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Unit information: Global Business Environment in 2016/17

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Unit name Global Business Environment
Unit code EFIM10012
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Klimecki
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The aim of this new unit is to provide students with a knowledge and clear understanding of the political economy of the global business environment which underpins the principles and processes of international business management in multinational enterprises (MNEs) that function in a rapidly globalizing and competitive world economy.

The new unit will develop the student’s critical awareness of the changing nature of the global business environment since 1945 and the emergence, strategy and locational dynamics of MNEs, transecting both the developed and developing economies. The Unit will focus on: the internationalisation and globalization of economic activity, the formation of global regulation and trading blocs (e.g. EU, NAFTA, APEC) theories of MNEs and internationalisation; MNE strategy and managing across borders; the rise of the service economy; the competitive advantage of places, ‘clusters’ like Silicon Valley, financial centres and world cities; the financialisation of business systems; and the establishment of the New International Division of Labour. The unit will also provide the opportunity for students to interrogate contemporary case studies across different sectors of the world economy, which will further develop their practical, analytical and key skills for the challenges of the modern workplace.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

a) critically evaluate theories associated with the establishment of the contemporary global business environment, specifically concerning the changing nature of nation-states, global regulators and multinational enterprises in both developing and developed world contexts;

b) analyse the strategies of multinational enterprises across a range of different economic sectors and international contexts;

c) evaluate the important of place in economic competitiveness and innovation;

d) relate relative concepts/theories to practical, real-world examples;

e) work independently, develop critical thinking and be reflective and reflexive in the learning process;

f) develop effective team-working, communication, written and oral, and planning skills;

g) be effective at self-management with respect to their own student-centred learning and time-management.

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through Lectures and Classes.

Lectures (nominally 20 hours) will have the principal purpose of introducing the content of the course, including vocabulary, concepts, theories, perspectives, practices and trends. Lectures will also expose students to critical evaluation of relevant theories and concepts, through a range of examples and case studies.

A variety of teaching methods will be employed in the classes, including: discussions based on readings and student experiences; case study work involving analysis, problem-solving and decision-making; group and individual exercises; presentations, discussion, and debate.

Additional reading designed to develop a depth of understanding.

Assessment Details


An individual essay (a maximum of 1,200 words, excluding references) on a question format similar in kind to those with which they will be presented in the examination, drawing on case study examples.


An unseen, closed-book three hour examination at the end of the relevant teaching block (100%). All examination questions will be essay based and will assess all of the ILOs.

Reading and References

Core Text

Dicken, P. (2012) Global shift Sage, London (6th Edition)

Recommended texts

Collinson, S. and Morgan, G. (2009) The multinational firm Wiley & Son, Chichester

Harrison, A. (2013) Business environment in a global context OUP, Oxford (2nd edition)

Knox, P., Agnew, J. and McCarthy, L. (2014) The geography of the world economy Routledge, London (6th Edition)

Useful journals

Economic Geography

Environment & Planning A

The Economist

The Financial Times

Journal of Economic Geography

Journal of European Urban & Regional Studies

Journal of International Business Studies

Journal of International Management

Journal of World Business

Thunderbird International Business Review

Urban Studies