Asia Pacific Issues in Management

Home Admissions Course Guide Asia Pacific Issues in Management

This Course Guide has been taken from the most recent presentation of the course. It would be useful for reference purposes but please note that there may be updates for the following presentation.

IB B396

Asia Pacific Issues in Management

Welcome to IB B396 Asia Pacific Issues in Management. We hope that you will find this course not only interesting but also insightful. The course provides a panoramic view of current and emerging issues on the agenda of corporate and individual agents in the Asia-Pacific region. Each study unit covers a self-contained topic; yet together they make up a mosaic of interrelated issues that complement each other and present the multivariate mix that comprises the contemporary Asia Pacific.

For the student of business, this course provides an appropriate platform to identify and reflect on key concerns and concepts, diagnose recurring patterns as well as emerging trends, and concurrently apply knowledge to relevant management issues across a range of organizations, industries, and economies.

IB B396 Asia Pacific Issues in Management is a five-credit advanced undergraduate course for students majoring in Business Studies, normally taken at the third level of the degree. It assumes prior knowledge of basic business, management and organization concepts, and in particular of marketing, strategy, organization behaviour, human resources, and economies.

The study units, assigned readings, activities, and self-tests will help you master the subject matter over a period of approximately 16 weeks. In the study units, you are provided with many generic, local, regional, and international examples. These enable you to apply the concepts and principles to the Asia-Pacific business environment.

This course has three broad aims and four course learning outcomes. You will notice that this course covers much more than theories and principles. Instead, it provides you with a lens to scrutinize what is going on around us in the Asia Pacific, from the associations targeting better integration of the region; to the various business systems and marketing and human resource practices adopted in the region; to the challenges and future developments in the region. In addition, given the trend toward globalization and the rapid growth of some Asian economies, it is well recognized that the influence from the Asia Pacific — and from Asia in particular — will continue to increase. This course, by walking you through various aspects of the Asia-Pacific region, therefore helps you form a picture of not only this particular region, but of the world as a whole.



IB B396 Asia Pacific Issues in Management aims to:

  • Provide you with knowledge of the characteristics of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Develop your knowledge of the business systems, and human resource management and marketing management practices in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Enable you to identify and analyse the future prospect of, as well as the challenges and opportunities faced by, the Asia-Pacific region.

Course learning outcomes

Upon the completion of IB B396 Asia Pacific Issues in Management, you should be able to:

  • Review the importance of the Asia-Pacific region and the mechanisms that facilitate its integration, and compare the current major business systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Identify and evaluate the characteristics of human resource management practices currently adopted by Asia-Pacific economies.
  • Analyse the Asia-Pacific region as a market and evaluate the various marketing management practices employed by Asia-Pacific economies.
  • Discuss the future of the Asia-Pacific region and identify the potential challenges and opportunities that different Asia-Pacific economies may encounter in the next decade and beyond.

Learning outcomes are statements of what it is expected that you will be able to do as a result of particular learning activities. As you proceed through the study units and assigned readings, keep these in mind and ask yourself how the material being studied is helping you to achieve these learning outcomes. Keep asking yourself 'Have I achieved this learning outcome?'


Course overview

The course is organized as set out in the following table.


UnitTitleStudy time
1Globalization and integration of the Asia-Pacific region3 
2Asia-Pacific business systems and organizational structures3Assignment 1
3Labour force and human resource management in the Asia-Pacific region3 
4Customers and marketing management in the Asia-Pacific region3 
5Challenges and future prospects of the Asia-Pacific region3Assignment 2

You should ensure that you have all of the following course materials available for your study as you embark on this course.



In addition to this Course Guide, the course has the following important components.


Study units

This course consists of five print-based study units. These study units are designed to clarify and reinforce key concepts related to management issues in Asia Pacific and provide additional examples from the region.

Unit 1 introduces you to the concept of globalization, and the role played by the Asia-Pacific region in the world in the era of globalization. In this unit you learn the functions of several key informal groupings in the region, and you evaluate the criticisms of these groupings. You also take a look at how technological transfer and unique cultural features are affecting integration as well as business practices in the region.

Unit 2 introduces you to the business systems adopted in Asia Pacific. You review the unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of the business systems in Japan, South Korea, and China, and also compare the communication and negotiation styles across these three countries. Considering the increasing importance of East Asia, you look at the impact of East Asian business on the region's economy.

Unit 3 focuses on human resource management in Asia Pacific. You look in-depth at the characteristics of the labour force in the region, and at labour mobility trends, coupled with associated potential challenges. You also review the human resource management practices in the region. In view of the rising power of China, you take a closer look at the unique features of the labour market in China.

Unit 4 scrutinizes the marketing environment and related issues in Asia Pacific. You are first introduced to the features of Asia Pacific as a market, and the linkage between culture and marketing. You then review the new trends and challenges of marketing in the region. Again, because China is a huge market that no company can afford to neglect, you look in-depth at the characteristics of the market and consumers in this country.

Unit 5 addresses the challenges and future prospects of the Asia-Pacific region. You first review the basic concept of competitiveness, analyse the competitiveness of some key economies in the region, and become familiar with some world-recognized rankings of economic competitiveness. You then look at the internal and external stability of the region. Last but not least, you examine the future of Asia Pacific in the increasingly convergent global environment.



You may be instructed in the study units to read articles or other supplementary materials. These will be available online or provided as hard copies. For online readings, instead of typing in the URL, you can click the link in the online study unit provided on the OLE.


E-Library E-Reserve readings

You may be instructed to read articles in the E-Library E-Reserve. To read these items, go to the University's E-Library and click E-Reserve. Log in, click Accept/Agree on the Copyright Restrictions page, fill in the Course Code box, and click Search.


Set textbook

Because of the wide span of the issues covered in this course, there is no compulsory textbook required. However, you will find that there are two to three assigned readings in each study unit. These readings are selected to help you better grasp the ideas covered in each study unit. You are encouraged to read through each assigned reading accordingly.


Assignment File

Details as to your assessment can be found in the separate Assignment File included in the course materials. Overview information is provided in the section entitled 'Assessment' in this Course Guide.


Presentation Schedule

A separate Presentation Schedule is available on the OLE. This schedule provides you with the dates when your assignments are due, as well as live online tutorial dates.



There are two required assignments which together are worth 40% of the total course mark. The final examination constitutes the remaining 60%.



The assignments aim to assess your understanding of the issues elaborated in the study units, as well as your application of the knowledge to real business situations. Specifically, each assignment will contain essay questions related to the content of the study units, together with a business case that you will need to analyse. You'll then need to answer case-related essay questions. The questions for Assignment 1 will be related to Unit 1 and Unit 2, whereas those for Assignment 2 will be related to Units 1 to 5.

You need to complete your assignments and submit them to your tutor in accordance with the dates specified in the Presentation Schedule. Assignment 1 will be marked and returned to you as quickly as possible so that you can use the feedback provided to improve when preparing Assignment 2.

Please keep copies of your assignments in case you want to discuss them with your tutor before the marked copy is returned.


How to submit assignments

You must use word processing software (such as Microsoft Word) to prepare the assignments, and submit them via the Online Learning Environment (OLE). All assignments must be uploaded to the OLE by the due date.

Failure to upload an assignment in the required format to the OLE may result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.


Assignment submission extension policy

The assignment policy of the University as stated in the Student Handbook should be observed. You are required to submit assignments for this course in accordance with the dates communicated by your Course Coordinator. You may apply for a submission extension on the grounds of illness, accident, disability, bereavement or other compassionate circumstances.

Applications for extensions must be submitted online via the OLE. Please note the following:

  1. Supporting documents must be submitted to justify applications for extensions of over seven days.
  2. Applications for extensions should normally be lodged before or on the due date.
  3. Applications are considered by:
    • your tutor for extensions of up to seven days;
    • the Course Coordinator for extensions of 8 to 21 days; and
    • the Dean for extensions of over 21 days.

After an assignment is submitted via the OLE, it is your responsibility to check that the assignment has been successfully submitted. Extension applications due to any problem with uploading will not be accepted. The University cannot accept any responsibility for assignments that are not received by your tutor due to any problem with submission via the OLE. As a precaution, you are advised to keep a copy of each assignment you submit.

According to the University's policy, no extension of the due date will be allowed for the final assignment. This policy will be strictly enforced. Any late submission of the final assignment will result in the score of the assignment being adjusted to zero.


Final examination and grading

The final examination is a two-hour, closed-book examination. The final examination will be similar in format and type of question to the Specimen Examination provided. Please note that all material covered in the assigned readings and the study units is examinable.


Course marking scheme

Assessment for this course is summarized as follows:


AssessmentCourse area coveredWeighting
Assignment 1Units 1-220%
Assignment 2Units 1-520%
Final examinationUnits 1-560%

In IB B396 Asia Pacific Issues in Management you are provided with a wide range of material to assist you in your learning. The most important resources are your study units and assigned readings. Taken together, they provide you with the course concepts you need to master, as well as Asia-Pacific examples designed to bring the concepts to life. Hence, you should read the study units carefully because they can guide your learning and tell you how to approach any assignment related to the unit. Otherwise, you may miss important information. You should also read all assigned readings.

In each study unit, you will come across non-assessed activities and self- tests. These are designed to help you remember and to apply what you have learned, and to prepare for your assignments and examination. The activities and self-test questions provide you with immediate feedback on your understanding of the subject matter just learned. By answering these questions and referring to the suggested answers, you can check your progress accordingly. Please note, however, that you are advised to attempt all questions before referring to the answers.

Since this course is about the current issues in the Asia-Pacific region, you are encouraged to read articles in newspapers and journals as well as other books related to the topics. The more widely you read, the better will be your appreciation and understanding of the issues covered in the course.

While you are doing your study, keep the goals of each study unit in mind. After you have finished the unit, check whether you have mastered the topics covered. If you encounter any problems, please make notes and raise questions with your tutor as soon as possible.

Finally, remember that your goal should be to 'study smarter' — that is, to figure out a system that works for you, and then to apply it consistently. And, most importantly, enjoy the time you spend learning about management issues in the Asia Pacific!


Tutors and learning sessions

In HKMU distance learning system, learning is achieved through the course materials. To help you understand and learn from the course, a tutor is assigned to you. The tutor is available to provide assistance not just during formal learning sessions but also by telephone and email (contact details will be provided). Don't be shy about calling or emailing — your tutor is there to help you, so we encourage you to seek assistance when needed. Contact your tutor if:

  • You do not understand any part of the study units or the assigned readings.
  • You have any difficulty with self-tests.
  • You have a question or problem with the assignment, or with your tutor's comments on or grading of an assignment.

Apart from self-study, six two-hour live online tutorials will also be organized throughout the course to assist you in your learning process. Apart from reviewing some of the major concepts and theories, we will have group discussions and interactions in the tutorials to solidify the concepts you have learnt.

It is strongly recommended that you attend all live online tutorials, which will provide considerable assistance in your study of this course. Although attendance at these learning sessions is optional, you are urged to take advantage of them. You can get the most from them by pre- studying the relevant materials, making comments and asking questions. Remember that learning does not happen passively. Your active participation is crucial. Moreover, you will have the chance to meet fellow students and be with other distance learners who are studying at HKMU. You will find that the support and encouragement from classmates and tutors are very helpful.

You can find the details of the live online tutorials in the course schedules, which are uploaded to the OLE.

IB B396 Asia Pacific Issues in Management is designed to provide you with the theories, concepts, and tools to fully understand and apply your understanding to a range of management issues in the Asia Pacific. In addition, you will be able to develop your own personal strategy for operating in an Asia-Pacific business environment.

We trust you will enjoy the course.

Dr Rebecca S Lau is an assistant professor in the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration at HKMU. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and a Master's Degree (MPhil) in Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Doctoral Degree (PhD) in Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She has been teaching topics related to management for seven years. Her research interests include organizational behaviour, human resources management, and organizational research methods.


Professor Peter Enderwick is a specialist in the field of international business. He holds a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Lancaster and MBA and PhD from Bradford Management Centre in England. He has been an educator since 1978. Until 1988 he was lecturer in Economics at Queen's University of Belfast. Between 1988 and 2004 he was Professor of International Management at the University of Waikato, Hamilton. He is currently Professor of International Business at Auckland University of Technology. He has also held visiting positions at the University of Bradford Management Centre and the Helsinki School of Economics and Business, Finland, the University of South Australia, Adelaide, and Thammasat Business School, Bangkok. He is currently a visiting professor at the Centre for International Business, University of Leeds, in the UK. He has taught in many parts of Asia including Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and China, and he is academic consultant in international business to HKMU. His research interests are in globalization and labour, service sector multinationals, large emerging markets, particularly China and India, and the competitiveness of small, open economies. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of journals including the International Business Review. He has undertaken consultancy for the United Nations, the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand and the New Zealand Treasury. He is a member of the Academy of International Business and a founding member of ANZIBA (Australia and New Zealand International Business Academy).

Click here and view the Lee Shau Kee School of Business and Administration.

Coming soon