the Marketing Manager of Best Western Premier Accra Airport Hotel, Ghana, where supervised conference and banqueting, sales, digital strategy, and product development and services management as well as stakeholder management.  Through his creative marketing leadership, he achieved a 2-years sale revenue growth rate of 12 percent in a highly competitive and mature market. Importantly, the hotel franchise won several awards, prominent was the coveted hospitality brand of the year award in 2017 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG).

As a university lecturer, he taught Strategic Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, and Services marketing to undergraduate students in Ghana. Emmanuel’s current Ph.D. research focuses on the relationship between personal values, social beliefs and consumer attitudes to influence preferences for local and global brands in the emerging markets context of Africa. Primarily, his research interests include consumer behaviour, emerging consumer markets, cross-cultural studies, global brand strategy, Business-to-Business marketing and quantitative analysis. He served as the academic coordinator for the 2018 Emerging Markets Conference Board (EMCB) conference held in South Africa, which is one of the most prestigious associations focusing on emerging markets research and practice. He is an active member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (Ghana u0026amp; UK), the Academy of International Business and the American Marketing Association.