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 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 provide 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 managing knowledge 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 comprising at least three different nationalities. The term-paper will relate theory derived from the course to challenges confronting a particular MNC. Although the paper will be theory driven, part of the exercise is to provide solutions that might be applied by the MNC. Topics for the term paper may include:
- organizational structures;
- cultural challenges;
- knowledge management;
- ethics and corporate social responsibility
- MNC entry strategies;
The focus of this course is the management challenges that managers in multinational corporations (MNCs) face in areas such as strategy, internationalization, management of human resources, knowledge transfers. In particular, we focus on the challenges that arise as MNCs operates across different cultures, administrative regimes, geographies and economic environment.
General learning outcomes:
Knowledge - the candidate
-has advanced knowledge within the field of Global Strategy and Management. The student will have a thorough knowledge of the scholarly theories in Global Strategy and Management and be able to use these theories to identify important strategic and managerial challenges.
-has the ability to reflect in a critically manner on different solutions to managerial challenges
Skills - the candidate
-has developed both academic and consulting skills in applying these theories to in-depth cases
-has strong competencies in presentational skills
-has the ability to work in multicultural teams and deal with unstructured problems solved under some time pressure
-has the ability to analyze existing theories, methods and interpretations in the field and work independently on practical and theoretical problems
General competence - the candidate
-can analyze and deal critically with various sources of information and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
-can use relevant methods for research and scholarly development work in an independent manner
-can carry out an independent, limited research or development project under supervision and in accordance with applicable norms for research ethics
-can communicate extensive independent work and master language and terminology of the academic field
As well as lectures, this course makes extensive use of case discussions and presentations.
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 each of which has the responsibility for presenting and leading the discussion of a particular case and develop a termpaper. Each group should comprise at least three different nationalities. The term-paper will relate theory derived from the course to challenges confronting a particular MNC. Although the paper will be theory driven, part of the exercise is to provide solutions that might be applied by the MNC.
Please note - for purely pedagogical and logistical reasons due to the special work modus in the course - no places for the course will be awarded after the first three lectures.
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 three different countries.
Students must expect to use most of the time allocated to work on the tempaper in the last part of the course. Lectures are concentrated in the beginning of the course
Element ii) Written School exam (3 hour) - 60 %
Both parts 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.
Foss, Kirsten, Gooderham, Paul, Grogaard, and Grøgaard, Birgitte (2019). Global Strategy and Management (Edward Elgar): available from Studia.
- ECTS Credits
- Teaching language
Autumn and Spring. Offered autumn 2019
Kirsten Foss, Department of Strategy and Management.