SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHN325645
Module Leader Jon McNeill
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Risk
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

A pass in all GSBS core modules at level 3 or equivalent. The students are also expected to possess a general knowledge and interest in international business risk issues, which may have been acquired by reading current financial press, or demonstrated by following a course of study in a related discipline.

Summary of Content

The international business arena is both fascinating and exciting. The pursuit of global rewards is fraught with unfamiliar, diverse and complex risks which exist outside companies' domestic territory and current risk management competencies. As such, the process of internationalisation is not to be taken lightly. This module will develop students understanding of the various ways in which multinational companies (MNCs) are affected by risks in global operations, and the risk management options which can be implemented to mitigate these risks. The nature of international operations encapsulates political, legal, economic, financial, ethical and cultural risk. For instance, the module will explore multinational business risks, foreign exchange risks, political risk and the impact of regulation on the financial situation of the company. In the process, students will explore both the hard and softer more nuanced forms of risk which can influence the success of MNCs that undertake international expansion. Through a combination of both company and country studies this module will develop the students' understanding of the difficulties and opportunities inherent in international business operations, including how strategy and principles of responsible management may differ across countries, sectors and cultures. This module will provide students with the material required to build a solid foundation in the practices of international business.


The syllabus is placed in the context of current risk issues relevant to the management of risk in the international environment. 1. The Internationalisation of Business 2. Risk Minimisation through Strategy Choice and Organisation 3. Entry modes - Rewards and Risks 4. Factors Which Influence International Management of Risk 5. National Culture and Risk 6. Ethical, Social and Governance Risks Facing MNCs 7. Political Risks: Identification, Measurement and Management 8. Financial Risk Management in International Businesses 9. Foreign Exchange Risk and its Management 10. Global Insurance Programmes

Learning Outcomes

Following successful completion of this module it is expected that students should be able to:1. Consolidate knowledge and understanding of the range of risks an MNC can be exposed to in the process of conducting business internationally2. Critically evaluate the potential impacts of these risks on an MNC3. Develop a familiarisation of risk management techniques available to MNCs to mitigate those risks associated with conducting business internationally4. Critically discuss the risk management issues surrounding political risk, ethical risk and foreign exchange risk

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module is focused on the development of both theoretical and practical business skills and aims to engage students in analysis, research and discussion of contemporary, real life issues relevant to the contemporary international business context. The dominant form of delivery is through face-to-face contact. This 20 credit module involves 3 hours of class contact per week: a 2 hour lecture and 1 hour seminar. Lectures will highlight the key issues and signpost relevant journal articles and other appropriate literature. Students are expected to prepare for preceding lectures by undertaking relevant reading and preparing responses to questions. The nature of this topic leans towards discussion and consideration and application of perspective and as such this will accommodated into the classroom delivery. The lectures will adopt a variety of teaching styles including seminar style contributions such as group discussion to enhance intellectual, critical and analytical skills. In the case of more applied topics, students will attempt relevant problem or scenario based questions prior to lectures. This will provides the basis for developing professional skills, knowledge and understanding. Seminars are conducted in workshop format providing a mix of tutor led, student led and group learning. Lecture materials and additional reading will be available online through GCU Learn the central repository from which students can access all essential learning material. Also through GCU Learn, students can engage with each other and discuss the weekly lecture topics online through a combination of Padlet, Wiki's and blogs as appropriate. Formative and summative feedback will be offered through a variety of mechanisms and will be available within 3 working weeks of submission.

Indicative Reading

Textbooks Hill, C., & Hult, G. (2017). International business?: competing in the global marketplace (11th edition.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education. Cavusgil, S., Knight, G., & Riesenberger, J. (2017). International business?: the new realities (4th edition, global edition.). Harlow: Pearson Education. Hill Eiteman D et al (2009), Multinational Business Finance, 12th edition, London, Pearson Hamilton L & Webster P (2012), The International Business Environment, 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press McKellar, R. (2017). A Short Guide to Political Risk. Routledge. Online Sources World Economic Forum Global Risk Report - Economic Intelligence Unit - Economist Intelligence Unit - Operating Risk in Emerging Markets - Aon Global Risk Management Survey -

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key transferrable areas: Clear communication, in both written and verbal form Independent motivation stemming from the ability to prioritise tasks Interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of data to set and achieve assessable outcomes Time management and meeting deadlines Build an awareness of, and increase sensitivity to, national and cultural differences Manage complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 134.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 30.00 35% Group Presentation. Select a unique case and critique the risk and rewards of this.
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 70.00 35% Unseen Exam