Course Information
International Business
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 


*IMPORTANT: This course is an International Affairs & Security Studies (12 for 12 for 12) course. Students on the Metropolitan Studies program can NOT take more than TWO 12 for 12 for 12 courses! This does not include German language courses.

The course gives an introduction to important aspect of management. It is designed to look at important issues from different, sometimes contradictory and/or complementary perspectives that shed light on the complexities of the topic. We will analyse the roles of managers and the modes of management; important ‘management tools’ will be introduced that help managers to develop business and corporate strategies. International management – especially from a US and a German perspectives – as well as management organisation and corporate responsibility will also be dealt with.

Complementing lectures, and will learn to apply core concepts on company cases based on written texts, videos or on their own internet and other research. Students will also give presentations on the core topics. One, but not the only, industry will be retail because many features of this industry can be easily observed and significant differences between US and Germany can be studied.

Attendance policy: 

Attendance and punctuality at all IES Abroad courses, including field studies and excursions, is necessary and mandatory. Students are responsible for signing the attendance sheet in each class, and for clearing absences with their professors.

Absences can only be excused for valid reasons. Students are responsible for producing documentation of these reasons if necessary (i.e. a doctor’s note). Absences for travel or visits of friends or family members are not excused. Unexcused absences affect students’ grades: an unexcused absence leads to a deduction of 3% of the overall grade.

Students who miss 25% or more of class sessions will receive a final grade of “F” for the course. Missed tests cannot be taken at another point in time except in case of documented illness. Students who are late for exams, including marked presentations, have no right to take extra time. If you are granted an excused absence from an examination (with authorization, as above), your instructor and center director will decide how you will make up the assessment component (by make-up examination or extra coursework).

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of the key issues related to management
  • Address a variety of topics discussed in the management literature
  • Apply concepts and tools to practical situations and cases
  • Critically evaluate the usefulness, appropriateness and limitations of concepts and tools used in management
Method of presentation: 
  • Lectures
  • Student presentations
  • Group work and company case studies based on written texts, videos, students’ internet research as well as field research
  • Discussions in class and in groups
  • Short exercises
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Midterm Exam - 20%
  • Presentation - 30%
  • Final Exam (oral) - 50%
1 Introduction:
Conceptualisations of Management
Course overview and formalities
2 What do managers do?
  • Mintzberg, H. (1975) The manager’s Job: folklore and fact. Harvard Business Review 53 (4), pp.49-61
3 Managing people: Theory X and Theory Y
  • McGregor, D. (1957) The human side of enterprise, The Management Review 16 (11), pp.22-28
4 Strategy – planned or emergent
  • Minzberg, H. (1987) The strategy concept I: Five Ps for strategy, California Management Review (Fall), pp.11-24
5 Analysing a company’s environment:
PEST and Porter’s Five Forces
  • Porter, M. (2008) The five competitive forces that shape strategy, Harvard Business Review (1), pp.23-41 an abbreviated updated version of the classical text
6 Analysing a company’s resources: the Resource Based View Barney, J. (1991) Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage, Journal of Management 17 (1), 99-120
7 Business strategy: generic strategies and activity systems
  • Porter, M. (1980) Competitive Strategy, New York: Free Press
  • Porter, M. (1996) What is strategy? Harvard Business Review 74 (6), 61-78
8 Managing in different institutional environments: ownership and finance, supplier relationships, industrial relations and vocational training in Germany and the US various short texts will be provided and ‘assembled’
9 Corporate internationalization: motives and patterns
  • Porter, M. (1986) Competition in global industries: A conceptual framework, in idem (ed.), Competition in Global Industries, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, pp.15-60
10 Organisational design: finding an appropriate management structure` various textbook sections
11 Managing responsibly: corporate social responsibility
  • Crane, A., D. Matten, and L.J. Spence (2013) Corporate social responsibility in a global context, in idem (eds), Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context, Abingdon: Routledge, 3-26


Required readings: 

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