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Introduction

Welcome to the module International Business Strategy. In a rapidly changing world, companies that operate across national boundaries are increasingly the norm – domestic businesses serving local markets tend to be smaller, less innovative, less profitable, than those that roam the world searching for favourable opportunities. On the other hand, there are bigger hazards in unfamiliar territories, and intelligence is required to assess markets, capital requirements, financing methods, risk, marketing techniques, and organisational forms, to enable the opportunities to be seized.

This module aims to provide frameworks, techniques and examples to help you participate successfully in the exciting and risky world of international business.

Learning outcomes

When you have completed your study of this module, you will be able to:

  • analyse the principles underlying decisions to invest in countries other than the home base
  • discuss the basics of business strategies of cost advantage and differentiation
  • explain the analysis behind decisions about where to locate production operations
  • explain some of the reasons why marketing and pricing strategies can succeed and fail according to the conditions in different countries
  • identify the variety of structural arrangements available to the international business
  • analyse the options for dealing with currency risk in an international project or business
  • analyse the elements that make a location suitable for investment projects
  • list and define the types of political risk involved in establishing a business in another country

Study resources

Study guide

The module study guide is carefully structured to provide the main teaching, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the assigned readings.

Key texts

Hill CWL (2020) International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. 13th Edition. New York, McGraw-Hill Education.

Readings

Throughout the module you will be directed to study a selection of readings, including journal articles, book extracts and case studies that are of particular relevance and interest to the topics covered in the module.

Case Studies

Provide examples of a variety of multinational businesses.

Virtual learning environment

You will have access to the VLE, which is a web-accessed study centre. Via the VLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the module using discussion forums. The VLE also provides access to the module Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library.

Module overview

Unit 1 International Investment
  • 1.1 The Economics of International Investment
  • 1.2 International Investment
  • 1.3 Mergers and Acquisitions
Unit 2 Choice of Entry Strategy
  • 2.1 Strategy Basics – Cost and Value
  • 2.2 International Strategy
  • 2.3 Entry Strategy
  • 2.4 Case Studies
  • 2.5 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 2.6 Conclusion
Unit 3 International Production and Sourcing
  • 3.1 Economic Criteria
  • 3.2 Beyond Offshoring
  • 3.3 Case Studies
  • 3.4 Managing the Global Supply Chain
  • 3.5 Feedback on Case Studies
Unit 4 International Marketing
  • 4.1 Marketing Mix
  • 4.2 Global Marketing
  • 4.3 Case Studies
  • 4.4 Feedback on Case Studies
Unit 5 International Organisation
  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Organisational Architecture
  • 5.3 Strategy and Architecture
  • 5.4 Case Studies
  • 5.5 Feedback on Case Studies
  • 5.6 A Successful Example – Siemens
Unit 6 Financial Management in the International Business
  • 6.1 Investment Decisions
  • 6.2 Financing Decisions
  • 6.3 Money Management
  • 6.4 Managing Foreign Exchange Risk
  • 6.5 Case Studies
Unit 7 Assessing Country Competitiveness
  • 7.1 Determinants of National Competitive Advantage
  • 7.2 Company Strategy
  • 7.3 Case Studies
  • 7.4 Feedback on the Case Studies
Unit 8 Assessing Country Risk
  • 8.1 Introduction
  • 8.2 What is Political Risk?
  • 8.3 Country Risk
  • 8.4 A Strategic Perspective
  • 8.5 Summary
  • 8.6 The Examination

Tuition and assessment

Students are individually assigned an academic tutor for the duration of the module, with whom you can discuss academic queries at regular intervals during the study session.

You are required to complete two Assignments for this module, which will be marked by your tutor. Assignments are each worth 15% of your total mark. You will be expected to submit your first assignment by the Tuesday of Week 6, and the second assignment at the end of the module, on the Tuesday after Week 10. Assignments are submitted and feedback given online. In addition, queries and problems can be answered through the Virtual Learning Environment.

You will also sit a three-hour examination on a specified date in September/October, worth 70% of your total mark. An up-to-date timetable of examinations is published on the website in July each year.

Module samples

Click on the links below to download the module sample documents in PDF.