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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS1140 Principles of International Business

20 creditsClass Size: 187

Module manager: Giles Blackburne

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides you with a foundation in the theory and practice of international business. It covers core concepts of international business and how these apply to the dynamics and constraints of international business strategy. It also examines the uncertainties and potential for the international expansion of the firm.


The objective of this module is to familiarise students with key concepts, definitions, terminologies and theories of international business studies. The module equips students with the knowledge and understanding needed to appreciate the principles underlying the internationalisation strategies of a firm and the key features of the international business environment within which firms operate.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students identify and explain:
- what international business is and its importance to firms
- the principles underlying the internationalisation strategies of firms
- the nature and theories of the multinational enterprise and of international trade
- the main characteristics of the generic methods used by firms to enter foreign markets
- the implications of internationalization for the various functional areas of a firm
- key features of the environment for international business, especially with regards to dominant source and destination countries and regions

On successful completion of this module students will be able to
- assess the social, economic and political factors which have influenced, and continue to influence international business;
- evaluate the internationalisation strategies of firms
- explore and discuss the interaction between the main dimensions of the international business environment and corporate strategies
- appraise the significance of multinational enterprises

Skills outcomes
- independently analyse concepts and information for critical thoughts;
- develop analytical, presentation, communication and team-working skills;
- confidently articulate their own and others group working skills in a professional context.

Subject Specific:
- students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of, interpret and evaluate the underlying theories and principles of international business.


The module may cover the following core aspects of international business studies:
- What is international business?
- Definitions of the international firm (international, regional, multinational, transnational, global, born global, and the global factory concept).
- Why firms become multinational enterprises (MNEs)?
- What initiates internationalisation (motives, triggers, internal and external barriers).
- Definitions and an historical and current overview of patterns of international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI).
- Globalisation and the role of MNEs in the process of globalisation.
- The international firm and institutional and industry dimension.
- Barriers and non-tariff barriers to trade.
- International trade theory (mercantilism, absolute advantage, comparative advantage and the Ricardian model, Heckscher-Olin Theory, the Product Life Cycle Theory, New Trade Theory, Porter's Diamond).
- Theories of the MNE (the Uppsala model, transactions costs, network theory, internalization theory, the Eclectic theory, the theory of the 'global factory', the resource-based view of the firm).
- An introduction key features of host country markets (Porter's Five Forces model, the PESTLE model - political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental dimensions).
- Definitions and key concepts in the generic entry mode types: direct and indirect exporting, intermediate entry modes (contract manufacture, licensing, franchising, joint ventures and strategic alliances), hierarchical modes (sales representatives, sales and production subsidiaries, regional operations, greenfield versus acquisition as routes to wholly-owned operations).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours173.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students' progress will be monitored through class discussion of the topics considered in the seminars. During these sessions students will be expected to apply the theoretical knowledge gained during lectures and their private study to answering questions.

Students will be given feedback on their responses by the tutor during the class and they will also be provided with suggested responses to the questions in written-form (or via Minerva) after the class has finished (as appropriate).

Students can also obtain feedback on a one-to-one basis from the module team outside the class setting.

The summative assessment of the module takes the form of a final exam.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

The resit for this module will be 100% by 3 hour examination.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/05/2019


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