SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS - 2020/1

Module code: MANM428

Module Overview

Strategic thinking, and ability to do effective strategy formulation and execution are key to businesses across industries. The need for and benefit of these skills is no longer limited to elite staff groups or top executives. Increasingly, companies expect their product managers, senior business analysts and mid-level executives in diverse functions to possess the ability to understand strategic contexts, and think and act strategically. Therefore, this course will focus on the craft, the opportunities and the challenges of developing strategies in these roles. As we do so, the most basic strategic question is: How do we best position and compete among significant uncertainty and ambiguity to maximize value created and profits made in a sustainable way? This is a particular relevant question in Africa and other emerging economies. This course provides students a combination of analytical and engagement tools for strategy projects for internal or external executive clients. Among the analytical skills are methodologies and frameworks for product, firm, industry and market analysis. Among the softer engagement skills are diagnostic skills. Seminal cases and contemporary contexts are used to apply tools and concepts in strategic management. Participants will acquire a critical understanding of strategy formulation, how the field of strategy is scoped, and its implications for managerial practice. Frameworks for analyses will help participants formulate successful business unit or corporate strategy aimed at establishing sustainable competitive positions.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

RAJWANI Tazeeb (SBS)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N120

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:



Evaluation of the external international business environment and exploiting future trends


Industry attractiveness, industry value chain and industry lifecycle


Internal business resources, capabilities, and core competencies


Strategic planning process and strategy cycle


Business models and generic business strategy


Value innovation and blue ocean strategy


Digital platform strategy


Strategic intent and mission, vision, values


International strategy


Macroeconomics
Corporate strategy


Growth strategies

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Individual Assignment (MAX 2,000 WORDS) 60
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Group Project Presentation (15 MINUTES PLUS Q&A) 40

Alternative Assessment

Individual Essay (MAX 1500 WORDS) to replace Group Presentation if required

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the relevant concepts and theories and showcase their ability to use them in practice. There are two pieces of summative assessment: a group presentation (accounting for 40% of weighting) and an individual essay (accounting for 60% of weighting) provide students with ample opportunity to demonstrate learning from the module. Students will be working on their group assignment project throughout the duration of the module and make incremental progress as the module progresses, receiving formative feedback along the way. There will also be a dedicated supervised session, whereby students will be able to integrate the insights from the entire module into their group project with guidance from the tutor. The individual assessment will be a reflective essay on a set topic, which will require students to draw upon their own experiences, reflections and reading. Alternative assessment will be by individual coursework (maximum 1,500 words). Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: group presentation of 15 minutes plus Q&A (40% weighting) and individual essay of 2,000 words maximum (60% weighting).  

Module aims

  • Introduce a range of management, international business and sustainability issues pertinent to understanding how organisations integrate these elements to form an effective and sustainable strategy



  • Systematically analyse organisations from a process rather than a functional perspective with the emphasis on integration
  • Equip students with a sound understanding of the process of strategic management and the different components of the strategy development cycle
  • Help students understand the challenges associated with international business
  • Provide a platform for developing an awareness of sustainability issues and their link to strategy
  • Provide practical reinforcement of the issues discussed in class via case study learning
  • Introduce students to a range of practitioners

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically understand the idea of schools of strategy to create a contextual analyses platform K
002 Formulate strategy aimed at establishing sustainable competitive advantage based upon the deployment of superior resources and capabilities K
003 Use a set of operational tools of analysis aimed at gaining short- to medium-term advantages in markets where long term advantages are difficult or impossible to create CK
004 Deploy the strategic contexts of innovation and leadership P
005 Examine the relationship between strategy and sustainability KP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 104

Lecture Hours: 46

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to focus on learning fundamental theories and critical evaluation, by giving students the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of relevant theories, models and research, from a cross-cultural perspective.



The module will comprise lectures and discussion groups, as well active and self-directed learning. Whilst the lectures are mainly designed to illustrate and explain theoretical concepts and models, the seminars/discussion groups explore and illuminate the theoretical concepts and models by reference to and explanation of a range of topical issues and case studies. Group discussions are therefore designed to develop a more practical insight into the applied nature of the various topics covered. Active learning includes engaging in classroom practical exercises, video and case analyses, and, group work on the practical component of the assessment. Self-directed learning pertains to engaging in reading material relevant to the module.



Prior to attending the lecture and seminar, students are expected to undertake the essential reading for the sessions.

The learning and teaching methods include:



Teaching concepts and then learning through case studies


Video and simulations


Conversations with external senior managers


Presentations by external clients and Q&A sessions


Workshop activities conducted in teams and with clients


Self-directed learning

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/manm428

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Master of Business Administration MBA(MBA PART-TIME YEAR 1) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.