MG421      Half Unit
International Business Strategy and Emerging Markets

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Christine Cote MAR 5.25 and Prof Saul Estrin MAR 6.16


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Economics and Management, MSc in Management (1 Year Programme) and MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


An undergraduate or graduate course in international business, micro-economics or competitive strategy. Pre-requisites to be assessed by teacher responsible.

Course content

This course analyses the emergence of firms which operate across borders, often 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 cases in the classes.

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 economic 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 the resource based view. We provide an analysis of economic performance and growth in emerging markets building on the 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 spillover 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 15 hours of seminars in the WT.

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 1,500 word essay and will be provided with feedback. They will also be required to present their group project in class.

Indicative reading

  • Côté, C., Estrin, S. & Shapiro, D. Expanding the international trade and investment policy agenda: The role of cities and services. J Int Bus Policy (2020).
  • Zhan, James X. GVC transformation and a new investment landscape in the 2020s: Driving forces, directions, and a forward-looking research and policy agenda. Journal of International Business Policy (2021) 4, 206–220
  • Dunning, John (1979). "Toward an Eclectic Theory of International Production: Some Empirical Tests". Journal of International Business Studies. 11 (1): 9–31.
  • 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.


Project (40%) and class participation (10%) in the WT.
Essay (50%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 66

Average class size 2022/23: 26

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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