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    International Strategy


    All tracks

    Follow-up / Interfaces:

    International Marketing


    Pre-reading and preparation tasks


    Lecture, case studies, group tasks, individual tasks, plenum discussions


    Term Paper

    ECTS points:



    Mark Peters

    Aims and objectives:

    International Management concerns the challenges involved in the management of business activities that cross National Boarders.

    The objectives of this course are as follows:

    • To study the strategies and structures developed by MNCs to compete effectively in a global environment.
    • To understand the complicating role of culture in managing operations that are spread across many Nations
    • To examine the management systems of corporations based in different Countries in order to better understand them both as Competitors and potential Alliance Partners.

    As informed by the three specific objectives stated above, strategy always assists Companies in head-to-head Competition in search of sustained, profitable growth. As Companies battle over market share, and struggle for differentiation, some such Companies decide to go off-shore for such profitability and sustainable growth. Understanding of International Strategy then becomes extremely necessary. This course is aimed at equipping students as to how to understand, develop and execute such International strategy.

    The content of this course emphasizes both conceptual and practical ways to develop such strategy. It is assumed that the participants have some knowledge of basic concepts of strategy, however, the participant’s prior education and experience will assist in determining how much preparation is required.

    As a case-based graduate-level Business Administration Course, the course requires advance preparation and full participation. The quality of learning that takes place in class sessions will largely depend on the participant’s preparation and full participation especially in class discussions.

    Every participant in the class has a responsibility to themselves and their peers to complete pre-class case analyses and readings to understand the relevant strategic concepts in advance. Reference to 4 case studies has been included in this document.

    General learning objectives:

    The MBA programme should provide all participants with a substantial knowledge of all relevant business areas and a holistic understanding of the value chain of a commercial company and how the different functions work together. They should have the insight how to organize and steer an organization.
    The participants of the MBA programme should gain particular knowledge about the strategic approach to run an organization.
    Graduates are capable of developing and defining theory driven, but applied problem solutions for the different areas of international business management. They are also capable of applying their problem solutions to their business environment.
    Graduates understand that any kind of business activity must be designed in order to be sustainable in ever changing, more and more competitive and increasingly international markets. They have the knowledge to develop successful international business operations.
    They are able to apply their intercultural personal skills and their international business knowledge to a great variety of international business activities.
    Graduates are aware that current trends in the society have a direct impact on their business plans and strategies.

    Detailed learning outcomes:

    After completing this programme, students should be able to:

    • Explain the essence of strategy
    • Discuss the nature and role of strategy
    • Explain the content of stategic management
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the strategy process
    • Understand environmental analysis
    • Justify the importance of analysing the macro environment to strategy
    • Analyse the various components of the macro environment
    • Define corporate level strategy
    • Describe the strategic options available to management
    • Explain the dynamics of corporate portfolio management
    • Distinguish the 5 competitive strategies

    This course has been delivered in various MBA programmes and various geographies - its advantage is that students are introduced to the classic 10 strategy tools that will enable them to provide a strategic managment solution related to the specific environment.

    Course textbooks: 

    Christopher Bartlett, Sumantra Ghoshal, Julian Birkinshaw. (2007) Transnational Management: Text, Cases and Reading in Cross-Border Management (5th Ed.) McGrawl Hill-Irwin.

    Content of International Strategy: 

    1. Strategy and Strategic Intent

    • Essence and definitions of strategy
    • Nature and role of Strategy
    • Strategic Management processes
    • Tests for winning strategy
    • Reflecting and practicing on Strategic intent

    2. Strategic Analysis

    • Analysing the Macro environment
    • Analysing the Industry environment´
    • Competitor Analysis
    • Analysing the Internal environment of the company
    • Identifying strengths and weaknesses

    3. Strategic Choices

    • Exploring the concept of Competitive advantage
    • Exploring Core Competence of the corporation
    • What choices are available to the company
    • Exploring the concept of Innovation and value

    4. Strategy Development and Implementation

    • Corporate Strategies
    • Managing the Corporate portfolio
    • Reflecting on corporate strategy: the quest for shareholder valus
    • Managing Stakeholder expectations
    • Business level strategies
    • Monitoring and Evaluating the chosen strategy

    Recommended supplemental readings: 

    Alon, I., ed. (2003) Chinese culture, organizational behaviour, and international business management. Westport, Conn: Praeger.

    Bartlett, C. & Ghoshal S. (2002) Managing across borders: The transnational solution. (2nd edition) Mcgraw-Hill Professional.

    Borrus, M., Ernst, D. & Haggard, S., eds. (2000) International production networks in Asia: Rivalry or riches? London: Routledge.

    Doz, Y. & Hamel, G. (1998) Alliance advantage: The art of creating value through partnering. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

    Doz,Y., J., & Williamson, P. (2001) From global to metanational: How companies win in the knowledge economy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

    Friedman, T. (2000) The Lexus and the olive tree: Understanding globalization. NY: Random House.

    Gannon, M.J. and Newman K., eds. (2002) Handbook of cross-cultural management. Oxford:Blackwell.

    Inagami T. & Whittaker, D.H. (2005) The new community firm: Employment, governance, and management reform in Japan. Cambridge University Press.

    Lewis, J. (2007) Trusted partners: How companies build mutual trust and win together. NY: Free Press.

    McCall M. & Hollenbeck, G. (2002) Developing global executives: The lessons of international experience. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

    Nathan, J. (2004) Japan unbound. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Porter, M. (1998) The competitive advantage of nations. NY: Free Press.

    Rugman, A. (2005) The regional multionationals: MNEs and “global” strategic management. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Taylor, B., Kai, C. & Qi L. (2004) Industrial relations in China. Cheltanham, UK:

    Edward Elgar.

    Van Hoesel, R. (1999) New multinational enterprises from Korea and Taiwan:

    Beyond export-led growth. London: Routledge.

    Whitley, R. (2009) Business systems in East Asia: Firms, markets & societies.

    London: Sage Publications.