Principles of International Business

Module description

Business is increasingly international in scope as managers take advantage of greater access to foreign markets, not only to sell products, but also to access inputs, knowledge and skills.  This module addresses several questions. ‘How does becoming an international business change a company that previously operated only in the home market?’ ‘How are its resources and capabilities challenged and transformed by internationalisation?’ ‘What factors determine an international business is successful?’ While many practical examples are provided, focus is given to developing an analytical approach to addressing these questions, drawing on two perspectives. These are the Resource Based View, which focuses on the resources and capabilities of the firm and the Institution Based View which requires studying the differences in the business environment around the globe, to which successful companies need to adapt.  The module considers political, economic and cultural difference and the strategies companies adopt when conducting business across national boundaries. Trade theories are studied to understand the reasons for trade, and consideration is given to why governments engage in trade restrictions which complicates the operations of international business.

Full module specification

Module title:Principles of International Business
Module code:BEMM116
Module level:M
Academic year:2016/7
Module lecturers:
  • Dr David Guttormsen - Lecturer
  • Professor Nicolas Forsans - Lecturer
  • Professor David Boughey - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the international dimensions of business.

It will develop your awareness of trends in the international business environment and the opportunities and challenges internationalisation brings. 

It will develop your knowledge of where, why and how to conduct international business, in order to gain an understanding of what determines the success and failure of firms conducting international business. 

Furthermore, it will develop your skills in critical analysis and critical evaluation to enable you to make business decisions and convince others of your viewpoint.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. illustrate your understanding of the complex interactions between various political, economic and cultural factors that characterise the international business environment
  • 2. account for the specific ways in which international business differs from domestic business and develop detailed knowledge on international business issues
  • 3. apply both the institution-based and resource-based view of the firm to international business case studies

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. apply theoretical principles to critically analyse the current business environment
  • 5. evaluate relevant factors to make effective business decisions

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. through the medium of case studies analyse real world business problems and develop an ability to exercise judgment
  • 7. work within a team to analyse and present material in tutorials

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
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities22Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities6Tutorials (2-hour seminars, weeks 2,6,8)

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Online Multiple Choice Tests20 questions per week (weeks 2-11)1-4Automated feedback

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
Presentation2515-minute group presentation (solving a case study) & engaging with other case study presentations1-7Written feedback
Online multiple choice test151 hour (40 questions)1-4Correct answers on ELE
Assignment. The assignment can completed by either (a) A student working alone (b) 2 students working as a pair 60Analysis of a case study, applying skills and knowledge developed within the module. 2000 words if completed individually, and 3000 words if completed as a pair 1-6Individual written feedback and generic feedback on ELE

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PresentationResubmission of slides (25%)1-7July
Online Multiple Choice TestOnline Multiple Choice Test (15%) 1 hour - 40 questions1-7August

Re-assessment notes

Students are asked to re-sit only the element that they are referred or deferred. 

Syllabus plan

Introduction – Globalising Business

Formal institutions – economic, political & legal systemsInformal institutions – culture, religion and languages

Contemporary Intercultural Issues in international business and leadership & Corporate Social Responsibility

Investing Abroad Directly

Starting International Business & Structuring and Organising MNEs

Foreign Entry Strategies

Firm Resources: Competitiveness and Grown & Competitive Dynamics

Global Integration and Multilateral Organisations

Exchange Rates

Revision – Overview of Globalising Business

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:


Students are expected to own a copy of the core text:

Peng, M. and Meyer, K.(2011) International Business, London: Cengage Learning


There are many text books on international business in the University Library which can provide additional insights and examples of international business operations.


Relevant journals include:

Journal of  International Business Studies

International Business Review

Journal of World Business

Strategic Management Journal

Thunderbird International Review

Journal of International Management

International Management Review

International Studies of Management & Organization

International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management

Cross-Cultural Management: an International Journal

Harvard Business Review

Academy of Management Perspectives

Critical Perspectives on international business


In addition, papers on the international dimension of business can be found in other business and management journals.


Good analysis of contemporary events affecting international business can be found in The Economist (available online) and quality financial newspapers such as the Financial Times.




Web based and electronic resources: The module has a fully developed site on ELE where an extensive array of module materials can be found including lecture outlines, suggested reading on a per topic basis, and relevant journal articles, plus multiple choice tests for formative assessment.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The module has a fully developed site on ELE where an extensive array of module materials can be found including lecture outlines, suggested reading on a per topic basis, and relevant journal articles, plus multiple choice tests for formative assessment.

Origin date


Last revision date