The International Business Environment

The details
Essex Business School
Southend Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
21 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N12012 International Business and Entrepreneurship,
MSC N120MO International Business and Entrepreneurship,
MPHDN10348 Business Administration,
PHD N10348 Business Administration,
MPHDN10448 Entrepreneurship,
PHD N10448 Entrepreneurship,
MPHDN20448 Management Studies,
PHD N20448 Management Studies

Module description

This module is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of the external context within which international businesses operate and the opportunities and challenges it poses to firms. The students will develop an understanding of the main forces that have increased the economic interdependence between nations and enable them to take a wider perspective to answer the question.

The module also introduces to students some basic economic and political concepts and applies these to the study of the international economic environment - in a historical and contemporary context. We are witnessing a retreat from globalisation in recent times which makes such an approach very salient. The module will draw on the current debates and fears surrounding Brexit inasmuch as they are related to the effects of international economic environment on UK industry.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To enable students to obtain a thorough and critical understanding of the complex process of international business activity and the different ways large and small firms manage the process of change associated with internationalisation.

  • To develop students' understanding of the international environment through:

    • Understanding and use of basic economic concepts such as comparative advantage and technological change and appreciate their role in creating economic interdependence.

    • Understanding of political concepts of group power, bargaining and negotiation and their role in extending globalisation.

    • Understanding of the evolution of the international environment in a historical perspective.

    • Understanding contemporary economic systems and their effect on organisation and internationalisation.

    • Understanding factors that may spur a retreat from globalisation.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to have developed a critical understanding of:

  1. The key features of the external context within which international businesses operate and the opportunities and challenges it poses to firms.

  2. The drivers and consequences of globalisation and economic integration (including regional integration).

  3. The role of national institutions and states in shaping international business activities.

  4. The functioning/role of international systems and global governance/institutions.

  5. The impact of international business activities.

Module information

Theoretical and Conceptual Issues

  • Entrepreneurship in the international business environment

  • International trade theories and practices

  • The economics of international business; economic trends and transformations

  • Cultural sensitivities and management styles

Strategic and Operational Issues

  • International financial markets and sources of capital for entrepreneurs

  • Entrepreneurship in developing and transition economies

  • The impact of global (e.g. UN, WTO) and regional institutions (e.g. EU, NAFTA) on international businesses

  • Trade laws and security issues for traditional and non-traditional (e.g. entrepreneurial firms, online businesses)

  • The technological environment

  • Global flows of ideas, knowledge, resources and people

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week, together with
  • Seminars; discussion of case studies; discussion of journal articles; class exercises; group work; tutorials; signposting to other support.

Students are expected to undertake a range of self-directed activities. These include reading of core texts and suggested articles and the preparation of material for in-class discussions.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Group Report    25% 
Coursework   Individual Essay    75% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Palitha Konara, email:
Professor Palitha Konara



External examiner

Prof Wantao Yu
University of Roehampton
Professor of Supply Chain Management
Available via Moodle
Of 25 hours, 25 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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