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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: International Business in Context (MBA) (CMSE11217)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe objective of the course is to engage students with the complexities of a contrasting international market environment and system, so that they develop a critical understanding of how different contexts impact on business opportunities and leadership in practice.
Course description One of the educational aims of the MBA is to enable students to gain an understanding of the challenges facing businesses and leaders in different contexts. It is important for strategic leaders of the future to understand the implications of different economic, political, legal, social and ecological environments for business operations, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership practice. Emerging markets are generating unprecedented opportunities, but they are complex and risky. Businesses wishing to cultivate trading relationships with emerging countries need to set-aside their 'developed world' mentality and re-tool business models, products, and strategies if they are to be successful. Too often, companies underestimate the unique challenges of managing businesses in radically different contexts. This course will take students out of the classroom to study for a short period in a context which is unfamiliar. Teaching will include contributions from local faculty and business practitioners, alongside direct observation and experiential learning in local companies.

Introduction to international strategy and emerging economies.
Historical and recent developments in the economic and political environment of the target country;
Developments in, and characteristics of, the socio-cultural and ecological environment;
Local business challenges, and the implications of government policy;
Local business practices and the influencing factors;
Implications for organisations wishing to expand in the target country.

Student Learning Experience
In an initial preparation day, participants will be presented with key international business concepts that help managers and firms in international business. They will then spend a week in the target country where they will learn the practice, experientially. With the support of a programme team, they will work on an international business project on behalf of an international firm based there, supported through a range of guest speakers and site visits. Through these activities participants will develop a critical understanding of how different contexts change how business opportunities and leadership can be pursued in practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically discuss the complexities of the market, economic, political, social, cultural and ecological environment in Country X, and the importance of context when internationalising.
  2. Critically discuss the unique challenges that are facing businesses in Country X, and how these are being prioritised and managed.
  3. Critically evaluate the role that businesses can play in supporting communities in emerging economies.
  4. Draw lessons from practice in Country X that may be offer ideas and solutions for internationalising in other countries.
Reading List
Frynas, J. G. and K. Mellahi, Global Strategic Management┐ (3rd Edition, 2015), Oxford University Press ISBN: 978-0-19-870659-5

Fletcher, M., Harris, S. and Richey, G. (2013) Internationalization Knowledge; Who, What, Why and When?, Journal of International Marketing Vol. 21, No. 3, 2013, pp. 47-7.

Fletcher, M. and Harris, S. (2012) Knowledge acquisition in the Internationalization of the Smaller Firm: Content & Process. International Business Review, Vol. 21, No. 4, 631-647.

A variety of web-based materials and texts will be provided on the specific country context that is going to be examined.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive and Subject Specific Skills:
Develop sensitivity to cultural differences, diversity and ethical dilemmas.
Critically understand the implications of engaging in international business in an emerging market.

Transferable Skills:
Develop skills in business engagement and consulting.
Demonstrate cognitive skills of critical and reflective thinking.
Work effectively as part of multi-cultural groups in complex, uncertain and unfamiliar contexts.
Additional Class Delivery Information The course will include classroom-based teaching and learning that will introduce issues formally and through critical debate. The major emphasis will be on experiential learning that is organised by the programme team. This involves visits to local companies, organisations and locations that will allow students to observe some of the business and leadership challenges in practice. A major consulting project will be included where students engage with an international business operating in the area to explore and make recommendations to address a specific challenge. The approach to teaching and learning will include extensive reflection on the ways in which the challenges of international business can be addressed by companies more generally.
KeywordsInternationalisation Emerging Economy Sustainability
Course organiserProf Ian Clarke
Tel: (0131 6)50 9505
Course secretaryMrs Angela Muir
Tel: (0131 6)51 3854
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