The global economy and multinational enterprise

Stage 2, optional (compulsory for International Business pathway)

The course will provide an overview of the growth and development of the global economy during the twentieth-century.

Attention will be placed on the development of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the role of Foreign Direct Investment as a driving force in the integration of developing countries into the globalisation process.

Students will gain an understanding of the genuine magnitude and significance of global economic forces and processes for national economies, industries and MNEs.

Topics covered

Global Economy:

  • Introduction to the global economy
  • Economic growth and the global economy
  • Perspectives on globalisation
  • Institutions: the supranational institutions
  • Institutions: national and regional institutions
  • Multilateral development banks
  • Developmental states in East Asia
  • Crises and the global economy
  • Contagion and consequences
  • The growth and development of the global economy in the twentieth century

Multinational Enterprise:

  • International business & distance
  • The political economy of international trade
  • Determinants of internationalisation
  • Strategies of multinationals
  • Entry modes and strategic alliances  
  • MNEs and development
  • Introduction to management databases
  • The organisation of international business
  • Internationalisation theories
  • Global marketing and research & development

Learning outcomes

  • Outline changes in the structure of the global economy during the twentieth century, including changes in economic leadership and patterns of international and regional economic integration
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of changes in global trade and investment patterns in the twentieth-century
  • Explain the evolution, role and influence of key institutions of the global economy (including the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank, The World Trade Organisation and regional trading blocs)
  • Critically assess the organisation and structure of MNEs and the ways of building up firm competitiveness in the global market
  • Recognise the impact of the host country market and its culture on MNE activities and to better understand the significance of this activity for host nations
  • Critically assess the risks of internationalisation of the strategies to manage risk


  • Individual report [2000 words] (40%)
  • Three-hour written examination (60%)