SM9729 - International Business and Development Impacts

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, students will analyse the organisation of international business activities across countries and consider how these global connections shape development in host / home markets. The module focuses on key business actors, including multinational enterprises (MNEs), governments, SMEs and multilateral institutions operating across borders. In the module, students will critically examine the processes and impacts of foreign direct investment and trade; explore the theoretical foundations of international businesses as policy and development actors; evaluate how MNEs and other international business actors can profitably harness opportunities in host economies and contribute towards addressing vital development challenges.

How will I learn on this module?

Students will explore a range of theoretical perspectives and empirical analyses linking business activity to economic development outcomes. Students are encouraged to critically examine the nature and scope of international business, comparative theories of international trade and investment activity, alongside host country development challenges. Students will use business cases, sector- and country- case studies to encourage the applied understanding of differentiated business relationships and processes, and host country development outcomes.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module will be delivered through teaching and learning activities comprising lectures (2) and seminar (1) weekly. Lectures will introduce theoretical perspectives and empirical cases guided by the tutor. Seminars will support students through directed tasks and guided set reading to support understanding and application of complex concepts in class. Individual and group tasks during seminars will enhance learning, for which formative feedback will be provided. Learning activities will be provided to support and prepare students to perform well in the summative assessment.

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 To acquire an in-depth understanding of the global business environment (MLO1) by examining the organization of international business activities and their impacts on a range of actors in international contexts

2 To understand how international business practices are organised and adapted to respond to changing business environments, and to address development challenges, including the Sustainable Development Goals. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3 To research, understand and communicate complex information and apply the learnings towards addressing complex business and societal challenges as managers and business leaders (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4 To appreciate the complexity involved in interactions between business, state and society in the context of national and global development and the Sustainable Development Goals (MLO4)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment:
The seminar sessions will be interactive and students will participate in team and individual tasks, including presentations and group research tasks. These tasks to be completed in class, with tutor support, will complement the summative assessment. Formative feedback will be provided by tutors in the regular seminar sessions to help students achieve the MLOs.

Summative assessment:
Students will be assessed through a 100% weighted final assignment, which is a 3500-word individual task exploring aspects of development impacts related to international business. The task will test students’ ability to complete a research task, analyse complex information, apply theory and learning to address real-world issues and make recommendations of relevance to business managers and society. This will address MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4.





Module abstract

In this module, International Business and Development Impacts, students will explore the complex and dynamic links between international businesses, governments, and society in the context of national and global development. As key actors in the competitive global economy, international businesses have the potential to contribute towards economic and social development objectives, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Students will explore contemporary debates on international businesses as development and policy actors in host economies, and evaluate the potential for initiatives such as the UN Global Compact to involve business actors in development.

Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical and empirical perspectives, and supported to analyse the complex interactions between international business and broader development. They will;
• Explore the complex organisation of international business activities across countries and regions.
• Review theories and concepts which seek to explain development or its absence /presence.
• Understand the determinants of foreign direct investment (FDI) in terms of motives, ownership structures and locations in developing versus developed countries.
• Analyse the impacts of FDI in terms of economic growth, technology transfer, job creation and skills, local businesses, financial volatility, incentives and taxes.
• Analyse the arguments for and against international businesses as development and policy actors, and the theories and arguments for and against promoting (or restricting) foreign direct investment by host governments.
• Evaluate the potential for international businesses to impact positively on host economies in the context of development, through initiatives such as the UN Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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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