INB400 Global Strategy and Management
There has been an explosive growth in the number of MNEs in recent years. Their contributions to the global economy are such that no student of business or economics can or should avoid thinking seriously about this phenomenon. In this course, we identify some of the most crucial challenges facing managers of MNEs. In the course, we discuss how many of these challenges are unique to MNEs because of their geographically spread organizations that have to contend with cultural and institutional distances. We explore these challenges using an interactive approach whereby theory and cases are juxtaposed.
The first part of the course introduces the MNE and key drivers for strategic decision-making. We define MNEs and examine the global leadership challenges facing their managers. We discuss, why and how firms choose to internationalize as well as the managerial challenges, such as the liability of foreignness, that firms face as they internationalize and enter new markets. This part of the course includes a discussion of international strategies in relation to external competitive pressures. We further explore subsidiary roles and subsidiary management as well as a particular kind of local adaptation: the bottom-of-the-pyramid markets. The course provides an overview and discussion of managerial challenges relating to the most international strategies and common operating modes that managers choose when they decide to enter and operate in foreign markets. The second part of the course deals with important characteristics of the external context for MNEs’ international operations. We introduce stakeholder theory as a framework to help managers identify and manage key relationships and discuss how managers can meet the challenges arising from external pressures to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner - corporate social responsibility (CSR). The course also introduces students to the concept of cultural distance and how this can be measured and the implication it has for managers in MNEs. Part of the external context of MNEs is the institutional context in which it operates. The course provides a thorough overview of two dominant strands of institutional theory rooted in economics and sociology and we discuss how insights from these strands of institutional theory help managers address the challenges that arise due to the differences they face in home and host country institutional contexts. In the final part of the course, we identify fundamental managerial challenges when transferring knowledge, practices, and human resources across borders.
The philosophy of the course is that theory should be illustrated by rich, in-depth cases. The course makes use of a range of cases that have, for the most part, been developed especially for the course. Students are assigned to case-groups each of which has the responsibility for presenting and leading the discussion of a particular case.
Each student will also join a term-paper group preferably comprising three different nationalities. The term- paper will relate theory derived from the course to challenges confronting a particular MNE. Although the paper will be theory-driven, part of the exercise is to provide solutions that might be applied by the MNE. Topics for the term paper may, for example, include:
•ethics and corporate social responsibility
•MNE entry strategies
Knowledge - the candidate
- can understand how local, regional, and global economic, social, political, cultural, and institutional factors affect decision-making in international expansion (Internationalism)
- can understand the ethical challenges MNEs face when operating in developing countries, especially bottom-of-the-pyramid markets (Responsible citizenship)
Skills - the candidate
- is able to understand international strategy and have an in-depth understanding of the core questions in international strategy (e.g. foreign market analysis, choice of entry modes, international entrepreneurship, and specific opportunities and challenges for digital business etc.).
- is able to identify the role of MNEs as socially responsible actors in a global context: have the ability to critically reflect on different solutions to managerial challenges including being able to discuss these challenges from a social responsibility perspective.
- is able to recognize MNEs as an actor in a global environment and have the ability to identify managerial challenges arising from MNE external environment e.g. stakeholders’ institutions and cultures (e.g. subsidiary roles, bottom of the pyramid, stakeholder analysis).
- is able to recognize managerial challenges when managing knowledge and human resources across borders and has knowledge of managerial issues related to knowledge transfer, transfer of HRM practices, and expatriation (e.g. social capital theory, institutional theory and practices related to expatriation).
General competence - the candidate
- can analyze case studies and apply theory to practice as well as identify managerial challenges confronting MNEs (Business-embeddedness)
- can formulate and apply theory to solve complex business challenges.
- can participate in multicultural teams and deal with unstructured problems that need to be solved within a short deadline.
- can communicate their findings in a clear and engaging manner
This course is taught in English.
The course is a combination of lectures and cases that will be held on-line.
The course makes use of a range of cases that have, for the most part, been developed especially for the course.
Students are assigned to groups where each of these has the responsibility for presenting and leading the discussion of a particular case and develop a term paper. The term paper will relate theories derived from the course to challenges confronting a particular MNE
Good English verbal and writing skills.
Credit reduction due to overlap
Students who have taken INB422 International Strategy cannot get credit for INB400 Global Stategy and Management (from Spring 2018).
Requirements for course approval
All students must be involved in one case presentation and one term paper.
The course approval is valid only for the semester in which the student participated in the course.
The final grade is calculated as follows: Element i) Group term paper - 40%
Group size: 3-5 students, preferably from different countries.
Students must expect to use most of the time allocated to work on the term paper in the last part of the course. Lectures are concentrated at the beginning of the course
Element ii) Written home exam (3 hour) - 60 %
Both parts will be completed digitally Spring 2021. Both evaluation forms have to be taken in the same semester and it is not possible to retake the elements separately. In order to retake the course, students must obtain new course approval.
Grading scale A - F.
Gooderham, P., Grøgaard, B., and Foss, K. (2019). Global Strategy and Management (Edward Elgar).
Journal articles and papers uploaded on Canvas
- ECTS Credits
- Teaching language
Autumn and spring. Offered spring 2021.
Professor Kirsten Foss, Department of Strategy and Management.