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2012/2013  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
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period Fourth Quarter
Changes in course schedule may occur
Wednesday 08.00-09.40, week 15
Wednesday 08.00-11.30, week 16-22
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
Administrative contact: Karina Ravn Nielsen, electives.lpf@cbs.dk or direct phone 3815 3782.
Main Category of the Course
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Management
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 16-10-2012
Learning objectives
Upon completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the strategic evolution of MNCs and their role in the global economy and identify the current topics in the understanding of the modern MNCs
  • Define the required theoretical background that will support the analysis of the contemporary MNC and review critically the existing literature in a deductive manner
  • Work with cases of leading MNCs and learn to exctract key empirical evidence and information in a critical manner in order to support with evidence theoretical arguments
  • Develop the research questions, in an inductive manner, that will address future developments in the understanding of the MNC
  • Raise informed topics on public policy and company global strategy formulation and management decision making agenda.
Individual project exam/home assignment.:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period May/June, Max. 15 pages.
The student is not entitled to supervision.
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
Access to all library sources and to individual computer is reqired.
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.
Expected literature

The main text book for the course is:

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

A series of articles from leading academic journals as well as international organisation' reports such as the World Investment Report.

Last updated on 16-10-2012