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2011/2012  KAN-CM_C21  Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Corporation in the Global Economy

English Title
Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Corporation in the Global Economy

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course Period Spring . Fourth Quarter
Changes in course schedule may occur Wednesday 9.50-11.30, week 14 Wednesday 9.50-13.20, week 15-21
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course Coordinator
  • Marina Papanastassiou - Center for Strategic Management and Globalization
Main Category of the Course
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Management
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
  • Apply the appropriate theoretical background in answering applied and empirical questions-issues related to MNC global activities and /or foreign direct investment trends in various countries
  • Develop and support arguments in an methodologically accepted manner by recognising the relevant literature and relate them accordingly
  • Use multiple and relevant sources related to real world MNCs and/or country foreign investment profiles of both quantitative and qualitative nature in order to provide the appropriate empirical background to the topic of the project .
  • Address the questions-issues in the project in an accurate and critical but also creative and innovative manner integrating deductive and inductive approaches.
Individual project exam/home assignment , 15 A4-pages.
Individual project exam/home assignment.:
Assessment Home Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship No censorship
Exam Period May/June
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below

Individual project exam/home assignment , 15 A4-pages.
The project must be submitted at the end of the teaching term. The student is not entitled to supervision.
Access to all library sources and to individual computer.
Course Content

In an ever growing compex international investment scene the aim of the course is:

  • To provide an in-depth understanding of the evolution of Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Corporation (MNC) as a key global investment player.
    • To develop an informed theoretical background on core international investment and strategy theories that will allow for a thorough and critical understanding of the modern MNC
    • Special emphasis is placed on the way the modern MNC organizes its activities i.e. the role of headquarters, subsidiaries and how this determines their relations with other firms in forms of strategic alliances , joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions
    • Analyse the competitive advantages through which MNCs compete globally with emphasis on global innovation strategies
    • To assess the impact of MNCs on their home and host economies
    • To critically analyse the role of MNCs in global issues such as the environment, food security, sustainable growth and the financial crisis.
    • To discuss newcomer MNCs from emerging economies and small developed economies and analyse their role in shaping global competition


The syllabus includes topics such as:

  • Historical review of the evolution of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and the multinational corporation (MNC). Terminology and methods of internationalization.
  • Overview and analysis of main international business and economics theories and how they allow us to understand FDI (e.g. product cycle, transaction costs, the Hymer approach, Dunning’s OLI, new trade theories and economic geography) and assess the impact of FDI and MNCs on home and host economies
  • Understanding the MNC; from economics to strategy. We will try to get into the “black box” of the modern MNC by discussing the strategic expansion of MNCs, the role of subsidiaries and the role of technology in shaping the contemporary MNC network.
  • Analysis of contemporary topics related to the impact of MNCs in world economy, such as climate change, emerging MNCs.
Teaching Methods
The course will be delivered in a lecture format with a combination of theory and extensive discussion and development of case studies. Class participation is both encouraged and expected.

The main text book for the course is:

Grazia Ietto-Gillies, (2005), Transnational Corporations and International Production. Concepts, Theories and Effects, Cheltenham: E. Elgar.

Dunning, J. (1998) Location and the Multinational Enterprise: A Neglected Factor? Journal of International Business Studies