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Course Description
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International Business Management
University of Westminster
London, England

Subject Area(s) Level(s) Instruction in Credits Contact Hours Prerequisites
Business 200 English 4 50 N/A

Module Code: 4MBS661

The international business environment has undergone exponential change over the two decades. This class seeks to explore the major issues that have emerged in relation to international business and the more recent theories and literature that have been developed, as a consequence. This class does not attempt to cover aspects of international operations in finance, marketing, economics and strategy already covered in other undergraduate classes. It will specifically look at theories, concepts and leading contemporary literature that analyses and examine the changing nature of international business management based on an underlying context of culture and politics.

1. To enable students to appreciate the major changes in international business over the last two decades and the evolution in firm based strategies.
2. To critically assess the concept of competitive strategy that have historically dominated international business and to enable students understand and apply new theoretical concepts that have emerged.
3. To introduce students to the concept of firm collaboration and develop a critical understanding of various collaborative methods in international business management.
4. To enable students to understand and critically evaluate cross-cultural and knowledge management issues in international business.

On successful completion of this class, the student will be able to:
1. Understand and critically assess the impact of recent socio-cultural changes in the global environment on international business management.
2. Critically evaluate the older theories of competitive strategy that have influenced international business management.
3. Have an in-depth knowledge of collaborative practices such as joint ventures and strategic alliances and be able to critically assess how they can be utilised successfully in international business scenarios.
4. Understand contemporary theories such as Porter’s Diamond framework and Bartlett & Ghoshal’s transnational management theory and critically apply these to international business cases and situations.
6. Have developed of the main areas of cross-cultural management theory and be able to critically analyse related issues in international firms and industries.
7. Understand the roles of patronage and negotiation in various countries and critically assess the impact of these systems on the international business strategies and practices of firms.
8. Identify problems in the human resource management practices of international firms and provide critical solutions in the deployment of international staff.
9. Recommend international business strategies that can improve the capability of international firms to cope with ‘global shift’.

1. Socio-cultural changes in the global environment
2. Critique of the Competitive Strategy framework
3. Organisational culture and its strategic implications
4. Joint venture and strategic alliance management
5. The competitive advantage of nations (Porter’s Diamond theory)
6. Transnational management theory
7. Cross-cultural management
8. Patronage systems and political frameworks
9. Negotiation and dispute resolution
10. Expatriate management and international HRM strategy
11. Managing change in international firms

Indicative contact hours: 3 hours per week.
Teaching consists of a 1.5 hour lecture and a 1.5 seminar per week. Lectures will cover the outline and explanation of the main theories and concepts on the syllabus with the illustration of relevant real-life examples. Lectures will be delivered in PowerPoint format with summary handouts given to the students to enable structured note-taking. The seminars will be naturally used to supplement lectures by applying the theory through casestudy applications and critical debates. The opening half of seminars will be more coursework orientated, with the final half seminars focused on preparing students for exam style topics.
Blackboard: PowerPoint slides will also be posted on the relevant Blackboard class site.
Additional articles will be posted by lecture topic where copyright rules permit.
Debate on various topics will be encouraged in an electronic forum. Blackboard will also be utilised for group collaboration on coursework (Where group assessment is applicable.)

The assessment on this class aims to help the students to develop the learning outcomes indicated on page 1. The coursework will be assessed in the first half of the semester and will therefore be geared towards the first 4 learning outcomes only. The examination will assess students’ critical understanding of all parts of the syllabus and may draw on all the learning outcomes of the class.

The assessment will be divided as follows:
1. A group-based coursework consisting of an in-class presentation and follow-up report.
2. The presentation will test the students’ ability to present and debate information and research to an audience. Each group will be given feedback and marks for their presentations to help them with stage 2 of the coursework. The follow-up report will involve more in-depth analysis and findings.
3. An end of class examination. This will test the students’ critical understanding of the main theories and concepts from the class and their ability to apply them to various international business scenarios.

· One piece of coursework worth 30%, subdivided into an in-class presentation worth
10% and a follow-up report worth 20% (Total 30% of the class.)
· An open-book examination, with a choice of 3 questions from 6, total time 2 hours
15 minutes. This will be worth 70% of the class.

To achieve a pass in the class students should gain an overall mark of 40% with a minimum of 35% in both the examination and coursework.

1. The extent to which the assignment brief has been met.
2. The quality of and scope of secondary research and how it is applied in both the presentation and report.
3. The quality of the presentation in terms of both presentation skills and critical debate.
4. The structure, critique and quality of findings in the follow-up report.

1. The structure and flow of each exam question.
2. The use of relevant information and knowledge used to support arguments and apply theory.
3. The overall quality of critical debate shown in each answer.

Essential reading
Core text:
International Management: Cross-cultural Dimensions, Richard Meade, Blackwell
Publishers (2003); ISBN: 0631183698
Supplementary Text:
Transnational Management: Text & Cases, Bartlett & Ghoshal, McGraw-Hill/Irwin;
(2003); ISBN: 0072482761

Further reading
International Business, Charles Hill, McGraw-Hill (2003)
International Business: The Challenge of Global Competition, Ball, McGraw-Hill (2003)
The Allianced Enterprise: Global Strategies for Corporate Collaboration, Geert Duysters,
Imperial College Press (2001)
Cultures and Organisations: Software of the Mind - Intercultural Cooperation and Its
Importance for), Geert Hofstede, McGraw-Hill Education (1996)
Managing Cultural Differences: Leadership Strategies for A New World of Business, Philip
Harris, Gulf Publishing (2000)
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Harvard Business School Press (2000)
International Human Resource Management and
Expatriate Transfers, Linehan & Morley, Blackhall Publishing (2001)

Other readings
The Economist Magazine
Business Week
International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management (Sage Publications)
Cross-cultural management (Emerald Fulltext/Barmarick Publications)
Journal of International Business Studies (Palgrave)


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