Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Management and Marketing


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The aim of the module is to enable students to build up knowledge of the Asia-Pacific Rim economies and their businesses based upon in-depth analysis of the business and mangement systems of the region, with a focus on three of the major economies of the region (China, Japan and South Korea).


  • Broad economic explanations for Asia-Pacific growth (i.e. orthodox versus heterodox economic approaches), understanding competing paradigms of development
  • Introduction to main elements of International Business theory, including; theory of business groups, the dominant form of business organization in East Asia and their late industrialization processes, involving technological learning; theory of the multinational corporation and relevance to East Asian businesses; corporate governance and pyramidal ownership structures; market imperfection related arguments for the formation of groups;
  • Application of theory to key issues in Japanese economic and business development, including study of Japanese business groups (keiretsu), their evolution over time and the emergence of unique production systems in Japan (i.e. Toyotism/lean production)
  • South Korean development and organisational/management issues, including understanding the key features of chaebol groups
  • Mainland China, development and organisational/management issues, including, the emergence of business groups (qiye jituan) and more recent growth of Chinese MNEs, including their strategic asset seeking orientation and mainstream debates within International Business.
  • Coverage of key case studies, such as Fosun Group, HNA, Wanda and Shanghai Electric Group (all China); Toyota and lean production; the rise of Hyundai Heavy Industries and shipbuilding in South Korea. • Issues facing East Asian businesses today (trade wars and disputes between China and the US, for example)

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to:
  • Identify and conceptualize region-wide development trends/issues
  • Understand East Asian business and management systems in the leading economies in the region
  • Understand mainstream international business theory as it pertains to the emergence of East Asian businesses
  • Translate that regional/national knowledge into more detailed implications for organizations and management in both East and West.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Model macro/micro level development
  • Appreciate emerging strategic management issues in East Asia
  • Develop appropriate cross-cultural awareness and understanding
Key Skills:
  • Use of business/management databases for doing research on East Asian business (to support the extended essay writing (i.e. research skills for extended essay writing);
  • Take an active role in own learning;
  • Problem solving and analytical skills;
  • Review, Plan, evaluate
  • Self-directed study: taking initiatives and working without supervision
  • Written communication - critical analysis, presenting arguments and data with eight interactive seminar groups involving preparation and presentation of key material.
  • Engage in critical reasoning and informed debate;
  • Synthesise and critique arguments drawn from a variety of sources, including visual and multi-media;
  • Communicate arguments effectively in writing;
  • Carry out independent study and further reading using traditional and electronic sources;
  • Manage their time and workload;
  • Demonstrate effective study and learning skills (note taking; avoiding plagiarism, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing);
  • Demonstrate good IT skills in word processing, using the web, using a virtual learning environment (i.e. DUO )

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

  • Teaching is by lectures and seminars. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminars, and private study.
  • Formative assessment is by means of multiple choice quizzes.
  • Summative assessment is by means of a 4,000 word essay (excluding bibliography).
  • Weekly lectures will introduce students to advanced concepts, arguments and theoretical debates

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 Per Week 2 Hour 20
Seminars 8 8 in a term 1 Hour 8
Preparation and Reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: An extended essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One essay 4,000 words (excluding bibliography) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Four multiple choice quizzes delivered via DUO.

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