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2011/2012  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/MSc i International Business and Politics
Course Coordinator
  • Jasper Hotho - Center for Strategic Management and Globalization
Main Category of the Course
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
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 issues.

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.
International Business Strategy:
Assessment Oral with Written Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship External examiners
Exam Period Winter Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration 72 Hours
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.
Re-examination when ill at the hand-in deadline or when the ordinary examination is failed, is a 4-hour written closed book exam. It is allowed to bring basic language dictionaries (e.g. Danish/English, English/Danish and English Danish) to the exam. It is not allowed to bring specialized dictionaries (e.g. English/Danish dictionary on financial terms). Pocket calculators are not allowed.
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