MM303-Strategy and International Business

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: MM1F12 Markets, Marketing and Strategy and AC105A Introductory International Financial Accounting A
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Dr Quyen Nguyen

Type of module:

Summary module description:


This module provides an introduction to the variety of strategic issues confronting managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs), both within the firm and in the global marketplace.


This module is delivered at University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, England and University of Reading, Malaysia.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Strategy and International Business helps students understand the classic components of a strategy and international business. It examines the factors that influence the development and the competitive positioning of multinational enterprises (MNEs). This requires an understanding of both the external international business environment and the internal nature of the firm, its strategy, structure and financial management. A firm’s strategy provides the context within which managers decide what to do, and what not to do, with respect to resource allocation, market selection and organizational development.

In this module we shall introduce you to:

• the core concepts and theoretical models underlying contemporary strategy and international business

• their theoretical and empirical foundations;

• their limitations, and the arguments surrounding them;

• their practical applications to real issues facing real world companies.


Assessable learning outcomes:


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

• describe the frameworks and models used in international business strategy analysis;

• explain the academic reasoning underlying them;

• engage effectively in discussions concerning their relevance and appropriateness, both in general academic terms and in the context of particular firms, situations and environments;

• analyse the strategic issues facing a particular company in a logical and disciplined way.

Additional outcomes:

Students will learn to work independently under pressure of time and make strategic decisions on the organization of their work. They will also develop generic skills for future employment and professional development.

Outline content:

1. Introduction to international business

2. FSA/CSA framework and applications (FSAs: Firm-specific advantages; CSAs: Country-specific advantages)

3. The multinational enterprise (MNE), broad triad regions and global versus regional strategies

4. International culture

5. National competitiveness/ country diamonds

6. Integration/responsiveness framework 

7. Multinational strategy

8. Organizational strategy

9. International financial management in the MNE

10. Flagship strategy framework

Global context:

Use of examples and case studies of firms from a wide range of countries operating in different industries around the world

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Detailed guidance on the main topics of the syllabus and key references are provided in 10x2 hour sessions of lectures, questions and discussions. Students are required to do a significant amount of reading of journal articles, chapters of books, statistical sources and websites of national and international organizations.


There are four tutorials. These last one hour and run every two weeks. Tutorials are compulsory to attend. The purpose of the tutorial session is to help students understand the key concepts and the key theoretical frameworks by application to real world companies with the case study method.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 4
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20
    Wider reading (directed) 20
    Advance preparation for classes 20
    Preparation for seminars 20
    Group study tasks 30
    Essay preparation 50
    Reflection 16
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will be organized into tutorial teams, which will be between 5 to 6 students.

The team assignment will be a collective piece of work, of the maximum length of 3,000 words in total (+10% variation is already included in the word limit). The word limit includes introduction, main body, conclusions, tables and figures, citations, notes and end notes in the text and in the appendices, but excludes the front cover sheet and references. Students are expected to answer all six questions (on average: 3,000 words/ 6 questions = 500 words per question). It must be submitted in Week 8 of the Autumn term of 2022. It is worth 50% of the total assessment weight.

The individual assignment will be an individual piece of work, of the maximum length of 1,500 words in total (+10% variation is already included in the word limit). Students are expected to answer all five questions (on average: 1,500 words/5 questions = 300 words per question). It must be submitted in Week 1 of the Spring term of 2023. It is worth 50% of the total assessment weight.

The assessment focuses on the practical applications of theoretical concepts and frameworks by analysing the international business strategy, the organizational structure, and the financial management of real world multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their foreign subsidiaries. Students are required to research, read, and analyse the firms’ annual reports and documents as well as other sources of information.

All questions for the team assignment and the individual assignment are directly related to lecture materials, practical application exercises after each lecture, tutorials, and reading lists. 

Any paper exceeding the word limit will be penalized and marked down.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

University penalties for late submission apply.  See:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A weighted average of at least 40%

Reassessment arrangements:

By individual assignment only. The mark is capped at 40%.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required text books: £51.56 (for reference purpose only) - Core textbook: Simon Collinson, Rajneesh Narula and Alan M. Rugman (2020). International Business, Eighth Edition. Pearson. 

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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