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International Business: Theories and Issues


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Sara Chaudhry
  • Assessment: a 3500-4000-word essay (100%)

Module description

The module examines the various economic and international business theories and issues relating to international trade, international production and the multinational enterprise (MNE) at the microeconomic, mesoeconomic and macroeconomic levels.

Indicative module content

  • International trade theories: absolute advantage, comparative advantage, new trade theory
  • Government policy and international trade: trade intervention, tariffs, quotas, other trade barriers, WTO
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI): political ideologies and FDI, costs and benefits of FDI, invernational investment theories, factors influencing FDI
  • The institutions of economic governance: levels of international integration, regional integrations
  • Institutional variety and international business: varieties of capitalism and implications for multinational firms
  • Culture in international business: What is culture? Theories of culture in international business; cultural pitfalls for international businesspeople
  • The changing nature of international business: the changing world economy, technology and platform companies, born global firms, emerging market multinationals

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • appreciate the existence and relevance of economic theory dealing with international trade
  • understand the emergence of a distinct body of economic and international business theory dealing with international production and the MNE
  • be able to describe fully the various theoretical strands explaining international trade, international production and the MNE at different levels of economic analysis
  • be able to compare and critically analyse competing and complementary theoretical approaches to explaining international trade, international production and the MNE
  • have examined the relevance of an understanding of theory to explaining the evolving issues in international trade, international production and the MNE.