Course 2018-2019 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  12 credits SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Mission & Content Summary


Companies today confront an increasing array of choices of foreign markets, of international locations for value adding activities, and of different modes of crossing borders and managing activities across borders. This course aims to offer a comprehensive and up-to-date explanation of economic globalization, examining the role of transnational corporations, States, labour, consumers, technologies and organizations in civil society and the exchange and power relations between them. The central objective of this course is to deconstruct globalization and to understand the strategic management of transnational firms and the strategic issues and tradeoffs these companies face in a global context. In an increasingly complex world economy and society, the goal of this course is to provide a framework for formulating and evaluating these strategies by focusing students’ attention on some advanced topics in international business. This course is not only pertinent for students who intend to pursue general management careers in multinational companies, but also to those interested in management consulting, investment banking, venture capital and other careers in a global context where accurate and concise strategic assessments are crucial.


This is an intermediate to advanced level course on specific themes and issues in the international strategies realm, chosen according to their economic importance, their future relevance, and their academic interest. After a brief introduction to basic international business concepts and theories examining how, and why, firms decide to expand their operations in foreign countries adopting an evolutionary perspective, the course is built around some specific themes and issues in the international strategies realm, chosen according to their economic importance, their future relevance and their academic interest. The focus of the course is on: 

  • Emerging countries and emerging markets multinationals (EMCs) (a comparative analysis): How, and why, firms decide to expand their operations in emerging countries (Brics and over)? How the rise of emerging multinationals from these countries is affecting global industry dynamics? How different are EMCs from multinationals coming from developed ones, and do they require a different approach? What competitive advantages do they leverage as they internationalize? What role for entrepreneurship in emerging markets? What role do acquisitions have? 
  • Creating and Leveraging Knowledge (The Worldwide Learning Challenge: innovation and agility in multinationals): how the global economy is being transformed through the operation of global production/innovation networks involving transnational corporations, states, interest groups and technology? How to take advantage of multiple and global knowledge sourcing points to be innovative and agile?
  • Managing the complexities of today's workforce and contexts: how can national identity perspective be included to understand global work? How can concepts like job satisfaction, diversity and fairness be declined in multinationals? What are global work arrangements in the digitally transformed and virtual enterprise? What are the influences on career choices of multicultural millennials?
  • Exit and re-entry strategies: why do multinationals companies decide to exit from specific countries? What are the factors affecting their decisions? How difficult is the process? What are the consequences? What happens if they decide to re-enter in the future?
  • Competitive advantage and multinational companies’ strategy sustainability: how powerful are transnational corporations and how are they affecting the social worlds? Why are they held responsible for threatening the rights of workers, consumers and citizens across the world? How can multinationals responsibly respond to such increasing accusations and redesign their strategy?

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Recognize the major impact of current challenges related to companies operating in international markets.
  • Identify the main issues related to emerging markets and emerging markets multinationals, worldwide learning challenge, global workforce management, competitive advantage and multinational companies’ strategy sustainability and exit and re-entry strategies.
  • Explain the relationship and the impact of multinationals global strategies and  global economic, social and political challenges.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyse the impact of international strategies on global competitiveness.
  • Apply the appropriate tools and methodologies related to the international management and global strategy decision making process.
  • Measure and interpret the relevant KPIs in the global strategizing.
  • Demonstrate organizational and teamwork abilities as well as presentation and communication skills.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


This course is designed to favor gradual learning, active student participation and in class interaction. Students are required to actively participate and engage in the learning process by reading assigned materials prior to each session, by participating in class discussions and presentations, and by working in teams. This course places a priority on development of skills related to rigorous classroom discussion of course content, scholarly research, and critical reading and reasoning. Students are expected to figure out how to navigate a wide variety of texts in a variety of ways, identifying common themes throughout each. Special attention is given to the development of student voices, both in class discussion and during the presentation of the selected case studies. The focus is not on right or wrong answers, but on interpretations and points of view. By welcoming exchange of ideas among students, this course aims at nurturing curiosity and shaping the students’ engagement with the world.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • Peer evaluation


Attending students are evaluated both on individual and team activities, according to the following:

  • Project on assigned cases/topics (team): 35 points.
  • Case discussion and Class participation (individual) 15 points.
  • Peer evaluation (individual) 10 points.
  • Written Exam (individual) 40 points.
  • TOTAL 100 points.

Grades for this course are assigned according to the observed distribution of points earned in the different required components. In order to pass this course you must make a satisfactory attempt at all the assessment components. It is yours best interest to perform as well as possible in each task. Grades tend to be assigned according to the rules of Bocconi University (distribution curve).


Students that are unable to attend the course are evaluated on a written exam only. The written exam for non-attending students has the same structure of the attending students exam (multiple choice questions + open questions), but is different in terms of required readings.

Teaching materials


  • Course readings are available for free in the course website through the University’s elearning portal access at:



The written exam for non-attending students is based on the following required readings only:

  • P. DICKEN, Global Shift , Sage. 2011, sixth edition [607 pages].
  • G. IETTO-GILLIES, Transnational corporations and international production, (Second Edition). Edward Elgar. 2012, Second Edition [288 pages].
  • P. RIVOLI, The travel of a t-shirt in the global economy, Wiley,  2009, Second edition [336 pages].
Last change 27/06/2018 08:38