SM4008 - International Business: Contexts and Challenges

What will I learn on this module?

This module examines worldwide integration of economic, political, and socio-cultural aspects of business in order to explore and understand the impact of globalisation on countries, organizations, and individuals. You will develop a world-view of the global marketplace. You will learn how knowledge and understanding of the global environment affect business functions. Special consideration is given to key issues in ethics, global social responsibility and technology. You will also gain essential knowledge of international business management and will learn how to evaluate challenges of organisational functioning in the global economy. You will be engaged in the analysis of the wider impact of individual and organisational decision making with respect to the business environments in major world markets. The aim of the module is to introduce you to the main International Business (IB) theories relating to external environment analysis and demonstrate how they can be used to inform strategic decisions.
You will also engage with key issues pertinent to the global business environment today, particularly as it pertains to recognising global shifts in political and culture as well as developments in emerging economies and least developed countries.

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures and directed reading will be used to introduce main concepts and frameworks and illustrate how these can be applied to global and international business contexts and organisations. Lectures will serve as key deliveries and explanations of the frameworks and theoretical issues. Lectures and seminars will take place in accordance with your timetable. For more productive engagement into learning activities for some seminars you will work in teams divided by the seminar tutors. You will prepare and present the accomplished seminar tasks in the teaching sessions during the semester. Detailed seminar briefs with the explanation of the activities and preparation for each seminar will be available on the Blackboard. You will work individually as well as in groups, where appropriate, to increase intercultural awareness and formative feedback on the results of your collaboration will be provided in each seminar by the seminar tutor.

The studies will be augmented via directed pre-seminar tasks with individuals reporting back and presenting their work. You will therefore face lectures, directed learning via seminar tasks, group work and presentations to cement knowledge, analysis of case studies and formative feedback at seminars underpinned by extensive independent study and research. Formative assessment will take place through group work, assignment discussion, case study activity and theory/practice related discussions in the context of the module teaching and learning plan.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.

Independent learning will centre upon the participants identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc.

Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy along with the explicit development of competence.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. You can therefore expect the reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all workshop/seminar sessions through undertaking activities which facilitate them to apply theory to ‘real-life’ situations, critically analysing and making recommendations for appropriate ways forward for the organization/individual. Participation in the enquiry-based work in the seminar activities is seen as vital in increasing your appreciation of global citizenship, cross-cultural intelligence and developing ability to work in diverse international groups.

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:
1. Apply knowledge of international business environments and critically evaluate challenges of organisational functioning in the global economy (MLO1)

2. Analyse the wider impact of shifts in the global business environment on organisations and individuals, with deep appreciation for the interconnectivity of world markets (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Be able to engage in critical –thinking and discussion on the complexity of the global business within diverse student groups. (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
Develop an appreciation for cultural and ethical challenges in the global business environment (ML04)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
The seminar sessions will be interactive and will require students to participate in group work tasks such as case study analysis. Formative feedback will be provided by tutors and peers in these sessions which will assist students in developing their understanding of the themes, reflecting on their learning and reflecting on their team effectiveness.

Students will also be required to undertake a group task and present the results of group work with informal feedback from tutors and other students.

Summative assessment:
The summative element of the assessment is made up of two components.

Component 1: In groups, students will undertake the role of a government representative looking to promote FDI in their home country through a short pitch and poster presentation, this will be followed by a personal assessment of team effectiveness (weighted at 40%) This will assess MLO1, and MLO3 [assessing goals 2.1 and 3.1]
This will assess MLO3 and MLO4

Component 2: Students will write a 2500 word report on a real-world scenario designed to test students' ability to engage in research, select information, synthesise and draw relevant conclusions. The case-based assignment will allow students to demonstrate their theoretical as well as practical knowledge of analytical frameworks and current events affecting international businesses operating within the key regions of the world economy (weighted at 60%).
This will assess ML01, MLO2 and MLO3
[assessing goals 4.2]





Module abstract

The central theme of this module will be the study and evaluation of the international business environment. Globalisation is the worldwide trend of business expanding beyond their domestic borders. To compete in today's global economy managers need to be able to apply management principles across countries and cultures with suitable adaptation in the process. Adopting a truly global perspective of management, this module presents current thinking in international business theory and practice. It exposes students to the environment of International Business and Multinational Corporations. It will cover topics such as country environments (e.g., political, legal, financial and economic contexts), culture, foreign direct investment, regionalism and integration, emerging economies, least developed countries, climate change, corporate governance and market studies. The main objective is to achieve an enhanced understanding of the interconnectivity and complexity of the global business environment. Challenges of doing business in emerging markets present a special interest in our delivery.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year Full Time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

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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