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WM9D9-15 International Business Development

Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Steve Fisher
Credit value
Module duration
2 weeks
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

The module will provide an understanding of the key aspects of the development and implementation of a systematic International Business Development strategy. Through consideration of the potential business relationships available and the relative benefits and risks of each, a methodology will be developed to allow the optimum approach to be determined for a business. As well as presenting theoretical approaches which may be considered, case studies and an international business relationships exercise will be used to allow students to develop their practical skills in this area.

Module aims

This module will provide an understanding of the reasons why carefully planned and systematically implemented international business development activities now play a crucial role in the growth and prosperity of most organisations. It will identify the key types of international business relationships now in common use and provide guidelines on the selection of the most appropriate formats to suit particular business needs. The module will also provide an overview of the practical, cultural, legal, financial and operational aspects of international business, which can be critical in ensuring successful project implementation.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The syllabus for the International Business Development module will incorporate the following key areas: -

  • International business Strategy.
  • Types of international business relationship.
  • Legal and contractual aspects.
  • Practicalities of international business development projects.
  • Cultural aspects and negotiation skills.
  • Financial and operational aspects.
  • Case studies.
  • International business development exercise.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Interpret the language of international business relationships
  • Critique specific examples and appropriate theory to determine the benefits and risks for businesses of individual relationship structures
  • Systematically analyse the business implications of potential structures and control procedures throughout both the development and implementation phases of international business development
  • Systematically develop effective control processes for the key financial and legal aspects of international business
  • Evaluate the risks of ineffective or inappropriate negotiating and project development skills.
Indicative reading list

Gibbs, Richard; Humphries, Andrew (2009) Strategic alliances & marketing partnerships: gaining competitive advantage through collaboration and partnering. London: Kogan Page. ISBN 0749454849, 9780749454845
Gomes, Emanuel (2011) Mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances: understanding the process. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0230285368, 9780230285361
Maude, Barry (2014) International business negotiation: principles and practice. AU: Palgrave Macmillan ISBN 9781137270511
Thompson, Leigh l. (2015) The mind and heart of the negotiator. Sixth Ed. Boston: Pearson ISBN 1292073330, 9781292073330


The module will consider a range of issues, theory and case studies, specifically in an International context.

Subject specific skills

The module will provide development of a range of subject-specific skills, including: -

  • the ability to identify, evaluate and manage business risks, through appropriate contractual and financial mitigations
  • the ability to evaluate alternative business strategies from both a financial and broader business perspective
  • financial analysis in a business development context
Transferable skills

The module will provide development of a range of transferrable business skills for participants, including: -

  • business report writing
  • management in a multi-cultural environment
  • negotiation (planning and implementation)
  • time management and teamwork

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 18 sessions of 1 hour 30 minutes (18%)
Seminars 18 sessions of 1 hour 30 minutes (18%)
Assessment 96 hours (64%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A
Weighting Study time
Post-Module Assignment 60% 70 hours

A report analyzing key elements of the module learning. Successful completion will require the student to research additional methodologies, data and case studies to support their arguments.

Multiple Choice Questionnaire 5% 11 hours

The students will be asked to complete a Multiple Choice Questionnaire (MCQ) on the first day of the module - this will assess the student's understanding of the pre-reading provided in advance of the module.

In-Module Assessment (IMA) 20%

A business simulation will be conducted throughout the week, which will allow the participants to apply the theoretical approaches presented in the lectures to a real-world scenario. This will facilitate the development of practical skills and enhanced understanding of the implications of the decisions made. The students will be asked to provide a final presentation to summarize their developed outcome and justify their approach, the decisions made and the robustness of their solution. A question and answer session will follow the formal presentation to test the depth of understanding. The students will be marked as a group, with adjustment made for particularly strong or weak individual contributions.

Reflective Essay 10% 15 hours

The students will be asked to submit a reflective essay at the end of the module timetable, considering the key learning outcomes from and their individual contribution to the in-module simulation exercise.

Industry report 5%

As a part of the in-module syndicate exercise, the students will be asked to submit an industry report to the board of directors of their company. This will enable consolidation of the learning during the activity and allow the tutors to identify and address any misunderstandings at an early stage of the process.

Assessment group R
Weighting Study time
Post-Module Assignment resubmission 100%

A report analyzing key elements of the module learning. Successful completion will require the student to research additional methodologies, data and case studies to support their arguments.

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback of approximately 150-250 words will be provided and will be focussed upon the strengths and weaknesses of the work with regard to the module learning objectives and the post-module assignment marking guidelines. Suggestions for improvement will also be provided. The Chair of the student's company (represented by the tutor) will meet with the student groups individually to provide feedback on their industry reports. The written feedback will provide commentary as appropriate for specific areas of concern within all assessed elements of the module.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of TWMS-H1S8 Postgraduate International Trade, Strategy and Operations (Full-time)

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of TWMS-H1SB Postgraduate Taught Programme and Project Management (Full-time)

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of TWMS-H1S9 Postgraduate Taught Management for Business Excellence (Full-time)
  • Year 1 of TWMS-H1SD Postgraduate Taught Supply Chain and Logistics Management (Full-time)