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2010/2011  KAN-1IBS  International Business Strategy

English Title
International Business Strategy

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for BSc in International Business
Course Coordinator
  • Jasper Hotho - Center for Strategic Management and Globalization
Main Category of the Course
  • Corporate and Business Strategy

Taught under Open University-Taught under open university.
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
The basic objective of this course is to familiarize the students with a wide range of
different perspectives on MNEs and international business strategy, and to take the
students from theory to strategy application through the use of case studies. The
student will acquire knowledge about the various facets of international strategy and
strategizing, and about the inherent tensions that underlie international strategy
After completing the course students should demonstrate:
  • An understanding of the different theoretical perspectives on MNEs and how different theories relate to different views on the nature of MNEs as economic actors.
  • An understanding of the strategic challenges MNEs face today, and how MNEs organize for sustained competitive advantage in an increasingly globalized world.
  • The ability to both recognize and analytically reflect on the international strategy issues covered in the course, and to critically reflect on and connect the discussed theoretical perspectives to current management problems.
Individual oral exam based on group synopsis (max.10 pages)
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship External examiners
Exam Period Autumn Term
Individual oral exam based on group synopsis (max.10 pages). Group sizes may
vary depending on students’ preference, providing the group size does not include
more than five or less than three students. You are responsible for finding team
members to write the synopsis with.
The grade is based on the student’s oral performance. Graded by teacher and
external censor according to the 7-point scale. Each student is graded individually.
Prerequisites for Attending the Exam
Course Content

Strategic challenges are often described as ‘wicked’ problems. They tend to be
complex, hard to clearly define, interconnected with other (organizational) issues and
generally characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity and conflict. And the complexity of
strategic issues and strategy-making only increases further once firms expand
abroad. For managers, that means that there often are no simple solutions to
international strategy issues. Thus, over-simplifying strategic management by taking
a ‘cookie-cutter approach’, as often found in more normative strategy textbooks,
does little to prepare students for future decision-making. Strategy issues are
complex, and there are no quick fixes.
Instead, this course starts from the premise that a better way to prepare you to make
strategic decisions is by developing your ability to understand the complexity of
strategy issues, recognize the trade-offs that exist, and infer which strategic solution
fits best given the circumstances. To that end, this course takes a more-or-less
dialectical approach to strategizing and studying strategy.

Teaching Methods
We meet once a week for a three-hour session. The exact format of the sessions will
differ slightly from week to week, but in practice the sessions will either be structured
as a combination of lecturing and class-wide case discussions or as a full 3-hour
strategy workshop, depending on the topic. In both formats, case discussions take
central stage, and students are expected to come to class prepared (i.e. we expect
that you have read the case). To facilitate classroom discussions we will split up the
group in two. Group 1 will meet on Tuesdays and group 2 meets on Wednesdays.

Forsgren, M. (2008) Theories of the Multinational Firm: A Multidimensional Creature
in the Global Economy. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.
De Wit, B. and Meyer, R. (2010) Strategy: Process, Content, Context (4th ed.)
Andover, U.K.: Cengage Learning.
Various supplementary readings