Module Details

BE217-5-FY-CO: The International Business Environment

Year: 2017/18
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Giovanni Serafini
Teaching Staff: Dr Giovanni Serafini
Contact details: Student Services Advisor

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the external context within which international businesses operate and the opportunities and challenges it poses to entrepreneurial firms, large and small. It begins by examining the rationale for studying international business, by discussing current developments in the global economy and the range of external environmental forces that impact businesses. Several lectures are dedicated to discussing the external challenges facing international firms, particularly economic, financial, political/legal, technological and cultural challenges. The module then introduces students to key international trade theories and practices, government intervention policies and regional economic integration.

This module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the key concepts and issues surrounding the context for international business, with a specific focus on the political/legal, economic, financial, and socio-cultural environment.

Learning and Teaching Methods

The learning and teaching methods for this module will use a combination of the follows:

Discussion of case studies and journal articles
Class exercises
Group work
Signposting to additional resources

The lectures will be developed around the key concepts as mentioned in the indicative module content and will use a range of live examples and cases from business practice to demonstrate the application of theoretical concepts. The lectures will follow a weekly format of 2 hours per week for 9 weeks in each of the two terms.

Seminars in the form of class exercises will be built into the lectures to develop critical analytical and problem solving skills. Seminars will use a range of activities, such as discussion of case studies from the core text, topical business news items and will involve students working in pairs or groups or individually to discuss, reflect on problems and answer questions, present their ideas and thoughts to the class for discussion. Seminars will take place during class time at the lecturer's discretion - i.e. some classes will warrant a full two-hour lecture.


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


Autumn Term: Individual Essay (25%). Spring Term: Individual Report (25%)

Exam Duration and Period

3:00 during Summer Examination period.


  • Essential reading:
  • Selected Chapters from:
  • Daniels, J.D., Radebauch, L.H. and Sullivan, D.P. (2015) International Business: Environments and Operations. Global Edition. 15th edition. Harlow, Pearson Education. ISBN-10: 1-292-01679-5 * ISBN-13: 978-1-292-01679-5.
  • Morrison, J. (2011) Global Business Environment: Meeting the challenge. 3rd edition. Basingstoke, Palgrave.
  • Recommended reading:
  • Selected chapters from:
  • Adekola, A. and Sergi, B. (2007) Global Business Management: A Cross-cultural Perspective. Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Limited.
  • Bhide, A. (2009) The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World. New Jersey, Princeton University Press.
  • Engargio, P. (2007) CHINDIA: How China and India are Revolutionising Global Business. London, McGraw Hill.
  • Hisrich, R.D. (2013) International Entrepreneurship: Starting, Developing and Managing a Global Venture. 2nd edition. London, Sage.
  • Irwin, D.A.(2015) Free Trade Under Fire. 4th edition. Woodstock, Princeton University Press.
  • Lasserre, P. and Schutte, H. (2006) Strategies for Asia Pacific: Meeting New Challenges. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Peng, M.W. (2011) Global Business, International Edition. 2nd edition. Andover, Cengage Learning.
  • Simon, H. (2009) Hidden Champions of the 21st Century: Success Strategies of Unknown World Market Leaders. London, Springer.
  • Sirkin, H.L., Hemerling J.W. and Bhattacharya, A.K. (2008) Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything. London, Headline.
  • Smith, D. (2007) The Dragon and the Elephant: China, India and the New World Order. London, Profile Books.
  • Stiglitz, J. (2002) Globalization and its Discontents. London, Penguin Books.
  • Tian, X. (2007) Managing International Business in China. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (Chapter 10).
  • Students are encouraged to read:
  • The Financial Times
  • Businessweek
  • The Economist
  • Journals:
  • Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
  • International Business Review
  • International Small Business Journal
  • Journal of Business Venturing
  • Journal of International Business Studies
  • Journal of World Business
  • Management International Review
  • Plus selected web sites.
  • Newspapers and Magazines:
  • The Financial Times
  • Businessweek
  • The Economist
  • Wired

Further information