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2012/2013  BA-HAI_3IBS  International Business Strategy

English Title
International Business Strategy

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course period Third Quarter, Spring
Week 5-14
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc in International Business
Course coordinator
  • Jens Gammelgaard - Department of International Economics and Management
Secretary Marianne Christensen - mc.int@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Management
Last updated on 28-08-2012
Learning objectives
The basic objective of this course is to familiarize the students with international business strategy principles and take the students from theory to strategy applications through the use of case studies and assignments, and by emphasizing the scientific discipline of measurement construction. The student will acquire knowledge about what strategy is and the different functions and elements of operations in international business firms. The students will expand their experience base by applying a variety of strategic principles in the analysis and discussion of a number of theories, models and specific case studies.

At the completion of this course the students will be able to:

Identify key theories, models and concepts of international strategic business and management
Construct relevant measurements for strategic analysis that connects the theoretical models to a practical setting
Analyse complex international business situations
Develop coherent strategies for both headquarters and subsidiaries of the multinational company

To gain the highest grade in the 72-hours exam, students must demonstrate a complete command of the theoretical model and its core concepts, measurements must be solid and substantial argued, and data collections should be rich and perfectly match these measurements. Students must show a thoroughly understanding of the case, and departing from this, students must be able to combine theory and data to fully cover the question addressed and simultaneously prepare a solid ground for company recommendations.

To gain the highest grade in the 4-hours written closed book exam, students must be able to fully recall basic models and concepts from the curriculum and present them in a comprehensive and well-argued way. Departing from this, students can put their finding into new perspectives.
The course has two seperate exams, each counting 7.5 ECTS.
International Business Strategy Written:
Type of test Written Exam
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period April and August, the regular exams takes place in April. Make-up and re-examination takes place in August.
Aids Closed Book
Duration 4 Hours
No aids allowed other than basic language dictionaries at the 4 hours' written closed book exam (e.g. from mother tongue to English and vice versa and English/English).

Home assignment
72 hours individual home assignment
Max. 8 standard pages
One grade on the 7-step scale, assessed by internal examiner and external examiner
Declaration of Authorship must be included
Make-up and Re-examinations takes place according to the same rules as the regular exams.
Course content

The course will be focused on the below-mentioned topics

  • Basic concepts of strategy
  • Industry analysis and multi-market competitive strategy
  • The Resource based view
  • The Knowledge based view
  • Transaction cost economics
  • Network theory
  • Institutional theory

  • Multinational corporations and their organizational structures
  • Strategic development of subsidiaries
  • Diversification

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Strategic alliances
  • Knowledge management practices
  • Multinational corporations and their innovation- and R&D activity
  • Multinationality
  • Multinational corporations and legitimacy issues

The course, therefore, includes three focus points: 1) Basic theory of the firm and its strategy; 2) Organization principles of the multinational/international firm, and 3) Implementation of strategy in the MNC

In this course, students learn to apply theory to practice by developing measurements, collecting data, and making analyses used for strategic decision making in multinational corporations. Further, students are trained in defining core themes within international business. Students are offered the opportunity to write short pieces in groups regarding a specific business problem, and to present findings in class. Some of the lecture hours will further be dedicated to exam preparation.

By presenting several cases of multinational companies in class this course in particular relates to a business setting. Further, guest speakers from business environment will be invited to this course. The course, further, includes a case competition. Finally, the MNC will be analyzed in relation to its environment, which relates the course to an institutional setting.

The core theme of the course is the strategy of multinational corporations. The relationships between parent company and subsidiaries will further be emphasized. A comparative study is made of Danish investments in India and China respectively. These three aspects connect the course to international business and economics theme.

Finally, teaching will be research based, as the curriculum includes articles written by the lecturer. Furthermore, a guest speaker from University of Bradford is invited to this course

Teaching methods
The teaching will be based on lectures with presentations of theories and models combined with chat group discussions, small group works and class discussions. Concepts will be exemplified by case studies. Emphasis will be on two-way dialogue rather than a one-way communication from instructor to student, so the student must be prepared to answer questions in class and participate in discussions.

Lectures will create an overview, present examples, clarify and elaborate on selected areas, as well as respond to questions from students. As part of the lectures students will also from time to time actively work on small exercises and present and discuss the findings. The use of small chat group discussion will be used throughout the course.

For each lesson – and its belonging to curriculum, there will be published a reading instruction in Site Scape. The instructions include the questions, which will be the basis for group work and class discussions.

Throughout the course student groups present their findings in regard to a self-chosen focus-case and lead the class discussion. Further, all groups participate in a mini-case competition.
Student workload
Classes 60 hours
Workshop/exercises 10 hours
Preparation for class and exams 304 hours
Home Assignment 72 hours
Written 4-hour examination 4 hours
Further Information
The course has two seperate exams, each counting 7.5 ECTS:
  • 4 hours' written closed book exam assessed by one internal examiner.
  • 72 hours' individual home assignment assessed by internal examiner and external examiner.
Expected literature

Packet of readings

Last updated on 28-08-2012