MSc Business Analysis and Strategic Management

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Comparative and Global Management

Unit code BMAN72631
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


The twentieth century witnessed major changes in the degree of international competition, trade, capital flows and management, with significant increases occurring in the last quarter of the century. It was also characterised by the development of different types of industrial capitalism, including major differences in the nature of competition, regulation, firms and their capabilities. These variations in the organisation of market economies resulted from differences in the dominant institutions governing capital, labour and product markets across countries and regions.  Dominant ways of competing and cooperating in national and international markets thus vary between different systems of economic coordination and control, or business systems, interdependently with particular societal institutions. Management increasingly involves organising activities across different kinds of business systems and so managers have to understand how and why they vary and change.


BMAN72631 Programme Req: BMAN72631 is only available as a core unit to students on MSc BASM


The unit aims:

• To show students how firms and markets are organised differently across the world such that companies in varied business     systems develop distinctive capabilities and strategies;

• To explain why these differences have developed and how they are likely to change;

• To show how international firms manage activities across different business systems and institutional frameworks;

• To enable students to understand how different kinds of internationalising companies develop distinctive capabilities through operating in contrasting kinds of society.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • To compare different business systems and understand why they are distinctive;
  • To analyse the preferred strategies and capabilities of firms from different business systems;
  • To understand how firms from different societies internationalise in contrasting ways and develop distinctive capabilities;
  • To understand how national and international firms and markets are changing.

Assessment methods

20 minute group presentation (25%)

2 hour closed book examination based on a case study (75%)

Feedback methods

Verbal feedback during presentations, written feedback on presentations after moderation

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab

Responses to student e-mails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum

Specific course related feedback sessions

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation

Recommended reading

Key Readings (additional recommended readings will focus on the current empirical evidence for the key concepts)

R. Whitley, Divergent Capitalisms.

P Ghemawat, "Semiglobalization and international business strategy," Journal of International Business Studies, 34 (2003) 138-152.

P. Dicken, Global Shift, pages 198-220.


R Whitley, Business Systems and Organisational Capabilities,

R. Whitley (2001) "The Institutional Structuring of Business Transactions", in R Applebaum, W Felstiner and V Gessner (eds) Rules and Networks, Oxford: Hart.

M Granovetter (2005) "Business Groups and Social Organization," pages 429-450 in N J Smelser and R Swedberg (eds) The Handbook of Economic Sociology, second edition.

M Sako, Prices, Quality and Trust, chapter 1.

J Rubery and D Grimshaw, The Organization of Employment, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003

L Weiss (ed) States in the Global Economy, chapters 12 and 14.

F Allen and D Gale (2000) Comparing Financial Systems, chapters 3 and 4.

A Tylecote and F Visintin (2008) Corporate Governance, Finance and the Technological Advantage of Nations, Routledge and Kegan Paul, ch 3.

S Jacoby (2005) The Embedded Corporation, Princeton University Press. Chapter 5.

C. Hampden-Turner and F. Trompenaars (1993) Seven Cultures of Capitalism, chapter 1.

D. Hickson and D. Pugh, Management Worldwide, chapter 2.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 118

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Xiaoke Zhang Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal contact methods

Online Learning Activities (blogs, discussions, self-assessment questions)

Drop in surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with

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