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The International Business Context

Module description

Businesses work across countries and there is a growing demand for business and management graduates with an international perspective, who are capable of operating effectively in a globalised world and across international boundaries and cultures. In this module you will learn how globalisation has brought about an increasing 'connectedness' of businesses, markets, people and information across countries.

Full module specification

Module title:The International Business Context
Module code:BEM1027
Module level:1
Academic year:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Alison Ashby - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






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


Module aims

The aim of this module is to equip you with a foundational understanding and awareness of business and management practice in the international context. It will engage you with both long standing and emerging research throughout the lecture programme, and it will develop your ability to critically analyse international business contexts, trends, issues and impacts.



You will identify and appreciate the global opportunities and challenges that businesses face while taking a global perspective in their critical review process.



During this module, you will acquire confidence and skills in presenting, writing reports, conducting independent research, working in teams, managing conflicts, and working to deadlines.



This module will recognise and investigate sustainability related issues within the international context, and where relevant will reference the Module Convenor’s own research as well as linking to Exeter’s sustainability research groups.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Explain the context and concept of international business
  • 2. Develop critical understanding of current practices, challenges and impacts of international business
  • 3. Identify and evaluate contemporary trends in the political, regulatory, economic, social and demographic environments in which international businesses compete

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Analyse environments that organisations are located and operate within, demonstrating awareness of international business behaviour and practice
  • 5. Critically evaluate the models, theories and concepts used in exploring and understanding the international business context
  • 6. Apply a range of models, theories and concepts in order to understand or justify international business

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Work both on independent assignments and within group-based contexts, developing your ability to work positively with others, managing any conflict arising
  • 8. Select and synthesize material from a range of sources (both academic and practitioner based) to support key ideas and recommendations
  • 9. Present in-depth analysis in both written and verbal forms
  • 10. 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
Lectures20Whole cohort lecture sessions
Tutorials 5Small group sessions organised around content areas and study skills
Guided Independent Study125Reading, research and discussion

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Tutor feedback on draft group presentationsWritten plan of 500 words outlining the focus of presentation, sources of data and academic literature, individual roles and tasks1-3, 7-10In class tutor 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
Group presentation30Presentation of maximum of 20 minutes and group led discussion of a minimum of 5 minutes1-3, 7-10Written and verbal
Individual assignment703000 words4-7, 9, 10Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentationIndividual 2000 word written report1-3, 7-10July/August
Individual AssignmentIndividual 3000 word written report4-7,9,10July/August

Re-assessment notes

A student will be referred in all components of the assessment that they have failed, if the student fails the module with an overall mark below 40%.

A student if deferred via a single component will be re-assessed in that component only.

Syllabus plan

Indicative content for this module includes:

  • Introduction to International Business
  • Globalisation and International Markets
  • Institutions and Firm Resources
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Global Markets and Industries
  • Regionalisation and Global Integration
  • International Connection and Communication
  • Global Business Models
  • People and Culture in International Business
  • Socially Responsible Business

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core text:

  • Peng, M. and Meyer, K. (2019) International Business, London: Cengage Learning

Additional Reading:

  • Hamilton, L. & Webster, P. (2018) The International Business Environment. 4th Edition. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Wetherly, P. & Otter, D. (2018) The Business Environment: Themes and Issues in a Globalizing World. 4th Edition. Oxford, Oxford University Press.


Relevant Academic Journals:

  • Harvard Business Review
  • International Business Review
  • Journal of International Management
  • Academy of Management Journal

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Students are expected to keep up to date with contemporary issues for International Business by accessing current (and historical) news and opinion articles from reputable international sources and referencing these appropriately.
  • Good analysis of contemporary events affecting international business can be found in The Economist (available online) and quality newspapers such as the Financial Times.

Origin date


Last revision date