module specification

MN6061 - Business without Frontiers (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Business without Frontiers
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
126 hours Guided independent study
24 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Group consultancy project (part peer assessed poster)
Coursework 50%   Individual report (2500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Friday Morning
Spring semester City Friday Afternoon

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 organisations are then examined focusing on the strategic and operational viewpoint. The assessment will consist of a consultancy simulation where students will work together on researching and presenting concrete examples of challenges faced by managers operating internationally. Research will focus on industries evolving and expanding into the world’s emerging markets. Students will be encouraged as much as it is possible to draw on knowledge and experience from their international peers to reflect on their learning experience and enhance employability.

Module aims

  1. Provide insight into the broad context in which businesses operate, especially the opportunities offered by the development of a global consumer culture, and ongoing economic integration in and around emerging markets
  2. Explore practical business management issues arising from the 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 by using 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  trends in international business organisations
• Strategic and operational issues arising from economic integration in the world economy –   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-cultural communication, understanding and cooperation in international business
• Doing business internationally – Simulation of consultancy projects; putting it all together

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 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. Some of the time will be spent researching and exploring organisations facing special challenges as they become international and evolve in increasingly global industries. This aims to develop your sense of observation, your understanding and critical evaluation of international business processes and practices. Visiting speakers will complement the themes explored in this module by presenting more in-depth issues to help you appreciate the far reaching consequences of integration (at global level) of economies and societies.

The module teaching will be delivered through a distributive blended learning model (using BlackBoard/Weblearn Virtual Learning Environment, or VLE). You will access extensive resources embedded in the VLE, through which you will work both collaboratively and individually. The assessment is designed in such a way that you will be able to build your confidence through exercises where you will receive formative feedback before completing assignments that will count towards the final grade. 

The overall weekly contact will be 2 hours, which means that you are expected to spend an additional 1-2 hours on self-directed and collaborative work (reading, discussions and own/group research, and assessment). The module teaching will be delivered through a workshop combination of lectures and tutorials, where lectures will gradually be released on Weblearn. From the key principles and themes conveyed through lectures and learning materials, specific questions will emerge and learning tasks will be set.

You will be given ‘Home Study’ questions on a regular basis 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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the global background context - political, economic, societal, technological, financial – in which businesses operate and shift resources across the world
  2. Develop 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

The assessment strategy has been designed to evaluate the achievement of learning outcomes through individual and group assessment, and uniquely draws on the multicultural mix represented in the course’s cohort. The rationale for this is that international business management is fundamentally a practical subject which should help you to engage with the academic content, stimulate interaction with your 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.

The assessment will consist of 2 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 (worth 50% of the assessment)
- An individual report advising managers seeking to work in an emerging market on management practice in an international and cross-cultural context (length: 2500 words; worth 50% of the assessement)

The group consultancy project will require you to work in small groups that are as diverse or multinational as possible to emulate work in an international environment. When in groups you 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 will be researching a different emerging market.
Starting point: each group member will  share with the group their own background knowledge and experience of international business as a consumer, member of society or observer, or as a student or employee.
Preparation of the poster: each group will research one emerging market and analyse the key characteristics of the business environment prevailing conditions. You will be expected to apply concepts and analytical tools used in contemporary management and present the results of your investigation in the form of a poster.
Presentation of the poster: all groups will be presenting their posters simultaneously, which will penable you to peer assess. In addition to the poster, each group will produce 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,  greater or more significant contribution may receive higher marks.

The individual management consultancy report: after the poster presentation you will exchange with peers from other groups the information that you used to construct the poster (including sources you researched). This exchange is to encourage mutual collaborative learning and support, and to develop your critical thinking skills. The objective is for each of you 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. Successful reports will demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to cultural and ethical issues, beyond the technical and analytical business competences.


Bartlett, C A & Beamish, P W (7th ed. 2013) 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
Crane, R (2000) European Business Cultures, Harlow, UK: Financial Times Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, 215pp
Daniels, J D, Radebaugh, L H & Sullivan, D P (14th ed. 2011) International Business – Environments and Operations, New Jersey, USA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 882pp
Kelly, P (2009) International Business and Management, USA: South Western, Cengage Learning, 591pp
Robbins, S P & Coulter M (12th ed. 2014) Management, Global Edition, Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Ltd, Always Learning, 720pp
Rugman, A M & Collinson, S (6th ed. 2012) 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 (2013) 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

Some of the above are 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.