BST 2412 International Business


BST 2412 International Business

Responsible for the course
Eli Moen

Department of Communication and Culture

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

This course together with BTH 2412 Bachelor thesis - International Business - constitutes the specialization in International Business, which will be stated on BI's Diploma.

With the advancement of the globalized economy firms and employees are faced with increased complexity. To succeed in international business, managers have to consider and make decisions about external as well as internal factors. The course will in a systemic way address important factors at both levels. External factors will include international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union as well as other multilateral organizations. To succeed in business knowledge of how these organizations regulate international business is essential.

At the national level the course will introduce students to the importance of institutions - both formal (legal systems, political systems, socio-economic systems) and informal (culture, religion, languages). In order to avoid failure when operating in other national contexts, managers have to be aware of all these different factors.

International organizations and institutions will form the backdrop for firm level analyses. At the firm level the course will introduce students to different types of firm strategies for internationalizing (export, investing abroad); to foreign entry strategies; to building global strategies (greenfield, mergers and acquisitions); to competitive dynamics, to emerging markets (for example the BRICS countries); to new forms of production systems (decentralized, networked, supply chains); as well as the importance of innovation and the emergence of green economy. The course will also provide students with knowledge of multinational companies’ organizational structure, and how to manage people across cultures (cross-cultural HR-strategies).

The course literature is research based and uses practical cases for developing students’ skills to analyze and make a balanced evaluation of topical issues.

Learning outcome
The overall objective of this specialization is to provide students with knowledge of the international business environment and how to manage international and global companies, and culturally diverse employees.

Acquired knowledge
After having completed the course, students should have acquired knowledge of central factors in international business - both on the macro and micro level. In particular, they should have knowledge of national differences in the international business environment, firms’ strategies for serving foreign markets, and for engaging in global competition as well as the implication of institutions and culture for leadership, HRM, and negotiations.

Acquired skills
The students will be able to apply core models and concepts to practical situations. They should develop skills in managing a diverse workforce as well as negotiating across cultures.

The students should be able to reflect on the effects of globalization (negative as well as positive) and to see how a changing world impacts business at the macro and micro level. They should be able to reflect on the significance of institutions and understand how culture impact on people's expectations and perceptions of management.

Students need to have completed the first 2 years of a Bachelor program including Statistics MET 3431 or MET 2920.

Compulsory reading
Dicken, Peter. 2015. Global shift : mapping the changing contours of the world economy. 7th ed. Sage
Peng, Mike W. and Klaus E. Meyer. 2016. International business. Cengage learning

Recommended reading
Hall, Peter and David Soskice. 2001. Varieties of capitalism : the institutional foundations of comparative advantage. Oxford University Press

Peng, M. W. & Y. Jiang. 2008. An institution-based view of international business strategy - an introduction to institutional perspectives on international business topics. Journal of International Business Strategy. 920-936

Course outline
The course consists of seven modules. The first day of each module is on international business from an economics & strategy perspective, and the second day addresses leadership and cross-cultural management.

  • Module 1) National differences in institutions | National differences in culture/understanding culture
  • Module 2) Firm competitiveness and international expansion | Global production chains, the distributed and networking economy
  • Module 3) International trade and Foreign direct investment | green economy
  • Module 4) Globalization and regional integration | emerging economies
  • Module 5) Global competition | Values and work-life
  • Module 6) Strategy and organization of global firms | Global Human Resource Management
  • Module 7) Summary and integration

Computer-based tools
No particular computer-based tools are used in the course.

Learning process and workload
The course consists of 78 teaching hours. The learning process emphasize a mix of lectures, student presentations, analysis of cases of business decisions and management challenges, as well as written assignments. Active participation and involvement in class is expected and encouraged.

Recommended use of hours for the students will be:
Use of hours
Participation in lectures/class
Preparation for lectures/class
Group + self-study/reading literature
30 + 62
Preparing for and writing one mandatory assignment
Examination (72-hours home examination)
Total recommended use of hours

    This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course.

    The final grade in this course will be based on the following activities and weightings:
    1) 40% One assignment in groups of 1 - 2 students (abouth three weeks). The assignment require participation in class which will involve a learning process with peer review from other students and a presentation with feedback.
    2) 60% a 72-hours home examination over an assigned topic. Can be solved individually or in groups of no more than two students.

    Specific information regarding student evaluation will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

    Examination code(s)
    BST 24123 - Process evaluation 100% of the grade in BST 2412 International Business 15 credits

    Examination support materials
    All support materials + BI approved exam calculator. Examination support materials at written examinations are explained under examination information in the student portal @bi. Please note use of calculator and dictionary in the section on support materials (

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit is held at the next scheduled exam in the course. Students who are taking new exam must take the course all over including all the activities on which the prosess evaluation is based.

    Re-sit examination for the Examination codes BST 24121 and BST 24122 will be offered last time autum 2016 and will be:
    1) A 72-hours home examination over an assigned topic, accounts for 60 % of the final grade. Can be solved individually or in groups of no more than two students.
    2) A 5-hour written open book examination, which accounts for 40 % of the final grade

    Both exams must be passed to pass the course.

    BST 24121 - 72-hours home examination 60 % of the grade in BST 2412 International Business 15 credits
    BST 24122 - Written examination counts 40 % of the grade in BST 2412 International Business 15 credits.

    Additional information