Passing It on to the Students — Revising a Classic
Professor of Finance
Atulya Sarin has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Financial Research and has written more than 25 articles for leading journals in the fields of finance, economics and management. This year he adds a different writing credit to his portfolio: co-author of a textbook that is considered “the gold standard” in its field.
Foundations of Multinational Financial Management came out in its sixth edition in January 2008 with Sarin, Professor of Finance at SCU’s Leavey School of Business, collaborating with Alan C. Shapiro of the University of Southern California, the book’s original author.
“The level of writing is different because you can’t assume the understanding of a peer group that you have with research papers,” Sarin said. “It’s a juggling and balancing act trying to reach a diverse audience with different perspectives. You have to provide enough depth to satisfy the advanced reader while being clear enough for a beginner in the field.”
Aimed at an undergraduate audience but suitable for masters-level classes, the book, published by Wiley, aims to teach students how to analyze key financial decisions in multinational firms in the context of what they have learned in more basic financial management courses. Sarin said he would be using the book in the graduate classes he teaches at SCU.
Shapiro and Sarin have known each other for years and have previously worked together on research papers and business consulting assignments. The collaboration on the most recent edition of the text was a logical outgrowth of that, and they are also co-authoring a new book on business valuation.
His work on the textbook drew heavily on his experience doing consulting and litigation support in the areas of transfer pricing, corporate valuation, stock and bond prices and derivatives. Pulling it all together, he said, was a different experience from his previous writing.
“Writing a textbook, you have to be disciplined and work in a steadier manner than with shorter research papers. There’s also a lot of detail work — for instance, I spent nearly three months doing and redoing the instructors’ manual and slides,” he said.
“But there’s also a freedom in how and what you can write, and you can write it the way you see it more so than in research articles with peer review. It was a very rewarding experience.”