MMM071-International Business Environment

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2023/4

Module Convenor: Dr Jose Eduardo Ibarra-Olivo

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module studies the contemporary international business environment from different theoretical perspectives while drawing on relevant empirical evidence. Students learn about the role of multinational firms, institutions and political economic systems, technological changes and geography in shaping the international business environment. The focus is on the actors and the complex set of networked interactions, embedded in different institutional frameworks and grounded in different geographies, that make up the global geo-economy.


The module aims to analyse the opportunities and threats in the global economy stemming from global shifts. It enables students to gain knowledge of a basic set of frameworks and concepts from diverse theories to describe and discuss the geography of the contemporary international business environment. The aim is to identify the main actors and institutions in the global economy, examine their interactions and critically assess their roles in determining the distribution of economic outcomes at different geographical scales.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, students should be able to: 

  • Discuss the nature and limits of economic globalisation and explain the transformations in the geographies of the global economy.  

  • Describe the nature of geographical embeddedness of multinational enterprises and evaluate the spatial extent of global production networks. 

  • Assess the role of institutions and states at different geographical scales in shaping international trade and investment activities. 

  • Discuss the impact of technological changes, innovation, and geographic dispersion on the international business environment. 

  • Assess the extent of power asymmetry in shaping economic relations and evaluate the distribution of gains and losses in the global economy across different geographical scales. 

Additional outcomes:

The course aims to develop solid research-driven critical thinking and analytical skills. In addition, general skills for future employment and professional development are developed throughout the course such as, collaborative work, integration and organisation, and effective written and oral communication.

Outline content:

  • Changes in the geographies of Globalisation.

  • The geography of the multinational firm. 

  • Institutions, political economy, and varieties of capitalism.

  • Economic relations in Global Production Networks.

  • Technological changes and systems of innovation. 

  • Environmental effects of Global Production Networks

  • Distribution of gains and losses in the global economy.

  • Global industries.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

A combination of synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning methods is used. Lectures and seminars are complemented with screencasts and learning activities, both individual and collaborative. Students are required to read a wide range of literature from academic articles, book chapters, statistical sources, reports to editorials. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 3
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 120
    Exam revision/preparation 50
    Preparation for tutorials 7
Total hours by term 0 150 50
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour unseen written paper 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One group coursework assignment worth 40%.

Submission date: Week 31.



Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: 

Assessment requirements for a pass:

The pass mark is C or 50%+. 

The merit mark is B or 60%+. 

The distinction mark is 70%+. 

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment arrangements: By examination only (coursework will not be included in the re-assessment) in August/September. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 30 March 2023


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