SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2N120401
Module Leader John Crosbie
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module provides participants with an introduction and conceptual overview for the development of their knowledge and understanding of the key international business challenges and choices faced by multinational enterprises in the early 21 st century. The delivery of this module is derived from a contingency approach to the development of participants' cultural understanding and sensitivity which aims to foster their awareness and comprehension of how national and organisational culture may impact on the task of making strategic and operational choices concerning key international business processes and functions within complex and dynamic business systems. The first part of the module introduces students to the main conceptual frameworks for understanding and managing cultural diversity in an increasingly dynamic and globalised external operating environment. The second part of this module builds on these frameworks to address the functional implications stemming from MNE's operating across national cultures. The impact of national and organisational culture on the co-ordination and control of functional areas such as marketing, human resource management, corporate governance, multinational leadership, structure and control and determinants of sites for international production is examined via the use of case study and related analysis.


-360 A. An introduction to the cultural dimensions of international business. B. The nature of national and corporate cultures. C. Frameworks and typologies of national culture clustering and comparisons. D. Comparison and evaluation of national cultures: implications for international business policy. E. The impact of differences in national cultures on communications, negotiations and organisational behaviour. F. Key challenges and choices in cross-cultural management G. Managing cross-cultural diversity and building cross-cultural teams. H. The impact of differences in national cultures on key functional areas: HRM policy and practice and marketing strategy and tactics. I. The organisation of the Multinational enterprise: structures for co-ordination and control in global markets. J. International production choices and challenges. K. Future trends and challenges.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate:1. Knowledge and understanding of how national cultures may vary and the potential impact of such differences on organisational behaviour and the management of the MNE. 2. A capacity to discuss the challenges and choices associated with managing the human resource management function within the MNE in relation to expatriation, including the selection, training and development of expatriate mangers.3. Knowledge and understanding of the requirements for effectively managing the balance between global co-ordination and control and local responsiveness in relation to development and implementation of global marketing strategy.4. A capacity to evaluate the requirements for selecting the optimal (formal) organisational structure for multinational enterprises in increasingly dynamic and complex markets.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module adopts a 'blended' learning approach, whereby a combination of classroom based activities, guest lectures from practitioners, directed reading and independent and interdependent learning tasks are utilised to follow an action and experiential approach to the development of module participants knowledge and understanding and development of key employability skills. Specifically, the lectures, will introduce the students to the key challenges and choices associated with successful cross-cultural management. Specifically, the aim in lectures is to raise participants' knowledge, awareness of and sensitivity to the comparative differences in national cultures, industrial relations environments, leadership issues, alternative corporate cultures workforce attitudes, lifestyle patterns, leadership styles and communication problems stemming from international business operations. The student centred seminars in part one build on the lectures by facilitating a more in-depth examination on the part of participants in relation to the importance of understanding the types of challenge and choices facing the management of international business organisations, and the relevance of national and organisational differences impacting on the success of MNEs (Multinational Enterprises). The assessment strategy will include a combination of formative and summative assessment utilised as a means of optimising student development and feedback, via performance bench-marking, on-line quizzes, group presentations and a summative coursework.

Indicative Reading

The recommended textbook(s) for the module is: Sitkin, A., Bowen, N (2010) International Business: Challenges and Choices, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England. Indicative Further Reading includes: Cullen, J.B., Parboteeah, K.P. (2008), Multinational Management: A Strategic Approach, 4 th ed., Thomson Southwestern, Mason, OH. Hill, C. W.L. (2006) Global business today, 4th ed. McGraw-Hill Mead R, (2004) International Management-Cross cultural Dimensions, Blackwell, 3 rd ed, Oxford. Schneider S. and Barsoux, J.L (2002) Managing Across Cultures, 2 nd ed, Prentice Hall, NJ. Stonehouse, G./Hamill, J./Campbell, D./Purdie, T. (2005): Global and Transnational Business. Strategy and Management, 2nd ed., Wiley, Chichester . Warner. M and , Pat Joynt (2002) Managing Across Cultures: Issues and Perspectives, 2 nd ed. Thompson, Cengage Learning EMEA Indicative Journals Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal International Journal of Business and Management International Journal of Cross Cultural Management Journal of International Business Studies, International Marketing Review Indicative Web Sites: Examples of Websites Utilised: <> ofmarketing <> <> <> <> Journal of Management Studies

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Communication -360b7 Teamwork b7 Problem solving b7 Initiative and enterprise b7 Planning and organising b7 Self-management b7 Learning b7 Application of Technolog(ies)

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 72.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Seminars (PT) 6.00
Assessment (PT) 42.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Independent Learning (PT) 72.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 42.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (PT) 6.00
Directed Learning 50.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 3 n/a 50.00 35% Individual written report (2,000 words)
Coursework 1 0.75 35.00 35% Student led-seminar 40 min (group) presentation and facilitated discussion.
Coursework 2 n/a 15.00 35% Individual Contribution to class discussion