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MN50450: The global environment of business

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: School of Management
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: Managing in contemporary environments calls for an understanding of external and internal forces that impact on firms and other organisations. Using perspectives drawn from political science, economics and strategy, the unit aims to explore contemporary themes such as: the existence of economic, socio-political market groupings, the basic functioning of the international finance sector, the role of national institutions and the changing relationship between business and society. It also seeks to elucidate how these factors influence the development of corporate strategies for the long term.

Learning Outcomes: This unit will enable students to:
* Describe important aspects of the contemporary business environment
* Explain the importance of non-market environment to firms
* Understand how functional areas of business interact with the external economic environment
* This unit should enable students to describe key aspects of systems which impact upon business in a number of different countries
* Appreciation for the importance of social and political factors in shaping different models of firm organization across countries.
* Understanding of economic policy in light of institutional theory, the economics of globalization, and the cross-border integration of business activity.

Skills: Intellectual
* Ability to engage and demonstrate in critical thinking and evaluation skills (T, F, A)
* Application of theories from economics, law and political science to real world cases (T, A)
* Ability to shape, progress and then defend a coherent argument (T, F, A)
* Ability to communicate complex data clearly and precisely (T, F)
* Self-management, time management skills (F)
* Develop the ability to reflect on earlier knowledge and practice and integrate the new with past experience and effectively apply it to the present situations (F)
* The facility to communicate and defend ideas (F/A)

Content: The course examines the environment firms operate in from multiple perspectives to better illustrate the complexity of issues firms face today. It will include:
* Introduction to the historical trends and extent of globalization. Recap the PEST(LE) framework.
* Introduce supra-national organizations that influence world trade and investment patterns.
* Examine the interaction of P, E & L within market groupings such as EU, NAFTA etc.
* The role of security and risk in the contemporary era.
* Introduction to international financial markets, function and implications for business.
* The interplay between T & L factors in intellectual property regimes and their implications for international trade and investment activity.
* How to address the core drivers of sustainable advantage (i.e. the composition of its portfolio and tradeoffs between exploiting existing opportunities or attempting to find new innovative solutions)
* How to balance risk and opportunities
* How strategic insights are first developed and then shared across an organizations
* How the political, social and technological environment shapes firm strategies.

Programme availability:

MN50450 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

School of Management


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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