module specification

MN6001 - Business Without Borders (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Business Without Borders
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School London Metropolitan Business School
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 35%   Group consultancy project (part peer assessed)
Coursework 35%   Individual report
Coursework 30%   Personal reflective development plan
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module builds upon the critical appraisal of the current global context in which businesses move operations and resources across the world. Firstly trends about the world becoming more integrated and national borders becoming less significant are reviewed critically. Issues emerging from the growing economic interdependence worldwide – including long-term competitiveness and sustainable growth – which impact on business organisationsare then examined focusing on the strategic and operational viewpoint.Through a range of simulations students will then work on concrete examples of challenges faced by managers operating in diverse international markets, and draw on knowledge and experience from their international peers to reflect the experience and enhance employability.

Module aims

The module aims to:
1. Provide some insight into the broad context in which businesses operate, looking particularly at the opportunities offered by economic integration and the development of a global consumer culture
2. Explore practical business management issues arising from internationalisation of sourcing and operations, against the wider context of the global political economy
3. Develop awareness and understanding of current affairs problems explored by academics and non-academics and be able to appraise them critically by researching sources with an international focus
4. Encourage interaction, collaborative and self-directed learning byusing peer knowledge and experience drawing together features of businesses operating in different countries, that is, in a multi-cultural environment
5. Promote the application of concept to practical aspects of international business management and move beyond the module’s remit by developing in students a true global awareness of the realities faced by the international business manager


• A (business) world without borders – evidence, development and trends; a critical review of trade arrangements, cross border movements of people and capital, foreign direct investment, market entry arrangements

• International competitiveness – firms and market structures, global rivalry and international competition, with reference to current and historical trends in international business organisations

• Strategic and operational issues arising from economic integration in the world economy –organisation and strategy; international finance and currencies; international marketing; international operations; international human resource management and labour markets

• The business of international business is culture – managing differences, diversity, cross-culturalcommunication, understanding and cooperation in international business

• Doing business internationally –Simulations; putting it all together

This module also provides an important opportunity to plan space for – resources permitting -:
- day visits to select international business organisations
- visiting speakers including professionals and alumni to complement student knowledge
- course-based activity week days involving cross-cultural experience

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
• IT literacy
• Self-assessment and reflection
• Creativity
• Career management

Learning and teaching

The module teaching will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face and online learning activities (using Weblearn or similar VLE), including lectures, workshops and tutorials. The module teaching and class contact will be based on a problem-based learning (PBL) approach. A key starting point for the module will be an explanation to the students for the choice of this method of delivery, the rationale for the use of problem based learning and exploration and advice as to how individuals can maximise their own learning, in particular bydeveloping collaborative and self-directed learning skills.Key principles and themes will be conveyed through lectures from which specific problems or questions will emerge and PBL tasks will be set. While the lecture cycle (initiating the 4-week PBL cycle) will reflect the structure of the module syllabus, tutorials will form themain focus for class and on-line activities, including feedback. The overall weekly contact will be 3 hours per week, whether face-to-face (synchronous) or on-line (asynchronous).  Lectures will deliver content and provide the starting point of each PBL cycle while tutorials will be the main vehicle for working on the PBL tasks which will inform the module’s assessment in groups and individually.

Apart from the first introductory lecture, it is intended that the weekly contact may be achieved through 1-hour long lectures followed by 2-hour long tutorials.An indicative 4-5 week cycle may therefore be structured as follows:
W1 – Lecture: theme 1; Tutorial: PBL task 1 introduction and brainstorm
W2 – Lecture: visiting speaker (as applicable); Tutorial: group discussion, work on problem/question
W3 – Lecture; Tutorial: review of problem/question
W4 – Tutorial: presentation/group or individual class exercise – task-based assessment point
W5 – Lecture: Theme 2; Tutorial: feedback review

The form of delivery may vary depending on the theme being investigated, for example through case studies, online research, formal and informal discussions and presentations and so forth.While the case study approach is a major feature of Business Management education as it provides opportunities to explore the practical applications of theoretical principles in a variety of contexts, it is also hoped that day-trips to organisations located within short commuting distances will take place to help students to develop participating observation and a critical understanding of international business practices. These are to be complemented by visiting speakers from a range of business organisations that experience special challenges internationally.

Students will access extensive resources which will be embedded in the VLE, through which they will work both collaboratively and individually. It is intended that students will keep a reflective learning log including the sequence of PBL tasks with integrated tutor feedback.
Lectures and workshops will also be enhanced with two day-long activities during the academic year.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the module, the student should be able to:

1. Understand the global background context - political, economic, societal, technological, financial – in which businesses operate and shift resources across the world
2. Have developed competence and managerial skills needed to search, handle and interpret information relevant in the analysis of modern business organisations operating internationally
3. Demonstrate an appreciation of developments in International Business Management and its wider context, particularly issues of cultural diversity
4. Interpret and critically analyse business problems through real-life case studies in order to produce solutions demonstrating awareness of ethical considerations and cultural diversity
5. Demonstrate ability to apply concepts, models and a range of analytical tools appropriately and strategically for managers operating in diverse environments

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module aims to be valid, reliable and consistent, transparent and diverse, ensuring that individual students are not disadvantaged by over reliance on any one particular form of assessment.  Assessment is demanding in that it is mainly continuous and enables the demonstration of excellence. It is designed to guide students’ improvement, to help them self-evaluate, to aid their decision making, to help them learn from their mistakes and, where there are opportunities, plan their own curriculum and future career.
The assessment strategy has been designed to evaluate the achievement of learning outcomes through individual and group assessment, and uniquelydraws on the multicultural mixrepresented in the course’s cohort.The rationale for this is that international business management is fundamentally a practical subject which should help students to engage with the academic content, stimulate interaction with peers from different parts of the world and reflect on diversity of knowledge and experience, and demonstrate concrete examples of challenges faced by managers in international markets.
Students will be allocated to groups that are truly multinational and where they will be expected to apply concepts and analytical tools used in contemporary management to the study of a question or problem-based case study. Though much learning will start and take place in the context of groups, student learning will be further developed on an individual basis in the more reflective elements of assessment.

Assessment will be by coursework and consist of three parts, covering all learning outcomes:
- A group consultancy project which will lead to the presentation of posters on the current issues and prospects of entering one of the world’s emerging markets
- An individual report advising managers seeking to work in an emerging market on management practice in an international and cross-cultural context
- A personal reflective development plan (final component) on the learning experience incorporating learning from other Level 6 modules

The consultancy project will require students to be allocated to small groups that are as diverse as possible to emulate work in an international environment. Students in groups will act as consultants working to advise industrialists at a Chamber of Commerce on the current issues and prospects of entering one of the world’s emerging markets. Each group may be assigned a different emerging market. An online business game or simulation may well serve as the starting point for this work which, as outlined in the teaching and learning strategy, will follow a PBL approach. To complete the group consultancy project students will first share their own background knowledge and experience in international business as consumers, members of society or observers, students and/or employees.Each group will then research their assigned emerging market and perform analysis of the key characteristics of the business environment prevailing conditions. The results of this research will be presented in the form of posters simultaneously to all other groups, which will peer assess. Groups will be required to produce a poster, an action plan detailing the contribution of each group member to the tasks. Marks will be given to groups but individuals able to demonstrate, through the completed action plan and learning log,  greater or more significant contribution may receive higher marks.
Students will then exchange information with peers to produce an individual report advising managers seeking to work in an emerging market different from the one they researched in groups. Advice will focus on management issues and practices in diverse cultural contexts. This is meant to encourage mutual collaborative learning and support.Successful reports will demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to cultural and ethical issues, beyond the technical and analytical business competences.
The final component of the module’s assessment will be a reflective document including a personal development plan to be submitted electronically in week 29.
While preparation of the reflective personal development plan will be on-going throughout the year, signposts dates will be set for other coursework items, with marking and feedback completed within three weeks from submission date. Submission will be on line using an appropriate platform. This will ensure submission dates are met and student progress monitored.


Bartlett, C. A.& Beamish, P. W. (6th ed. 2011) Transnational Management – Text, Cases and Readings in Cross-Border Management, New York, USA: McGraw-Hill, 762pp
Branine, M. (2011) Managing Across Cultures – Concepts, Policies and Practices, Sage, London: UK, 606pp
Chatterjee, S. R. & Nankervis, A. R. (2007) Asian Management in Transition, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 386pp
Crane, R. (2000) European Business Cultures, Harlow, UK: Financial Times Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, 215pp
Daniels, J. D., Radebaugh, L.H. & Sullivan, D. P. (13th ed. 2009) International Business – Environments and Operations, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 882pp
Edwards, V. & Lawrence, P. (2000) Management in Eastern Europe, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 150pp
Edwards, V. & Lawrence, P. (2000) Management in Western Europe, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Business Series, 251pp
Guirdham, M. (1999) Communicating Across Cultures, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave, 316pp
Harris, P. R. & Moran, R. T. (5th ed. 1999) Managing Cultural Differences – Leadership Strategies for a New World of Business, USA: Butterworth-Heinemann, Managing Cultural Differences Series, 454pp
Koen, C. I. (2005) Comparative International Management, London, UK: McGraw-Hill, 567pp
Rugman, A. M. &Collinson, S. (5th ed. 2009) International Business, Harlow, UK: Financial Times Prentice Hall, 716pp
Schneider, S. C. &Barsoux, J. L. (2nd ed. 2003) Managing Across Cultures, Harlow, UK: Financial Times Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Ltd, 330pp
Sitkin, A. & Bowen, N. (2010) International Business – Challenges and Choices, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 422pp
Som, A. (2009) International Management: Managing the Global Corporation, Maidenhead, UK: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 611pp
Wild, J. J., Wild, K. L. & Han, J. C. Y. (3rd ed. 2006) International Business – The Challenges of Globalization, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Prentice Hall, International Edition, Pearson Education International, 500pp

Many of the above are also available in E-BOOK format and updates are regularly advertised by the University’s libraries.

Journals and periodicals:
International Business Review
Journal of International Business Studies
Management International Review
Management Today
The Professional Manager