MM394-Global Strategy

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: MM272 International Business Management and Strategy or MM276 Business Strategy
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MM393 Corporate Strategy
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Irina Surdu


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module focuses on global strategy. A wide variety of changes in the global environment have given rise to new opportunities and threats for multinational firms. These are both outcomes of, and contributors to the turbulent process. For example, recent years have seen huge increases in foreign direct investment both to and from countries such as India and China, whilst at the same time, there has been increased cooperation between governments, in the form of investment treaties or international responses to 'borderless' e-commerce for example. These patterns of change are both driving and being driven by firms of all sizes that are increasingly engaged in, and dependent on, globally-integrated businesses.


This module extends analysis of (multi) business firms to focus on the challenges of developing strategies, building organisations, and managing the operations of companies where activities are spread across national borders. Operating in an international, rather than a purely domestic arena, presents managers with many new opportunities to create additional value for their firms. Worldwide operations give access to new markets and resources, enable the firm to develop new knowledge, and broaden the options to enhance competitive and corporate advantage. Seizing these opportunities involves tackling the additional challenges of managing strategy, activities, and resources that are innately more complex, diverse and uncertain. The module focuses on the global strategies of multinational enterprises. As with its pre-requisites, the module brings together a coherent, research-based set of frameworks, concepts, tools and techniques to tackle global strategy questions formed to take advantage of the multiple opportunities that a more globalized environment brings. In doing so, the module equips students to formulate and execute successful global strategies by analysing the challenges managers face when making decisions about location (where?), timing (when?), activity (what?) and implementation (how?) to propel global value creation (why?). 


The module builds on core strategy concepts introduced in pre-requisite modules by treating global strategy as an element of business and of corporate strategy. As a result, students should feel more comfortable with the module frameworks and concepts and be able to evaluate how these may be applied to local contexts. The module synthesizes earlier learnings and allows for the evaluation of concepts and tools specifically designed to explicate the links among the dimensions of firm scope. The premise of the module is that irrespective of what role you have, and what sort of organisation you work in, managers need to understand global business strategy.

Effective strategists develop a sense of what they must do in the short run for their firms to be healthy in the long run. This module aims to develop students' abilities to craft and evaluate the overarching strategy of a multinational enterprise to improve the firm's long-run performance.

Assessable learning outcomes:

- Identify the central strategic challenges facing CEOs in charge of multinational enterprises and the ways that these firms create, capture and sustain value

- Equip students to formulate and execute successful global strategies by analyzing the challenges managers face when making decisions about location (where), timing (when), activity (what), and implementation (how) to sustain global value creation (why)

- Analyse generic global strategies and the constraints each creates for the menu of options available to a firm expanding internationally

- Using the concepts of value creation and value capture, analyse the potential of a product to succeed globally, how to split and control value-chain activities across countries, and learn how offshoring and outsourcing may create or destroy value

- Craft a cohesive set of location strategies, over time and geographies, that allow firms to create and capture value

- Examine how timing and mode of entry can help firms to manage risk and mitigate uncertainty, especially on entering less stable emerging markets

- Develop the notion of a global organisation and how firms decide on and implement the distribution of roles and responsibilities between headquarters and foreign subsidiaries

- Explore the challenges of cross-cultural management and of the attributes, skills, and knowledge required to succeed as a front-line manager in a multinational firm

- Hone a capability to bridge financial analysis and strategic analysis, both to diagnose the sources of high or low firm performance and so to enhance students' capacities to interpret performance data

- Refine habits of orderly and analytical thinking and skill in reporting conclusions effectively in oral and written form

Additional outcomes:

- Enhance problem-solving capabilities to formulate and analyse complex problems, to evaluate alternative solutions, and to make business policy recommendations

- Strengthen abilities to learn by combining learning modes, including by individual study from textbooks and cases, and from classroom analyses of cases

- Enhance employ-ability by developing capabilities to analyse companies and to formulate good questions

- Strengthen career progression by providing a broad understanding of the key strategic dilemmas facing a broad range of functions as they relate to strategy at different levels.

Outline content:

Lecture 1. Introduction to global strategic decisions and the macro environment

Lecture 2. Foreign location choices and risk

Lecture 3. Firm specific resources and country specific resources

Lecture 4. Internationalisation process

Lecture 5. Foreign direct investment strategies, cross-border M&As and IJVs

Lecture 6. Managing across cultures

Lecture 7. Institutions, opportunities and threats in emerging markets

Lecture 8. Subsidiary level strategies

Lecture 9. CSR and global adoption of CSR practices

Lecture 10. Emerging issues in global strategy

Revision session - Spring

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

While MM394 makes use of several methods and activities to stimulate learning, relative to its pre-requisite modules MM276 (previously MM272) it places even heavier emphasis on the case method of learning using high quality cases about real managers, strategic problems and multinational enterprises. Case analysis allows students to experience the challenges of real-life managers, to learn the craft of strategic management and business policy by simulated problem-solving and decision-making. Students are set specific pre-class tasks in the form of guided case preparation assignments. Lecturing will include brief, focused reviews of the most challenging aspects of learning from cases, and to synthesize the theoretical aspects of the module. case study discussions may also take place during the small group seminars. By the end of the module, students should be able to compare and evaluate the sometimes-competing logics and theories presented in the module and to synthesize learnings with those from prerequisite modules. 

Pre-readings for MM394 will be principally drawn from the adopted module textbook, supplemented by scholarly articles drawn from high quality academic journals and publishers, such as The Financial Times, The Economist, and Harvard Business Review, and by video clips.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 2
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study 130 43
Total hours by term 155.00 45.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Report 20
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One three-hour unseen written paper. Examinations take place in the summer term.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will complete an end of Module final examination, and formative and summative coursework comprising one group report (20%) based on the global strategy of a company selected by the students and agreed upon in class and the group presentation (20%) associated with the company analysis.

The presentation will be during the final lecture in week 10  of Spring Term and the group report will be due during week 11 of Spring Term

Formative assessment methods:

The group report and group presentation assignments should be completed by the deadlines discussed in Lecture 1.

Feedback on, and evaluation of, summative assignments will generally be given within two weeks or earlier. Feedback to improve student learning is primarily in-class oral feedback in lectures and tutorials, delivered by the Module Convenor. Written formative assessment and feedback to increase students’ understanding of the module will primarily be based on slides and on comments written onto whiteboards during lectures and tutorials. These will include lessons learned from case studies in the form of wrap-up slides.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy. 

? where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;

?  where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A weighted average mark of coursework and examination of 40%.

Reassessment arrangements:
By written examination only.
Re-examination for Part 3 modules takes place in August/September of the same year. Coursework is not included in the reassessment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books


Last updated: 20 April 2018


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