International Business

Module description

This module focuses on the growth and management of global enterprises from the 1990s to the present. We take an interdisciplinary approach (drawing on economics, management, geography, and politics) to understand and assess the challenges associated with developing strategies and managing the operations of companies whose activities stretch across national boundaries. In addition we explore the interplay between the multinational corporation, the countries in which it does business, and the competitive environment in which it operates. The module places particular emphasis on investments made by firms overseas (foreign direct investment), and in the nature of national investment policy towards foreign firms.

The module builds on BEM2018 International Management & Globalisation, but it is not a pre-requisite. 

Full module specification

Module title:International Business
Module code:BEM2026
Module level:2
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Professor David Boughey - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

This module aims to improve students’ understanding of the dimensions, the management and strategic challenges facing organisations operating on a global scale. We aim to ensure students gain an understanding of the temporal and spatial nature of international business, and enrich this understanding with an interdisciplinary social science approach, thereby ensuring our assessment of the global enterprise is framed in a wide political, social, historical and economic context. Overall we’re aiming to improve detailed knowledge of the modern multinational, and to foster systematic and informed analysis of how multinational enterprises operate, thrive, stagnate or fail in an integrated global economy.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the scale and significance of multinational enterprises
  • 2. apply MNE theory to explain trends and examples of foreign direct investment
  • 3. evaluate the impact of foreign direct investment policy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. assess the impact of policy and politics on corporate decision-making

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. select and synthesize material from a range of sources (both academic and practitioner) to support key ideas and recommendations
  • 6. analyse, communicate and present ideas, principles and evidence that support a reasoned and consistent argument

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Schedule learning and teaching22Lectures (11 x 2 hours)
Scheduled learning and teaching5Seminars (5 x 1 hour)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Revision Lecture (1 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study32Preparatory reading- Reading prior to taught sessions
Guided Independent Study32Reflection and further reading- Guided reading and completion of exercises
Guided Independent Study65Assignment preparation- Researching and writing an assignment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar DiscussionHour-long seminars1-6Verbal from tutor

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay302,0001-6Written individual
Exam702 hours 1-6Generic feedback; students able to view scripts upon request

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay Essay 2,000 (30%)1-6August
ExamExam 2 hours (70%)1-6August

Re-assessment notes

If the student fails the module overall, only individual elements which have been failed/deferred will be assessed.

Syllabus plan

The core content of the module will include:

  • Globalisation Revisited
  • The Rise of the Global Enterprise
  • Measuring Global Corporations
  • Emerging Markets and BRICS
  • Foreign Direct Investment
  • Investment Liberalisation and Policy
  • Explaining FDI
  • Foreign Investment Decisions
  • Born Global Firms
  • Global Governance and Regulation
  • Corporate Collaboration

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bartlett, C.A. & Ghoshal, S. (1998). Managing across borders: the transnational solution (2nd ed.). London: Random House Business.
  • Chandler, A.D. & Mazlish, B. (Eds.). (2005). Leviathans: Multinational corporations and the new global history, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dicken, P. (2014). Global shift: Mapping the changing contours of the world economy (7th ed.). London: SAGE
  • Dunning, J. & Lundan, S.M. (2008). Multinational enterprises and the global economy (2nd ed.). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Hill, C.W.L. & Hernandez-Requejo, W. (2011). Global business today (7th ed.). London: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
  • Kumar, N & Steenkamp, J.E.M. (2013). Brand breakout; How emerging market brands will go global. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Luthans, F & Doh, J.P. (2012). International management: Culture, strategy and behaviour (8th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill.
  • Marinov, M. & Marinova S. (Eds.).(2011). Internationalization of emerging economies and firms. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Peng, M. & Meyer, K.(2011). International business, London: Centage.
  • Rugman, A.M. (Ed.). (2010). The Oxford handbook of international business (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Rugman, A.M. & Collison, S. (2012). International business (6th ed.). London: FT/Pearson
  • UNCTAD (2015). Word investment report 2015. New York and Geneva: UNCTAD.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

globalEDGE™ ( international business web-portal

UNCTAD ( FDI data and analysis

Origin date


Last revision date