After completion of the course, students are able to:
- Discuss core concepts of the field of international strategy: firm-specific and country-specific factors in international strategy; management of knowledge and innovation in multinational enterprises; issues of international sourcing and production; foreign entry decisions; specific issues of emerging economies and corporate social responsibility in an international context;
- Analyze real-life international business cases, using pertinent theoretical concepts;
- Find solutions for strategic issues firms in international business contexts need to cope with;
- Present and discuss their analyses and solutions in front of a critical audience.
This course reviews the various issues firms must engage with when internationalizing, and how these influence strategy. The discussion focuses on the crucial question how a firm’s advantages can be put to work to be competitive in a foreign environment. Furthermore, we look at how firms can access international markets: through export, independent agents, acquisitions or start-ups, alone or with partners (i.e. joint-ventures). We also study how multinational enterprises manage and control their international subsidiaries. Finally, special attention is given to the challenges posed by the business context in emerging economies, and to corporate social responsibility in the international context. Specifically, we focus on the following subjects:
• Core concepts of international strategy
• The influence of host and home country factors on international strategy
• Foreign entry decisions
• Design of the multinational company
• International innovation
• International sourcing and production
• Multinational companies and emerging economies
• Corporate social responsibility in the international context
Theory and applications will be stressed during the lectures, where relevant using cases for the purpose of illustration.
Case discussion classes
Besides the lectures there are case discussion classes, which are entirely interactive. In these classes groups of students analyze and discuss a real-world case, guided by an instructor. Solid preparation by the student is essential for these classes.
Further particulars about the groups will be provided in the first lecture of the course.
The written exam consists entirely of open essay-type questions. This exam comprises 75% of the overall final grade. The grade is individual.
Case discussion classes
All students receive an individual score for their participation in the class discussion. The lecturers will assign this individual grade based on quality of contributions to the discussion. This individual case discussion grade counts for 25% of the overall final grade of the student.
Failure to attend to a case discussion class will result in an individual grade of zero for that class. Only in exceptional circumstances outside of the student’s control an alternative arrangement can be possible. You will have to be present at the meetings of the case discussion classes in which you have been enrolled. You are not allowed to show up at tutorials if you have not registered, and you will not be able to participate in such case discussions.
Only for the written exam a resit can be taken. This means that the grade after the resit will be based on the written resit exam (75%) and the grade obtained earlier for the case discussion tutorials (25%). Only in exceptional cases (circumstances beyond the student’s control) the grade after the resit can be based for 100% on the written exam. Repeaters (i.e. students who failed to pass this course in the past) should note that grades earned for the case discussion classes can be transferred. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate about this with the course coordinator.
- Alain Verbeke, 2013, International Business Strategy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- A list of journal articles that you need to download from the Tilburg University library databases yourself.
Please note that all Strategic Management courses are only open to MSc Strategic Management students. It is not possible to use this course as an elective for other programs.