Principles of International Business
Business is international in scope as managers take advantage of the comparative advantages countries around the world offer through complex and geographic dispersed value chains, not only to sell products but also to access inputs, knowledge and skills. This module addresses several questions. ‘How can a domestic firm internationalise its operations?’ ‘How are its resources and capabilities challenged and transformed by internationalisation?’ ‘What factors determine the success of an international business operation?’ 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. Through a group project, students analyse the internationalisation of a real life organisation, identifying the purpose of internationalisation, selecting the most appropriate target market and considering the various means available to the firm to internationalise its operations. Topical issues in international business are also discussed, such as the impact of Brexit on the trading relationship of the UK, the re-emergence of emerging market MNEs, ‘born global’ firms and the fourth industrial revolution.
This module focuses on how companies conduct business across borders and explores various economic systems, cultural differences in different economies, and discusses issues from around the world to give students a global awareness. Mini-case studies and discussion of selected cases further expose students to conducting business in an international and multicultural context by drawing upon real-world scenarios across different countries and cultural boundaries.
International experts/practitioners on topics relevant to the module will be invited to deliver in-module contributions.
As part of the University’s commitment to PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education - http://www.unprme.org/about-prme/the-six-principles.php), examples are disseminated throughout the module that illustrate both the impact of business activity on the environment, and how some companies are addressing sustainability concerns through their products and processes.
In this module students gain an understanding of what it means to internationalise a business, and through the group project students acquire research, critical thinking, analysis and report writing skills. It provides the opportunity to develop discursive, analytical, and judgement skills, and a cosmopolitan perspective.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Principles of International Business|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the internationalisation process firms undertake while selecting and targeting opportunities overseas. The module 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. Through the group project, the module will develop your skills in critical analysis and evaluation, to enable you to make business decisions and convince others of your viewpoint.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. assess your understanding of the complex interactions between various political, economic and cultural factors that characterise the international business environment;
- 2. evaluate 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 group project and case studies, analyse real world business problems and develop an ability to exercise judgement;
- 7. work within a team to analyse the internationalisation process of a real life organisation and critically evaluate the benefits and assess the most suitable means of internationalisation.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Contact Hours||20||10 x 2 hour lectures|
|Contact Hours||4||2 x 2 hour seminars (possibly in weeks 6 & 8)|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Online MCQ in week 3||20 questions, 10 minutes||1-3||Automated feedback|
|In-class Presentations ahead of submission of assessed coursework (group-based)||1-7||Oral feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Coursework: written assignment to be completed by a group of 5 students||70||5,000 words||1-7||Written feedback|
|4 x Online multiple choice tests in weeks 4, 6, 7, 9||30||10 minutes (20 questions each)||1-3||Automated feedback (ELE)|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Coursework: written assignment||2,000 word essay (70%)||1-7||August examination period|
|Online Multiple Choice tests||Multiple Choice test (30%)||1-3||August examination period|
Students are asked to re-sit only the element that they are referred or deferred.
- Introduction to International Business
- Regionalisation and globalisation and the Brexit debate
- Institutions in International business
- Firm Resources: Competitiveness and Growth & Competitive Dynamics
- The Internationalisation process and 'born global' firms
- Foreign Entry Strategies
- The re-emergence of Emerging Market MNEs
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Future of the MNE
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Students are expected to own a copy of the core text:
- Peng, M. and Meyer, K. (2016) 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 (non-exhaustive list):
- Journal of International Business Studies
- International Business Review
- Journal of World Business
- Strategic Management Journal
- Management and Organization Review
- Thunderbird International Review
- Journal of International Management
- International Management Review
- International Studies of Management & Organization
- International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management
- Cross-Cultural & Strategic Management
- Harvard Business Review
- Academy of Management Journal
- Academy of Management 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.
Last revision date