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2019/2020  KAN-CCMVI2097U  International Strategic Management

English Title
International Strategic Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Henrik Gundelach - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
For academic questions related to the course, please contact instructor Henrik Gundelach at hg.msc@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 16/04/2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Identify key concepts, frameworks and theories behind international strategic management practices discussed during the course.
  • Use relevant theories and frameworks to analyze challenges and problems associated with implementation of international management practices.
  • Understand and assess the dilemmas and challenges facing the international manager in different contexts and different phases of the business cycle.
  • Discuss how recent developments in international business challenges conventional strategic management practices.
  • Apply and critically assess international strategic management theories and frameworks to real cases.
Course prerequisites
Completed Social Science Bachelor
International Strategic Management:
Exam ECTS 7.5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Please see text below
4 hour home assignment. No requirement for maximum number of pages.
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 4 hour home assignment in the period of 27–31 July 2020
Retake exam: 4 hour home assignment in the period of 28 September–2 October 2020
3rd attempt (2nd retake) exam: 72-hour home assignment- 23-26 November 2020 – for all ISUP courses simultaneously

Exam schedules available on https:/​/​www.cbs.dk/​uddannelse/​international-summer-university-programme-isup/​courses-and-exams
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Retake exam: 4 hour home assignment, new exam question
Exam form for 3rd attempt (2nd retake): 72-hour home project assignment, max. 10 pages.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Internationalization is reshaping our world, and it will continue to do so. International firms manufacture, sell, service and employ people in markets with different cultures, beliefs, laws and socio-economic development in comparison to their home market. To cope with the dynamics brought by an increased international activity, firms need to develop strategies and international managerial capabilities to compete and survive in today’s world. This course examines the international environment, strategic and managerial issues related to international firms’ operation. In this course we move beyond the ‘usual suspects’ of European and North American countries to base some of the topics covered around situations in Africa. We also incorporate some CSR and sustainability issues, and we direct our attention toward the exciting topic of cross-cultural management. This case based course is designed to stimulate discussions concerning managerial decision making and reflections on contemporary international strategic management topics. Lectures and case analysis will provide key elements regarding firms’ strategies and management across cultural and geographical borders.

Among the core topics of the course are:
• Globalization Trends and Firms' Internationalization
• The Context of International Management
• The Role of Culture across Boundaries
• Developing International Management Capabilities
• Formulating and Implementing Strategy for International Firms
• Management of International Relations and Risk
• Organizational Structure and Control Systems
Students will learn to identify key concepts, frameworks and theories behind international strategic management practices; and to creatively apply knowledge from different approaches to the problems facing today’s international firms.


Preliminary assignment: Complete a pre-course survey and read a few short texts about Globalization and the Corporate World.
Class 1: Internationalization and Management - An Overview
Class 2: The International Context
Class 3: The Role of Culture in the Corporate World
Class 4: The International Manager's Role and Environment
Class 5: Developing International Management Capabilities
Class 6: Formulating a Corporate Strategy
Feedback activity:
Class 7: Implementing Market Entry Strategy
Class 8: Subsidiary Management across Boundaries
Class 9: Managing Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Class 10: Management of External Relations and Risk
Class 11: Organization Structure and Control Systems
Description of the teaching methods
This year all courses are taught digitally over the Internet. Instructors will apply a mixture of direct teaching through a live link (like Skype, Team, Zoom…) and indirect, where visual pre-recorded material is uploaded on Canvas. The instructor will inform participants about the precise format on Canvas.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will be asked to produce a short draft for an international corporate strategy. Feedback will be provided in Classes 6 and 7
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 20 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 126 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 20 hours
Further Information
Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.
Course timetable is available on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams
We reserve the right to cancel the course if we do not get enough applications. This will be communicated on https://www.cbs.dk/uddannelse/international-summer-university-programme-isup/courses-and-exams end March 2020.
Expected literature

Mandatory readings:


Alharbi, J., Gelaidan, H., Al-Swidi, A., & Saeed, A. (2016). Control mechanisms employed between headquarters and subsidiaries in Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). Review of International Business and Strategy, 26(4), 493-516. doi:10.1108/​ribs-03-2016-0018
Colakoglu, S., & Caligiuri, P. (2008). Cultural distance, expatriate staffing and subsidiary performance: The case of US subsidiaries of multinational corporations. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(2), 223-239. doi:10.1080/​09585190701799804
Dicken, P. (2015). The Centre of Gravity Shifts: Transforming the Geographies of the Global Economy. In Global Shift (pp. 13-46). London, England: SAGE Publications, Ltd.
Dikova, D., van Witteloostuijn, A., & Parker, S. (2017). Capability, environment and internationalization fit, and financial and marketing performance of MNEs' foreign subsidiaries An abductive contingency approach. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 24(3), 405-435. doi:10.1108/​Ccsm-01-2016-0003
Dow, D., Baack, D., & Parente, R. (2018). The role of psychic distance in entry mode decisions: Magnifying the threat of opportunism or increasing the need for local knowledge? Global Strategy Journal, (forthcoming). doi:10.1002/gsj.1309
Drogendijk, R., & Holm, U. (2012). Cultural distance or cultural positions? Analysing the effect of culture on the HQ-subsidiary relationship. International Business Review, 21(3), 383-396. doi:10.1016/​j.ibusrev.2011.05.002
Elango, B., & Chen, S. (2012). Learning to manage risks in international R&D joint ventures through ownership decisions. Management Decision, 50(7-8), 1425-1444. doi:10.1108/​00251741211262015
Figueira-de-Lemos, F., Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J. E. (2011). Risk management in the internationalization process of the firm: A note on the Uppsala model. Journal of World Business, 46(2), 143-153. doi:10.1016/​j.jwb.2010.05.008
Ghemawat, P. (2001). Distance still matters. The hard reality of global expansion. Harv Bus Rev, 79(8), 137-140, 142-137, 162.
Gong, Y. (2006). The impact of subsidiary top management team national diversity on subsidiary performance: Knowledge and legitimacy perspectives. Management International Review, 46(6), 771-790. doi:10.1007/​s11575-006-0126-2
Greenberg, E., Hirt, M., & Smit, S. (2016). The global forces inspiring a new narrative of progress. McKinsey Quarterly, 1-20.
Gundelach, H. (2019). Subsidiary Survival in Challenging Business Environments in Africa. Working Paper. Copenhagen Business School. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Gundelach, H., & Hansen, M. W. (2019). The Dynamics of Entry Mode Choice in Challenging Business Environments: An Exploratory Study of Medium Sized Exporters’ Entry into Africa. International Journal of Export Marketing, Forthcoming.
Kogut, B., & Singh, H. (1988). The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode. Journal of International Business Studies, 19(3), 411-432. doi:10.1057/​palgrave.jibs.8490394
Lovett, S. R., Pérez-Nordtvedt, L., & Rasheed, A. A. (2009). Parental control: A study of U.S. subsidiaries in Mexico. International Business Review, 18(5), 481-493. doi:10.1016/​j.ibusrev.2009.05.001
Markides, C. (2004). What is strategy and how do you know if you have one? Business Strategy Review, 15(2), 5-12.
Minguet, L., Caride, E., Yamaguchi, T., & Tedjarati, S. (2014). Voices from the Front Lines. Harvard Business Review, 92(9), 77-82.
Nielsen, B. B., & Nielsen, S. (2013). Top management team nationality diversity and firm performance: A multilevel study. Strategic Management Journal, 34(3), 373-382. doi:10.1002/smj.2021
Porter, M. E. (1989). From competitive advantage to corporate strategy. In In Readings in strategic management (pp. 234-255). London, England: Palgrave.
Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating Shared Value The Idea in Brief. Harvard Business Review, 1-13. doi:10.1029/2012JD018487
Prahalad, C. K., & Hart, S. L. (2002). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. strategy + business, 26(26), 54-67.
Rygh, A. (2019). Multinational enterprises and economic inequality. Critical perspectives on international business, (ahead-of-print). doi:10.1108/​cpoib-09-2019-0068
Sheehan, M. (2012). Investing in management development in turbulent times and perceived organisational performance: a study of UK MNCs and their subsidiaries. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(12), 2491-2513. doi:10.1080/​09585192.2012.668400
Singh, S., Wood, G., Alharbi, J., & Darwish, T. K. (2016). Control mechanisms of MNEs: an empirical study. Multinational Business Review, 24(3), 279-300. doi:10.1108/​Mbr-07-2016-0027
Stevens, C. E., & Newenham-Kahindi, A. (2017). Legitimacy Spillovers and Political Risk: The Case of FDI in the East African Community. Global Strategy Journal, 7(1), 10-35. doi:10.1002/​gsj.1151 
Tallman, S. (2006). Global Strategic Management. In M. A. Hitt, R. E. Freeman, & J. S. Harrison (Eds.), The Blackwell Handbook of Strategic Management (First ed., pp. 461-487). Malden, MA, USA: Blackwell Publishing.
Wernerfelt, B. (1989). From Critical Resources to Corporate Strategy. Journal of General Management, 14(3), 4-12. doi:Doi 10.1177/​030630708901400301
Zeng, Y. P., Shenkar, O., Lee, S. H., & Song, S. (2013). Cultural differences, MNE learning abilities, and the effect of experience on subsidiary mortality in a dissimilar culture: Evidence from Korean MNEs. Journal of International Business Studies, 44(1), 42-65. doi:10.1057/​jibs.2012.30 
Additional relevant readings:
Akolaa, A. A. (2018). Foreign market entry through acquisition and firm financial performance Empirical evidence from Ghana. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 13(5), 1348-1371. doi:10.1108/​IJoEM-05-2017-0162
Andersson, U., Björkman, I., & Forsgren, M. (2005). Managing subsidiary knowledge creation: The effect of control mechanisms on subsidiary local embeddedness. International Business Review, 14(5), 521-538. doi:10.1016/​j.ibusrev.2005.07.001
Brannen, M. Y., & Doz, Y. L. (2010). From a distance and detached to up close and personal: Bridging strategic and cross-cultural perspectives in international management research and practice. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26(3), 236-247. doi:10.1016/​j.scaman.2010.06.001
Dow, D., Liesch, P., & Welch, L. (2018). Inertia and Managerial Intentionality: Extending the Uppsala Model. Management International Review, 58(3), 465-493. doi:10.1007/​s11575-017-0340-0
Foss, N. J. (2018). Strategic Management: The King Discipline of Business Economics. Conference Presentation. Copenhagen Business School. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Glinkowska, B., & Kaczmarek, B. (2017). The image of the manager-leader of the near future - an outline of the issues. Management-Poland, 21(1), 111-119. doi:10.1515/​manment-2015-0083
Hansen, M. W., & Gundelach, H. (2018). Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Countries: Engine of Development or Tool of Exploitation? In M. Hedegaard (Ed.), Globalisation And The International Economy (pp. 148-159). Copenhagen, Denmark: Djøf Publishing.
IFU - Industrialiseringsfonden for Udviklingslande. (2015). SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS - A HANDBOOK FOR OUR PARTNERS. Copenhagen, Denmark.
International Monetary Fund. (2018). World Economic Outlook - 2018. Retrieved from IMF, Washington, DC, USA.
Karnani, A. (2008). Help, don't romanticize, the poor. Business Strategy Review, 19(2), 48-53. doi:10.1111/​j.1467-8616.2008.00535.x
Kim, S., & Anand, J. (2018). Knowledge complexity and the performance of inter-unit knowledge replication structures. Strategic Management Journal, 39(7), 1959-1989. doi:10.1002/smj.2899
Porter, M. E. (2013). Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems; Talk Video; TED Talk.
Qin, C., Wang, Y., & Ramburuth, P. (2017). The impact of knowledge transfer on MNC subsidiary performance: does cultural distance matter? Knowledge Management Research & Practice, 15(1), 78-89. doi:10.1057/kmrp.2015.24
Sengul, M., & Obloj, T. (2017). Better Safe Than Sorry: Subsidiary Performance Feedback and Internal Governance in Multiunit Firms. Journal of Management, 43(8), 2526-2554. doi:10.1177/​0149206316677298
Shin, D., Hasse, V. C., & Schotter, A. P. J. (2017). Multinational Enterprises within Cultural Space and Place: Integrating Cultural Distance and Tightness-Looseness. Academy of Management Journal, 60(3), 904-921. doi:10.5465/​amj.2015.0423
Teece, D. J. (2000). Firm capabilities and economic development: Implications for the newly industrializing economies. In L. Kim & R. Nelson (Eds.), Technology, learning and innovation: Experiences of newly industrializing economies (pp. 105-128). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
Tomassen, S. (2017). Chapter 19: Liabilities of distance: Governance cost dynamics in mne headquarters-subsidiary relationships. In Progress in International Business Research (Vol. 12, pp. 445-470): Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Last updated on 16/04/2020