Managing the Multinational Enterprise - BUSN8590

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 15 (7.5) Maggie Zeng checkmark-circle


Understanding the Multinational Enterprise (MNE) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a key issue in economic theory and business. Since the emergence of the contemporary MNE at the end of the 19th century, changes in the macroeconomic and microeconomic environment, forced multinationals to change as a response to the rise of new technologies and products, the wider international division of labour and of course the greater integration of production, services, and – financial and other – markets. This changing process became more intense after the 1960s when U.S. and Japanese MNEs emerged as basic players in the international chessboard. Accompanied by the traditional European MNEs formed a triad that still dominates FDI in the world.

The changing geography of international production and investment reflects the dynamic interaction of many economic, organizational and policy factors. While many of these factors have long been relevant, their combination today represents the new forces influencing MNEs' location decisions. A simplistic approach of FDI towards location would not be appropriate to allow us to understand the complexity of international investments decisions. What is needed is a multidisciplinary approach of the phenomenon. It is the aim of this module to offer this multidisciplinary approach to students.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Group presentation (20%)
Individual report (2000 words) (80%).

Reassessment method:
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Dunning, J.H. and Lundan S.M. (2008) Multinational Enterprises and the global economy, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

Rugman, A.M. (ed.) (2009) The Oxford Handbook of International Business, Oxford: Oxford University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Analyse the modern multinational enterprise (MNE), its evolution and associate MNEs decisions with Where, When, and How to invest.
- Define the various ways MNEs are organised in response to their external environment and relate them with different structures of MNE networks of subsidiaries.
- Investigate how subsidiary mandates are won and lost and as managers adapt to them appropriately. Assess their unique role in the MNE network either working in the headquarters or in a subsidiary.
- Conceptualise the various information and knowledge channels within the MNE.
- Examine innovation management within the MNE and interpret the ways information and knowledge are distributed. Evaluate Innovation opportunities and propose the appropriate actions.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Negotiate and work with peers.
- Work under own initiative.
- Take a synoptic view of business.
- Address problems.
- Present a logical case/argument.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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