MMM073-Theories of the Multinational Enterprise

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

Module Convenor: Mr Karim Kirollos

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the changes in our theoretical understanding of international business. The understanding of multinational enterprises (MNE) can serve as a basis for practical evaluation of the behaviour, strategies and performance of these companies.


A full understanding of how the theories of the MNE have co-evolved along with the technological and institutional changes. Students will develop the ability to apply International Business (IB) theory in assessing MNEs’ role in the contemporary global economy. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  1. Identify and appraise the main approaches to explain the existence and the evolution of MNEs.

  2. Assess MNEs’ behaviour and strategies in the contemporary global economy, and appraise their implications for theory and practice.

  3. Demonstrate awareness of some of the challenges of application of theoretical approaches in different context.

Additional outcomes:

To develop analytical skills that permit students to systematically analyse the role of MNEs in the world economy, and to compose complex analyses.? The ability to develop socio-economic arguments in writing is also an invaluable skill.

Outline content:

  • How the definition of the MNE and IB has changed over the last 70 years 

  • Historical emergence of MNE

  • Theoretical approaches to MNE? 

  • The eclectic framework as an approach to MNEs 

  • Contemporary applications of the theory to evaluate the role of MNEs

Global context:

Places international business and its theory in the context of the global economy. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures are used to provide the knowledge base in conjunction with independent reading. Students will be expected to share their ideas and contribute to classroom discussions during the lectures. Group work is also an element of this module and students will need to work with their group to share their assessed work. Guidance on extended reading of existing literature, combined with annual reports and/or press articles.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 4
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 10
    Wider reading (directed) 26
    Advance preparation for classes 20
    Revision and preparation 60
    Group study tasks 20
    Essay preparation 20
    Reflection 20
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Oral assessment and presentation 50
Class test administered by School 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Students must give a presentation on a country of their choice.  Students will be tasked to give an overview of foreign direct investment in that country, and how this has evolved, a case study of a multinational investing in that country and how their operations have changed overtime, and offer advice to government ministers, on how that country can attract further foreign direct investment in the future.  The pre-seen oral exam will be based on a question around assessing the arguments for believing that foreign direct investment is positive for their chosen country.  Follow up questions to their answers will also be undertaken.  The combined presentation, oral examination question and follow up questions will last 30 minutes.  Students will be assessed between weeks 8 and 10.

There will be one class test worth 50%. Questions will be centred around the applicability of international business theories to explain contemporary international business. The word count will be 2000 words.  Due date will be in the first week of spring term. 

Formative assessment methods:

Lectures and seminars contain interactive exercises, and these allow for formative feedback. 

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 50%+.



Reassessment arrangements:

Resit by examination only during the August University Resit Period.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 30 March 2023


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