module specification

MN5005 - Transnational Business Management (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Transnational Business Management
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Coursework 40%   Group written report (2000 words) on an international business simulation
Coursework 30%   Individual written report (1500 words) on legal advice to business
Oral Examination 30%   Individual oral interview on select topic/syllabus theme
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Monday Morning

Module summary

While trade negotiations and economic integration have gathered pace over the last few decades, governments have increased both the restrictions and the demands they place on global companies, requiring them to invest in, transfer technology to, and meet local content requirements of host countries or regional trading groups – not least in and around Europe and in Emerging Markets. This countervailing force of ‘localisation’ has also been strengthened by consumers rejecting homogenised global products and expressing their national preferences while still expecting high quality levels and low costs offered by global products (Bartlett and Beamish, 2011, p.13).
In contrast to the global model of organisation, transnational management of business recognises the importance of flexible and responsive country-level operations – not least because of observable differences in cultures, laws and the approaches to managing human resources and logistics. Compared with the multinational approach, it links those operations to retain competitive effectiveness and economic efficiency. With operations and resources scattered across the globe, international business managers therefore need to manage information flows to fully utilise people’s competences in creating and transferring knowledge – for securing competitive advantage, innovation and value-creation.
A simulation will provide the opportunity to review key concepts and apply them to the management of international business operations.
As the business community often sees Europe’s single market as a launch pad to internationalisation, the module also examines in-depth the European Union (EU) decision-making process and relevant legal principles which govern how businesses operate and manage their supply chains within the Union market and beyond. It will explore the role and participation of business in international lobbying and civil society right at the heart of the EU institutions. A wide range of topical legal issues is examined critically and applied to real life transnational business management situations including free movement of goods and persons within the Union market, legal measures ensuring that competition is not distorted within the EU market, and how the law seeks to afford protection of workers’ rights.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  1. Raise awareness and enhance understanding of the global context and impact of economic integration, with special attention to Europe’s single market and the world’s Emerging Markets
  2. Develop a case study approach to explore practical issues associated with managing transnational business including operations along the supply chain and knowledge flow management
  3. Develop skills in researching, analysing and critically evaluating sources with a European and international focus
  4. Give students knowledge of the EU legal framework and its importance in the transnational business management context and enable students to articulate clearly relevant legal issues and effectively communicate them
  5. Develop an ability to identify legal problems in the transnational business management context and to propose solutions applying legal principles


This module’s syllabus is structured around main themes that build an understanding of the transnational nature of business management in Europe and internationally:

  • International trade and investment – push and pull factors of globalisation; business opportunities in emerging markets; management response – flexibility and responsiveness of the organisation
  • Economic integration through liberalisation of trade and trans-border movements – driving internationalisation of firms and the formation of trading blocs
  • Understanding Europe’s special situation – historical, legal, institutional, economic and political development of the single European market
  • Europe’s single market and beyond: a launch pad for globalising firms – developing world standards, global competition, global competitiveness, practical applications and solutions of EU Law to transnational business management problems
  • The management of supply chains internationally – issues, models and practices

Indicative content below will enable the achievement of the learning outcomes:

  • Issues in international trade, barriers to trade, economic development in the world today
  • Challenges of globalisation to business, government and societies – the responses of firms, governments and international institutions
  • Principles, purposes and practices in economic integration around the world – the special case of Europe
  • The key elements of the single European market (SEM), such as harmonisation and competition, and the challenges of harmonisation and integration in the single market; and impacts on European firms, industries and markets
  • Global supply chain management and the value-chain: international, multinational and transnational management of business operations – strategic, management and operational implications
  • The key sources of EU law governing the transnational business management; the key principles of EU Law: Supremacy, Direct Effect, Indirect Effect and State Liability
  • Free movement of goods within the EU (tariff (no-non tariff) and tax barriers); Free movement of persons within the EU (EU citizens, workers and derivative rights of their families); Freedom to provide services and right of establishment: rights of self-employed, recognition of qualifications, rights of providers and recipients of services
  • The EU institutions and policy-making; their role in creating the single European market, and the impact of specific policies on competition and matters related to social, regional and industrial competitiveness for firms and consumers, especially in the context of globalisation - EU legal measures ensuring that competition is not distorted within the Union market: anti-competitive behaviour by cartel and abuse of a dominant position and merger control; Equal treatment of various groups of EU workers; EU consumer protection laws

Learning and teaching

The module is organised around a number of themes reflected in the syllabus (see section 13 above).

Teaching will be delivered through a distributive blended learning model using the BlackBoard / Weblearn Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to explore themes and identify issues typical of transnational business. Lectures will be released gradually through the VLE and convey the key principles and themes from which specific questions will emerge. By accessing the extensive resources embedded in the VLE, you will utilise class contact time to work both collaboratively and individually.

To do this, the case study approach – a major feature of Business Management education – will be used as it will help you work out the practical applications of theoretical principles in a variety of contexts. Case studies will encourage you to develop collaborative and self-directed learning skills. Some of the time you will be researching and exploring organisations facing special challenges as they become international and evolve in increasingly global industries. The aim here is to develop your sense of observation, understanding and critical evaluation of international business processes and practices. Visiting speakers will present more in-depth topics to help you appreciate the far reaching consequences of globalisation for economies and societies.

With weekly class contact of only 3 hours (or 30% of the total module hours), you are expected to spend at least an additional 1-2 hours for each weekly contact hour on self-directed and collaborative work (reading, discussions and own/group research, and assessment). At each weekly class you will be given ‘Home Study’ questions to help you prepare for the next time we meet. You will be able to make the most of the time in class if you go through the material (articles, texts, case study, video and so on) before coming and look at the suggested questions yourself before the group meets. This way you will be much more benefit to others as you make your contributions during the discussion, and get more out of each session personally. As each theme will be studied over several weeks there will be enough time to discuss questions and issues arising from your own study of each week’s learning materials, so do jot down questions and comments.

The assessment is designed in a way to build your confidence through exercises for which you will receive formative feedback before completing assignments that will count towards the final grade. For this reason you will be asked to keep a reflective learning log with integrated tutor feedback, which will be incorporated into your personal development plan.

The module’s teaching and learning strategy was designed to develop the following set of skills: Academic writing, Academic reading, Evaluating sources, Problem solving and application, Critical thinking and analysis, Communication - interpersonal working with others, Self-assessment and reflection, Career management


Learning outcomes

Upon successfully completing the module, the student will:
• LO1: Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution from international to transnational business management
• LO2: Demonstrate practical understanding of managing transnational business operations through a business simulation
• LO3: Apply critical analytical skills to the study of real-life case studies in international business management, evaluating information sources with a European and international focus
• LO4: Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of various aspects of EU law relevant to the transnational business management context
• LO5: Demonstrate an ability to identify legal problems in the application of EU law to transnational business management situations, think critically and produce practical solutions to situations arising

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module is designed to guide your improvement, to help you self-evaluate, to aid your decision making, to help you learn from your mistakes and, where there are opportunities, plan your own curriculum and future career. For these reasons, assessment will be by coursework and consist of the following components, covering all learning outcomes:

  • An individual written report (1000 words; 20% of assessment) based on researching and discussing the opportunities and prospects of entering an emerging market
  • A group written report (1500 words; 30% of assessment) based on class exercises (which may include a business simulation). This is to develop task-based research, critical analysis and understanding of managing business operations internationally, as well as a range of teamwork skills
  • An individual written report (1000 words; 20% of assessment) based on presenting practical (business) advice on an international/EU legal case
  • An individual oral interview (20 minutes; 30% of assessment) on a prepared topic chosen randomly among a shortlist of pre-set questions

As outlined in the learning and teaching strategy above, you will receive formative feedback before completing the assignment items that will count towards the final grade. Guidance will be given in class to ensure appropriate evidence of meeting all learning outcome.

The Oral Interview provides you with the opportunity to present a topic chosen at random by the module tutors from a shortlist. You will be required to demonstrate that:

  • You have read around the themes/topics covered in the module syllabus
  • You are able to articulate concepts and theories applying to practical problems related to the management of transnational business

During the oral two members of the teaching team will be asking questions and giving feedback.


In bold, the recommended core texts for this module:

Bartlett C A and Beamish P W (6th edition, 2011) Transnational Management – Texts, Cases and Readings in Cross-Management, McGraw-Hill, UK: London, 762pp.
Daniels J D, Radebaugh L H, Sullivan D P (13th edition, 2011) International Business – Environments and Operations, Global Edition, Pearson Education, USA: New Jersey, 882pp.
Gaspar J E, Arreola-Risa A, Bierman L, Hise R T, Kolari J W, Smith L M (2014) Introduction to Global Business – Understanding the International Environment & Global Business Functions, South-Western Cengage Learning, International Edition, USA
Haseler S (2008) Meltdown – How the ‘Masters of the Universe’ Destroyed the West’s Power and Prosperity, Forumpress, UK: London, 477pp.
Piggott J and Cook M (2006) International Business Economics – A European Perspective, Palgrave Macmillan, UK: Basingstoke, 391pp.
Rugman A M and Collinson S (5th edition, 2009) International Business, FT Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Ltd, UK: Harlow, 716pp.
Smith D (2007) The Elephant and the Dragon – China, India and the New World Order, Profile Books Ltd, UK: London, 266pp.
Sakwa R and Stevens A (eds)(3rd edition, 2012) Contemporary Europe, Palgrave Macmillan, UK: Basingstoke, 286pp.
Senior Nello S (3rd edition, 2012) The European Union Economics, policies and History, McGraw-Hill, UK: London, 472pp.
Suder G (2008) Doing Business in Europe, Sage Publications Ltd, UK: London, 360p

The University’s library also holds E-books on topics related to international business and updates are regularly advertised.


Barnard C (4th edition, 2013) The Substantive Law of the EU: the four freedoms, UK: Oxford, Oxford University Press
Berry E, Homewood M J & Bogusz B (2013) EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials, UK: Oxford, Oxford University Press 
Fairhurst J (2013) Law of the European Union, Pearson Education Ltd, UK: Harlow
Foster N (2013) EU Law, Oxford University Press, UK : Oxford  - (or latest edition)
Foster N (2012) EU Law Directions, Oxford University Press, UK : Oxford
Horspool M (2012) European Union Law, Oxford University Press, UK: Oxford
Kaczorowska A (3rd edition, 2013) European Union Law, Routledge, UK: London
Steiner, J. and Woods, L. (2012) EU Law, Oxford University Press, UK: Oxford

Relevant law journals are available from the library (hardcopies) and on-line library resources (e.g. Lexis and WestLaw)
Key leading portal: (The Week in Europe)