Course description

International Business


This course together with BTH 2412 Bachelor thesis - International Business - constitutes the specialization in International Business, which will be stated on BI's Diploma.

With the advancement of the globalized economy firms and employees are faced with increased complexity. To succeed in international business, managers have to consider and make decisions about external as well as internal factors. The course will in a systemic way address important factors at both levels. External factors will include international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union as well as other multilateral organizations. To succeed in business knowledge of how these organizations regulate international business is essential.

At the national level the course will introduce students to the importance of institutions - both formal (legal systems, political systems, socio-economic systems) and informal (culture, religion, languages). In order to avoid failure when operating in other national contexts, managers have to be aware of all these different factors.

International organizations and institutions will form the backdrop for firm level analyses. At the firm level the course will introduce students to different types of firm strategies for internationalizing (export, investing abroad); to foreign entry strategies; to building global strategies (greenfield, mergers and acquisitions); to competitive dynamics, to emerging markets (for example the BRICS countries); to new forms of production systems (decentralized, networked, supply chains); as well as the importance of innovation and the emergence of green economy. The course will also provide students with knowledge of multinational companies’ organizational structure, and how to manage people across cultures (cross-cultural HR-strategies).

The course literature is research based and uses practical cases for developing students’ skills to analyze and make a balanced evaluation of topical issues.

Course content

This course consists of  six 2-day sessions, which will cover: key contemporary and challenging IB themes:

  • Globalising business
  • Formal institutions – economic, political & legal systems
  • Informal institutions
  • Firm resources: competitiveness and growth & Competitive dynamics
  • Business ethics & Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Investing abroad directly & Internationalisation process
  • Foreign entry strategies & Structuring and organising MNEs
  • Global Integration and Multilateral organisations
  • Intercultural issues in international business
  • International Human Resource Management & Global Talent Management
  • Revision – Overview of Globalising Business

Learning outcome knowledge

The overall objective of this specialization is to provide students with knowledge of the international business environment and how to manage international and global companies, and culturally diverse employees.

After having completed the course, students should have acquired knowledge of central factors in international business - both on the macro and micro level. In particular, they should have knowledge of national differences in the international business environment, firms’ strategies for serving foreign markets, and for engaging in global competition as well as the implication of institutions, culture and external environments on HRM and managing international careers, cross-border operations and negotiations.

Exam organisation

  • Written assignment: 40%
  • Home exam: 60%