22038 Firms and Business Environments, 6 cr

Intermediate studies
Teaching language: 
Course Description: 

The aim of the course is to develop students’ understanding of firms and business environments from international management and political economy perspectives. The main focus of the course is on the new forms of the multinational company, and the evolution of national and regional business systems, political-economic institutions and social expectations toward firms in Europe. At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to identify key features of business environments and multinational companies, and to apply key concepts and models to critically analyze related situations and develop solutions to related problems in international business.

Learning Goal: 

You have broad knowledge of central theories, concepts and models related to business environments and organization of multinational firms.

After completing the course, you will be able to: 
  • acknowledge the political and institutional forces driving and shaping business in different environments, especially in Europe
  • identify different institutional environments in which firms operate in Europe
  • understand the nature and role of firms in different political economies
  • describe different types of multinational firms, national business systems and political-economic institutions
  • identify the value and wealth chains of multinational corporations and different ways of organizing them
International Learning Experience: 

The course discusses various types of multinational corporations and key differences between countries and business environments within Europe.


Participants are expected to have basic knowledge of organization theory (i.e., completed course "Introduction to Organization Theory", code 22014, or equivalent).

Total Student Workload: 

160 hours divided into 
Scheduled contact hours: 32 h
Non-scheduled work hours: 128


Lectures 24 h (includes in-class discussions), in-class group work presentations 8 h (mandatory participation), self-study 128 h (including readings, two group assignments, and preparation for final exam), and applied Moodle-based final exam

Literature and Course Material: 
  • Guay, T. R. (2014): The Business Environment of Europe: Firms, Governments, and Institutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lecture slides and other literature (scientific articles) as specified by the instructor (see Moodle for details)

Two group assignments (30 % + 30 %) in which students analyze given business environments and multinational companies
Home examin Moodle (30 %)
Lecture attendance (10 %)

At least 50 per cent (‘pass’) is required for all the elements of the assessment in order to pass the course. Please note that the points you receive for the sub-parts are valid only for one academic year.

Recommended Time of Performance: 

Third year of Bachelor's studies

Equivalent Courses: 

Students who have completed the earlier courses International Business/Firms and Business Environments (8 credits, course code 2253) cannot take this course.

Non-degree studies (Open University, JOO and Contract Studies): 

Open university quota: 3
Quota for JOO-students: 3

Additional Information: 

More detailed description of the course is available on the course page in Moodle.