SM4022 - Globalisation, Innovation and Sustainability

What will I learn on this module?

This 20-credit core module is delivered during the first semester of the MSc International Business Management and is aimed at you if you have prior business and management academic experience.

The aim of the module is to build on your prior academic knowledge of business management and explores the new post-recession economic and business environment. It aims to develop your academic knowledge and professional skills in evaluating sustainable strategic options for international organisations seeking competitive advantage through innovation. Contemporary but also traditional strategy formulation theoretical frameworks are presented within the module to develop you as critical thinkers and future practitioners.

The module is designed around five pillars: (i) developments in the new (post-global recession) economic and business environment; (ii) strategic options for international growth; (iii) innovation; (iv) leadership and change within an international/global business model; and (v) sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

How will I learn on this module?

Lectures and seminars aim to introduce and evaluate contemporary but also well-accepted academic theories and business practices within an interactive, student-led learning environment. Centric to the module’s learning approach is to build upon your prior business and management academic knowledge and professional experience and develop your critical evaluation and thinking skills on strategic issues and opportunities presented to organisations operating within todays dynamic and turbulent global business environment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, which signposts the tutor-directed study and student-led independent weekly activities. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed and independent learning undertaken and students’ academic and professional experience. Throughout, emphasis will be on high levels of student participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. You should therefore expect to engage in a reflective-practitioner learning approach, embedded in all workshop/seminar sessions. You will engage in the application of theory to ‘real-life’ situations, critically analysing and making strategic recommendations for organisations.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.

Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc.

Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy along with the explicit development of competence.

The approach to research informed teaching within the module is primarily centred on the emphasis of research process and problem solving where the curriculum that is focussed on the business simulation emphasises your undertaking within their teams significant inquiry-based learning. This will involve the students being active participants in their learning, requiring them to use the market and operations information provided in support of the simulation software to set up their business organisation and on an ongoing basis, make responsible business decisions.
In the supporting lectures and seminars which provide the knowledge base for the module, a research-tutored approach will be adopted, whereby learning, as appropriate will involve students discussing research and critically engaging in research based discussion, further supported by staff using contemporary work to contextualise the lecture content within the module.

The eLP will house lecture and seminar materials relating to the module supported, where appropriate, various lecture recordings to support you in your independent study. These lecture recordings will include introduction to the module, support in using the computer software for the business simulation and preparation for assessment. Central to the TEL that supports the module is the use of a commercially development business simulation software that permits students during the business simulation (game) to enter decisions via a PC either remotely or within the University, which can then be quickly processed on-lone by the tutor so that the students have timely access to the outcomes of their business decisions. The use of the software is fully supported by a comprehensive range of materials which are housed on the eLP for student reference.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Appreciation and critically evaluation of the sources of sustainable competitive advantage within a global business context. [MLO1]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Develop management and decision making skills necessary to make conscious judgements on strategic options. [MLO2]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Develop inter-personal, team-working and culturally aware skills within a diverse team. [MLO3]

How will I be assessed?

The module is summatively assessed by two assignments. Both assignments are individually based.

Assignment A (25%) - Linked to the Business Simulation activity:
Individual assignment: (2,000 words): a critical evaluation of the performance of the company including the extent to which the company achieved the strategic objectives set out in the business plan, thus integrating the strategic management aspect of the module with each of the key business functions together with an evaluation of the effectiveness of decision-making in the team. This assessment covers MLO1, MLO2 and MLO3.

Assignment B (75%):
Individual assignment (2,500 words): a critical evaluation of theoretical frameworks supported by real-world examples on a given topic. This assessment covers MLO1.

Feedback strategy
Feedback on your summative performance in this module will be provided as follows: your assignment will be returned to you with annotated comments directly related to the assessment ask. You will also be provided with a written comment on actions to be taken to improve performance in assessment overall.

Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module, particularly in relating to seminar tasks. Students should, however be aware that formative feedback can, and will, occur in any communication with an academic tutor.





Module abstract

The module has the aim to explore and evaluate three conceptual themes: (i) Globalisation, (ii) Strategy and Innovation and (iii) Sustainability.

The module builds on students’ prior academic knowledge of business management and exposes students to the new economic and business environment and the evaluation of sustainable strategic options promoting innovation and growth. Contemporary but also traditional strategy formulation theoretical frameworks are presented within the module to enable the development of students as critical thinkers and future practitioners.

The module will be taught by a mixture of lectures and seminars. In the lectures, the main concepts and theories underpinning the module will be introduced. In seminars, students will have the opportunity to apply these ideas to real organisations through both case studies and their own research. Students will be expected to make short presentations and participate in tutor-led discussions. Students will have the opportunity to attend classes given by the Faculty’s researchers who will outline current work that is relevant to the module.

The module will be assessed by two components: (i) Business Simulation based report and (ii) Essay. Both components are individually based and are designed to develop students’ knowledge and skill in theory evaluation and application, the Business Game gives students a practical insight into strategy development, decision making and enquiry-based learning.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 16 months Full Time
4 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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