Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the nature of the global environment within which organisations operate
  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop the ability to critically understand current approaches and empirical research in the field of international business and management
  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop their personal understanding and sensitivity to managing across cultures
  • To provide students with the opportunity to enhance their communication, organisational, problem solving and analytical skills
  • To address reflective, analytical, worldly, collaborative and action mindsets, with particular focus on the worldly mindset


  • The context of global business
  • Introduction to the economics and finance of international trade
  • Theories of internationalisation - early and recent approaches
  • Multinational and transnational enterprises
  • Organisations and cultures: understanding cultures and cultural differences, models of and approaches to culture, employee behaviour, doing business across boundaries, personal level communication, negotiation, leadership and management - focus on specific cultures
  • Organising for global environments: structure, co-ordination, new forms of organisation, virtual organisation, voluntary and public sector organisations
  • Communication and information technologies, the death of distance
  • Management functions eg Human Resource management, selecting and managing a multinational workforce; Marketing in a global environment; Operations and supply chain management in an international context
  • Strategy, competitive advantage, competencies, international and global strategies; entry and entry modes
  • Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and international business environments

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • be able to appreciate the context of global business
  • be able to understand the importance of organisational and cultural factors in shaping the global business environment
  • be familiar with a range of management functions and their operation in the global business environment
  • be able to critically appraise the roles of management and business organisations within the global environment
Subject-specific Skills:
  • have developed negotiation and business team-working skills (through the cross-cultural business simulation)
Key Skills:
  • written and verbal communication
  • organisational skills
  • problem-solving and analytical skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning will be based on knowledge transfer from lectures and personal study; investigation of cases and real world organisations which will underpin the seminars will encourage students to develop awareness of cultural differences and apply these to development of their skills in managing themselves and others in such contexts. In the event that students on the module come from a range of cultural backgrounds, their knowledge and experience will be capitalised on through integration into the learning process through seminar activities and discussion. The simulation activity will involve groups of students in preparing for and carrying out a cross-cultural negotiation based for example on market entry or personnel selection of local or expatriate managers. This will provide the basis for the summative assignment. Background research on the environment, organisation and relevant concepts will provide the subject matter of the formative assignment

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Workshops 8 Fortnightly 1 hour 8
Cross-cultural simulation 1 Annual 2 hours 2
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual assignment based on simulation activity 2500 words 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 1 hour 30 minutes 100%

Formative Assessment:

One group report (1500 words) and group presentation. Individual report (1500 words).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University