SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

International business strategy

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 1

Business across borders offers both challenges and opportunities. This course provides a framework for analysing decisions made by firms in an international context. While the foundations of the course are concepts developed in economics, they will be combined with (and challenged by) insights from strategy, international finance, marketing, human resource management, and other areas. The final aim of the course is to provide you with a critical understanding of whether and to what extent the ways economists have studied and modeled firms’ internationalization decisions offer any support in real world decision making.

The course will address the following key questions: What are the specific challenges associated with international operations? How should firms tackle these challenges depending on their own competitive advantages as well as the characteristics of the countries and industries in which they operate?

Module sign-up information for non-departmental open option students
  • Required approval: Approval is required from the Law and Social Sciences Faculty Office
  • Required pre-requisite module(s): None
  • Year of study: 2 or 3/Final
  • Maximum number of non-departmental students permitted per year: 10
  • Weekly timetable: One lecture (2 hours) and one tutorial (1 hour)

Further information on open open modules can be found here

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The course analyses the opportunities firms face in the global economy. By the end of the course you will master economic concepts that are useful for the analysis of and decision making on the internationalization activities of firms.

At the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Analyze the issues pertaining to foreign direct investment (FDI)
  • Analyze the advantages and the disadvantages of the different modes of firm internationalization
  • Analyze in detail the role of multinational firms and the issues related to outsourcing and offshoring in emerging countries.

Method of assessment

This course is assessed by 30% written coursework and 70% by one two hour examination

Suggested reading

Indicative Readings:

Main text:

  • K. Head, 2008. Elements of Multinational strategy. Springer.

Other texts that may be useful for part or all of the course are:

  • Barba Navaretti, G. and A. J. Venables, 2004. Multinational Firms in the World Economy. Princeton University Press.
  • Hill, C. W. L., 2012. International Business, Global Edition. McGraw-Hill.
  • Lee, Eun Sup, 2012. Management of International Trade. Springer.
  • Moschett, D, H. Schramm-Klein and J. Zentes, 2010. Strategic International management. Gabler Verlag.
  • Salvatore, D., 2012. Introduction to International Economics, 3rd Edition International Student Version. Wiley.
  • Spulber, D. F., 2007. Global Competitive Strategy. Cambridge University Press.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules