BUSU9IB: International Business

Semester:  Autumn

Level:  10

Credit Value:  20

Module Coordinator:  Dr Markus Kittler, Management, Work & Organisation Division

Contact Hours:  20 hours lectures, 10 hours seminars

Assessment:  50% Examination, 50% Coursework (two class tests)

Module Overview:

International Business (IB) is a multi-disciplinary module that considers the macro and micro economic, political and social issues currently affecting the international business community. Because of the importance of IB for all individuals who plan to have careers in business of any kind this is a required module for all students taking a Business Studies degree. Key purpose of the module is:

  • to study organisations, their management and the changing IB environment;
  • to provide an international perspective essential to many of today’s careers in business and management; and
  • to enhance cognitive and intellectual skills and personal development.

The module content is structured within five areas. The lectures on ‘Introduction & Foundation’ will first introduce students into the module, its objectives and its requirements and then will introduce into the field of international business. The lectures on ‘International Business Environment’ will consider the theoretical aspects of international trade as well as the global and regional institutions that influence or seek to regulate international business. ‘Firms and Internationalization’ considers issues faced by individual companies that already conduct their business internationally or are seeking to do so. Furthermore, theoretical perspectives on internationalization will be discussed. ‘International Business Operations’ introduces the international aspects of some key business concerns—strategy, HRM, marketing. 

Learning Outcomes:

The key learning outcomes are:

  • to familiarise students with the key theories and ideas in the field of IB;
  • to begin to develop understanding of business practices in international contexts;
  • to place key business topics such as strategy, HRM and marketing, firmly in their global and regional contexts;
  • to provide a firm foundation for more specialised and advanced treatment of comparative business organisation and practice

to familiarize students with intercultural and teamwork-situations.

Reading Lists:

The module refrains from working with one core textbook. Most IB-textbooks cover the basic IB aspects to be covered in an introductory module. None of them is – and can’t be – fully comprehensive. Furthermore, the books are written in different styles, perceived differently be individual students. Therefore, students are advised to look at the library stock and bookstores to identify a preferred key reading. Without any preference, some of these IB-books (presented in alphabetical order latest version preferable but not essential) are: 

  • Hill, International Business, McGraw-Hill
  • Kittler, International Business: Text and Cases, Pearson Custom Publishing
  • Morrison, International Business, Palgrave
  • Peng and Meyer, International Business, Cengage
  • Sitkin and Bowen, International Business, Oxford University Press

This list has just exemplary character. There are other authors with prominent IB-textbooks such as Cavusgill, Czinkota, Deresky, McDonalds, Rugman, Wild etc. For individual chapters in the module, it might be worthwhile to check for specialist IB-textbooks focusing on specific aspects or functions. For instance, the IB-environment is addressed by Harrison (2010) Business Environment in a Global Context, Oxford University Press. With regard to the cultural impact on management, Branine (2011) Managing Across Cultures, Sage, gives valuable insights. International Marketing is exemplarily addressed in greater detail in Bradley (2005) International Marketing Strategy, Pearson. It is recommended to focus on the topics rather than one specific book/author when preparing for lectures and revising them afterwards. It is recommended that students share their experience of textbooks with other students to enhance their learning experience.


This module information is representative of what is included in the module in a given year. Details of actual reading, lectures and coursework may vary year to year and will be available at the beginning of the semester.


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