SM9546 - Managing People Across Borders

What will I learn on this module?

This module will teach you about challenges that face firms which operate in global and multi-cultural business environments. Global firms need to understand the vast differences in the environments in which they operate. In this module, you will learn how to assess and overcome these challenges in order to run a successful firm. To aid in this exploration, you will learn about theories and frameworks that explain cultural and institutional differences between countries, and the impact of these differences on individuals, teams, and firms’ behaviour. You will examine the strategies and structures that can be used by multinational enterprises to address these challenges and how an effective international human resource approach can be developed. You will explore the challenges of managing people across borders in the context of decision-making, leading and motivating culturally diverse employees, and knowledge transfer across national boundaries. Through these subjects, you will also have the opportunity to build your employability skills supported by activities and discussion tailored to international business management. Finally, the ethical issues arising from operating in multi-cultural environments will be examined.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be introduced to key concepts and theories in one-hour lectures and supported throughout with contemporary examples and case studies. Your lectures will provide key explanations of theoretical issues. To support lecture materials, you will also be supplied with a detailed reading list to further illustrate how these theories and frameworks can be applied to organisations operating in an international business context. Additionally, the use of documentary videos and current news stories will provide a contemporary dimension to the studies. All necessary materials will be available through the e-learning portal.

You will also have two-hour seminars, which will involve discussing case studies in groups, critiquing alongside applying frameworks and concepts to explain work-place behaviour and how it is shaped by cultural differences. You will be provided with supplementary material before your seminar as well as topic-related tasks that will build your knowledge base. You will have the opportunity to work individually as well as in groups, where appropriate, in order to foster collaboration, team building skills and to increase your intercultural awareness.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and the teaching team delivering lectures/seminars. A team of academic staff are allocated seminars of about 20 students. These small-group seminars will provide a closer and more personal academic support. Your seminar groups are typically based on study programme cohorts, so you will be taught here alongside fellow members from your particular degree.

This module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses teaching and learning plan, lecture materials, seminar briefs, and assessment details.

You will be provided with a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of various academic textbooks, journal articles, business journals and relevant websites that showcase the application of knowledge acquired in the module.

The module assessment consists of a coursework assignment which will be distributed at the beginning of the teaching semester. The eLearning portal will be used to permanently host these tasks after release to ensure that you can access the information required at all times.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• Demonstrate knowledge of how multinationals enterprises are designed, developed and managed (MLO1)
• Critically examine the impact of cross-cultural and institutional differences on a range of managerial issues. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Demonstrate and develop the ability to work and communicate effectively in multi-cultural teams. (MLO3)
• Critically appraise the suitability of management practices in different cultural and national contexts (MLO4)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• Develop an awareness of the cultural and ethical issues surrounding managing people across national contexts. (MLO5)

How will I be assessed?

The module assessment comprises one component of individual assessment (weighted at 100%). This will be case based assignment investigating the conduct of a company internationally with regards to its international management strategy, organisational structure, HRM systems, and knowledge sharing strategies (2500 words maximum).

The assessment will address MLO1, MLO2 MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.




Module abstract

The success of firms operating in global and multicultural business environments rests on their understanding of cross-cultural differences and how to manage them. This module explores contemporary theories and evidence from practice to develop an understanding on how cultures differ, and the impact of these differences on employees’ and firms’ behaviour and success. You’ll examine the challenges of managing people across national and cultural boundaries around issues such as leadership, motivation, knowledge sharing, and global talent management. Case-based scenarios will evolve your skills in applying theory. The assessment involves a case-based assignment investigating the international conduct of a company which will develop your research and critical thinking skills. Overall, the module will help you develop multi-cultural capabilities highly valued by employers in today’s globalised world.

Course info

UCAS Code N180

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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