Courses

At HBS, I taught a course required by all MBA students in the first year called Business, Government, and the International Economy for many years. The course broadly covers macroeconomics, comparative and international political economy, and other topics related to the broader business environment. In 2015, I won the HBS Student Association Teaching Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Required Curriculum and the Charles M. Williams Award for Teaching Excellence.

I currently teach two courses, both electives.

  • Managing International Trade and Investment (MITI) approaches the politics, macro-economics, and management dilemmas of transnational trade and investment from a firm perspective.
  • A second course is an immersive field course in Asia, which I co-teach. In 2019-2020, this course focuses on infrastructure and trade in Asia through the lens of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, including an intensive field trip to China, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

Cases

I teach through the case method and develop cases for teaching purposes. HBS cases are fascinating documents—they offer the author / researcher a chance to understand something very deeply and the students a chance to debate wider issues and dilemmas through the specific case. The documents contain a great deal of information, but, unlike academic articles, do not make arguments. They are, however, designed for students to make arguments based on facts and for instructors to teach specific and general concepts and insights.

All of the below cases are available through the Harvard Business School Press website. Educators who wish to see copies can access free educator copies by registering. Cases also have accompanying teaching notes to help instructors craft a productive discussion. I am thrilled when colleagues use cases to teach, and I think they are useful for students of many kinds. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in the cases or how to use them.

Rithmire, Meg, and Yihao Li. "Lattice Semiconductor and the Future of Chinese High-Tech Acquisitions in the United States." Harvard Business School Case 719-059, January 2019. (Revised June 2019.)

The case uses Donald Trump’s decision to block the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor by a Chinese-backed venture capital firm to cover the Made in China 2025 initiative as implemented in semiconductors. The case looks in detail at the structure of state investment in technology and Chinese firms’ investments in developed countries. The case also examines the overhaul of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) through the 2018 FIRRMA legislation and the reform to export controls.

Rithmire, Meg, and Yihao Li. "Chinese Infrastructure Investments in Sri Lanka: A Pearl or a Teardrop on the Belt and Road?" Harvard Business School Case 719-046, January 2019. (Revised April 2019.)

The case looks in detail at the construction of the port in Hambantota, Sri Lanka, and the transaction through which China Merchants Group became majority holder of a 99-year lease on the port in 2016. The case also explores other Chinese investments in the country, including a major real estate project in Colombo. The case engages issues of infrastructure investment, how electoral politics intersect with FDI, and the dynamics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Di Tella, Rafael, Meg Rithmire, and Kait Szydlowski. "Governing the 'Chinese Dream': Corruption, Inequality and the Rule of Law." Harvard Business School Case 715-023, December 2014. (Revised November 2015.)

The case covers political and economic challenges faced by Xi Jinping at the start of his administration in 2013. It offers a chance to discuss and debate social, political, and economic issues in China, including social protest, economic reforms, inequality, corruption, and nationalism.

Rithmire, Meg. "The “Chongqing Model” and the Future of China." Harvard Business School Case 713-028, December 2012. (Revised July 2013.)

The case looks at China’s choices for reforming its growth model in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008 by looking at two subnational models, that of Chongqing and that of Guangdong. It offers students a chance to understand, quite deeply, the institutions that undergird the Chinese political economy and debate their advantages and disadvantages. Interesting elements of the Chongqing Model include land financing, state-owned enterprise reform, migration reforms, infrastructure development, an anti-corruption campaign, and neo-Maoist cultural activities.