International Strategy

INB422C International Strategy

Spring 2020

Autumn 2020
  • Topics

    Are you looking to advance your managerial skills as an international business executive, running a multinational company and setting up subsidiaries overseas? Or, are you wondering how you can set up your own global start-up, design an innovative and sustainable business model and scale beyond national borders?

    The skills required to achieve these goals are interrelated. No matter whether you want to work for a Multinational company or start your own, the aspiration to expand internationally begins with an entrepreneurial spirit to challenge the existing rules of the game and to identify and act on opportunities that others may overlook. You have to be able to analyze foreign market conditions, choose the right entry strategy and to design a business model that provides the highest value to your customers (and preferably to society and the environment as a whole). 

    To become successful international executives/entrepreneurs, we need to develop a good understanding of the nexus between international strategy, business model innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship. 

    To apply this in practice, you will work in teams of students in order to help real start-ups to expand abroad. You will help them with  (1) analyzing foreign markets, (2) assessing different expansion strategies and (3) giving actionable recommendations for the near future. This will take the form of a presentation and consultancy report (term paper) for the company.

  • Learning outcome

    After finishing the course the students should have:

    Knowledge of

    • International strategy: have an in-depth understanding of the core questions in international strategy (e.g. foreign market analysis, choice of entry mode, etc.)
    • Business model innovation : understand the concept of business model innovation and how this is relevant in the context of value creation across borders
    • Entrepreneurship:   how to set up & grow your own business internationally 
    • Social value creation : how to implement a triple bottom line approach in low-income markets

    Skills in

    • How to design the right business model and launch your own global venture 
    • How to analyze foreign markets, choose the appropriate entry strategy and to design business models suitable for international expansion 

    General competence in

    • Advanced research ability, problem-solving and critical reflection
    • Planning and executing  a real business project in an international team during the length of the semester
    • Communicating findings of the project in a clear and engaging manner
    • How to increase your own productivity by setting priorities and achieving your goals

  • Teaching

    The course will consist of a combination of lectures, panel discussions with experts, practical workshops and real business projects. 

    1. Lectures : The lectures will provide students with a solid theoretical foundation of international strategy, international entrepreneurship, social value creation, and business model innovation in the digital era.
    2. Guest talks and panel discussions:  In addition to guest talks, we will invite our guest speakers to be part of panel discussions on specific issues. Students will take an active role in organizing and moderating these panel discussions. 
    3. Practical workshops : In practical workshops, students can experiment and test different business ideas for international expansion, learn how to be more creative and effectively communicate their ideas.
    4. Real business projects : Entrepreneurs who aspire to expand their venture abroad will give teams of students real business cases to work on during the semester (e.g. analyze foreign market entry, recommend entry strategy). The teams of students will work closely together with the entrepreneur (the corporate mentor) as well as an academic mentor. The teams of students have to present their findings as well as to submit a consultancy report to the entrepreneur (which will count towards their final grade).

  • Restricted access

    This course is only open for CEMS students.

  • Required prerequisites

    Bachelor level strategy books such as Jay B. Barney: Gaining and Sustaining Competitive Advantage (2007, 2010).

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    INB422C cannot be combined with INB422 International Strategy.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Students will be expected to be prepared for, and active, in class discussions, including team presentations and discussion of case material. Class attendance is therefore mandatory, where students are allowed to miss two classes. (An absence from three lectures will result in having to write an essay, and an absence of four lectures in being excluded from the course). In addition to regular attendance, all students must be involved in contributing to the term paper and final presentation.

  • Assessment

    Group (4-5 students) term paper 100%.

    The term paper must be written in English.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F.

  • Literature

    Compulsory readings:

    a) A compendium of articles (articles will be uploaded on CANVAS)

    b) Case Collection (uploaded on CANVAS)


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2019

Course responsible

Tina Saebi, Department of Strategy and Management