MG421      Half Unit
Foreign Direct Investment and Emerging Markets

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Saul Estrin NAB4.32 and Dr Christine Cote


This course is available on the MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Human Resource Management/CIPD), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour), MSc in Management and MSc in Management, Organisations and Governance. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


An undergraduate or graduate course in micro-economics. Pre-requisites to be assessed by teacher responsible.

Course content

This course analyses the emergence of firms which operate on a global scale and their current and likely future interactions with emerging markets. It will combine the development of conceptual frameworks primarily through the lectures with the analysis of key cases in the classes. There will also be some external speakers from large international firms and from the banking and consulting community to bring contemporary views and arguments to bear.

Multinational firms have been an increasingly significant aspect of the corporate environment in developed countries since the 1960s, and are responsible for a high proportion of global output, exports and investment, as well as the bulk of foreign direct investment. In the past few decades their activities have been increasingly focused to developing economies, notably those which have liberalised and entered a more rapid growth phase. These economies, emerging markets, include some important world economies including China, India, transition economies such as Russia, and Latin American countries such as Brazil and Argentina. The "new institutional economics" has recently developed as a field to understand the impact of variation in institutions on economies' performance.

This course will focus on how the institutional characteristics of emerging markets affect the choices and behaviour of multinational firms, now and into the future. We commence with the basic framework of analysis of the behaviour of multinational enterprises (MNEs), outlining models of the MNE which draw on transaction cost economics, the eclectic OLI paradigm of Dunning, and more recent concept such as the resource based view. We will provide an analysis of economic performance and growth in emerging markets building on the new institutional economies and working with a large variety of data sets and sources. The course will then turn to key topics. These will include the determinants of FDI; the effects of FDI on the host economy; entry mode choices; measures of institutional and cultural distance; and the growing importance of multinationals from emerging markets.

Students will work with case material as well as the required reading, and the group project will comprise a case write up, which will be presented prior to submission in class for comment and discussion.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of lectures in the ST.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to write a 1,000 word essay and will be provided with feedback. They will also be required to present their group project in class.

Indicative reading

R. Caves, Multinational Enterprise and Economic Analysis, 2nd Edition, Cambridge University Press 1996;

P. Ghenawat, Redefining Global Strategy, Harvard Business School Press, 2007;

J. Williamson, "The New Institutional Economies", Journal of Economic Literature, 2000;

Estrin et. al., "Entry Mode in Emerging Markets", Strategic Management Journal, 2009;

T. Khanna and K Palepu, "The Future of Business Groups in Emerging Markets", Academy of Management Journal 2004.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (20%, 1000 words) in the ST.
Project (20%, 2000 words) and class participation (10%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2014/15: 46

Average class size 2014/15: 15

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2013/14 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 67.9%



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