What’s this module about?
Broadly-speaking, this module is concerned with what is perhaps the single most important question in International Strategy: What determines the international success or failure of firms? To address this question, the module draws upon theories and insights from the related academic fields of Strategic Management and
International Business is concerned with understanding the particular challenges and decisions faced by firms and managers who operate in an international context.
Strategic management is concerned with more generic but fundamental questions in business such as ‘why do some firms outperform others?’ and ‘how can firms create a sustainable competitive advantage?’
More specifically, it is concerned with: setting long-term goals for a firm (vision, mission and specific objectives); after analysis of the firm’s external and internal environment (covering the macro and industry environments and the firm’s own resources and capabilities); then making choices (for example, which industries a firm should compete in, and how it should compete in those industries); and actions that an organization must take to implement their chosen strategies (e.g. requires management to consider resource allocation and international organizational design).
In the module, we will examine many of these important questions with an explicitly international perspective, and therefore with a particular focus on the strategy of multinational enterprises and other firms that are active internationally. As we will see, firms which operate across national borders are faced with additional complexity that requires them to confront new strategic trade-offs and make distinctive strategic choices.
As the world’s economy constantly changes, international businesses have developed different organisational forms and sought to develop strategies which will give them global competitive advantage. This module aims to facilitate an understanding of the development of global enterprises and the strategies available to such firms to manage and control their operations against the background of a dynamic global business environment.
These issues are strategic in nature, and it is therefore crucial that people destined to manage in organisations have a knowledge and understanding of the nature and techniques of business strategy. For those who seek employment in organisations that have an international / global dimension, an international / global perspective on business strategy is essential.
How will this module deliver the relevant industry sector skills and competencies?
The module has a strong focus on the practical and “real-world” aspect of global strategic management aimed at developing relevant sector skills through the use of company case studies and film clips etc. which are integrated with the teaching and learning activities. In addition, the majority of tutors have a business management background, or have undertaken business consultancy, so they are able to bring their industry experience into the classroom.
Students will gain a critical appreciation of the various (international) strategic management issues facing (international) business organisations. This will stand them in good stead as they move into careers in business organisations, especially those operating internationally.
Students will learn about various theoretical perspectives and more practical analytical frameworks / tools that are useful for the analysis of (international) strategic management dilemmas and issues within real organisations. Students will practice applying these theories and frameworks and using them to provide analytical insights, acquiring relevant, transferable critical thinking, analytical and persuasive writing skills in the process.
The use of case study teaching on the module, and the range of cases used, will expose students to strategic management issues in a wide range of countries, industries, and firm types. Students will develop a more global outlook on business strategy issues, and this will prepare them for working in an international context.
What is the current research context that this module applies?
The module draws on a wide range of International Strategic Management literature and contemporary research as depicted in the reading list. There are several key texts, most notable from scholars such as Mike Peng and Klaus Meyer, with which students should become familiar, as well as a range of specialist journal and associated articles.
How is internationalisation delivered and applied within the module?
This module is truly international in both context and content. It focuses of strategy at a global level and includes topic areas such as global business, global competition, global companies, global stakeholders and institutions.
How does this module embed Principles of Responsible Management Education?
This module encourages students to consider the ethical implications of using their knowledge and skills when influencing people at work, the organisations they work for, their suppliers, staff, customers and clients, as well as wider society and the natural environment. The module has a dedicated topic considering ethics, sustainability and social responsibility.
How will this module be delivered?
The delivery of this module is via weekly 1-hour on-line lecture (followed by a 30-minute support session) plus a weekly 1.5-hour workshop-based seminar. The learning will be facilitated through a combination of didactic teaching and activities undertaken by module participants to reinforce and consolidate the key issues raised in the didactic sessions. Activities will include the examination of case studies and articles, the scrutiny of research findings produced by module participants, presentations by module participants, and the analysis of contemporary firm behaviour using newspapers and journals. In addition, small groups of participants will be expected to produce a critique of a relevant research based academic article for discussion amongst the rest of the class.
Formative assessment (Non-Assessed)
Students will be given a list of topics in the seminar taking place in the first week of the course. The case studies and articles used in this module are to further illustrate real-world examples of subject topics. Students are expected to prepare each case study before class and bring along their case study responses to seminars for class discussion. Feedback on students’ responses to case study questions will be provided immediately after, in order to consolidate their learning process while the activities are still fresh in their minds.
Summative assessment (Assessed)
The learning outcomes for this module are also assessed by an individual written assignment of 4,000 words which constitutes 100% of the overall assessment for the module.
This type of assessment is seen essential for this module to test students’ breadth of knowledge and proficiency in this subject area which is at the core of the globalisation process. In addition, the assessment will test the ability of students to assemble and abstract relevant information from various sources, and respond to the task given
A sample feedback sheet for the individual assignment task is provided in the Assessment Folder of the Module Blackboard.
How will Blackboard be used with this module?
The Blackboard site that accompanies this module contains copies of the module guide, the lecture slides and the assessment tasks.
How will student feedback be obtained on this module and how will this be used?
Ongoing informal feedback will be offered on an ongoing basis whereby at the end of each seminar workshop the tutors will be available to provide informal feedback and discussion about student progress on an individual basis.
Formal feedback will be provided in written form for the individual written assessment and will include narrative comments and an annotated matrix. Feedback will be provided in line with the School’s assignment feedback policy.