1489 Gaining and Maintaining Global Competitive Advantage
Dr. Björn Schmeißer
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/18/18 to 09/25/18
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/11/18 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM D2.0.392
Tuesday 10/16/18 11:30 AM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 10/18/18 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM D2.0.374
Tuesday 10/23/18 11:30 AM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 10/25/18 05:00 PM - 08:00 PM D2.0.392
Tuesday 10/30/18 11:30 AM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001

The topics discussed during the lecture sessions comprise, but are not limited to: 

  • Foundations of a resource-based perspective on the firm
  • The Resource-Conduct-Performance paradigm in an international business context
  • Analyzing existing stocks of resources and competencies within MNEs 
  • Resources orchestration across country borders 
  • Specific sources of competitive advantages for MNEs
  • MNE archetypes
  • MNE resource recombination patterns
  • Impediments to international success of MNEs
Learning outcomes
Students will learn to appreciate and critically evaluate the explanatory power and the limitations of applying a resource-based perspective on the MNE in order to make an informed argument about the diverse sources of competitive advantage available to MNEs. In particular, questions related to how MNEs can tap into globally dispersed pockets of host country-specific resources and how they engage in resource orchestration across country borders to gain and maintain international competitive advantage will form the main focus of the course. In this context, we will be introduced to an unifying framework of IB strategy that integrates different concepts of IB in order to gain and maintain competitive advantage on a global scale.
Attendance requirements

Regulator attendance is mandatory.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course makes use of a mixture of different teaching methods:

  • Lectures will provide theory-inputs and provide the students with a comprehensive overview about relevant aspects of an MNE's competitive advantage from a resoucre-based perspective
  • Focus topic presentations on specific aspects of the lecture topics, which aim at providing a deeper understanding of key issues in IB strategy on the basis of selected research and practical papers that will be prepared by groups of students and presented to the class.
  • Case study analysis will provide the opportunity for students to apply theoretic tools and perspectives discussed in the lecture to real-life business situations. As the case study analyses will be done in groups, a further important learning element refers to further enhancing students' team work compenticies.
  • Case study presentation in which each group presents its case study analysis' results to the entire class. A particular emphasize will be placed on enhancing presentations skills of the students.
  • Interactive in-class break-ups during the course sessions will provide the opportunity to reflect ad-hoc on different aspects of the lecture content in small teams of students

The assessment of the students' performances and their aggregation towards final grades will be based on the following elements of appraisal:

  • Class participation - 20% (individual level): Given the interactive format of this course, active participation in class discussions is inevitable. This includes evidence of thorough preparation of course materials, particularly case studies and readings. You are expected to attend all of the classes. However, in cases of an emergency or illness you are allowed to miss (no more than) one session during the semester. In this case you are kindly asked to notify your absence by e-mail beforehand. Participation will be evaluated based on attendance, preparedness, and quality of contributions during discussions. 
  • Case presentation - 35% (group level): Group allocation will be done during the first lecture session. Each group will have to prepare a case analysis of one of the teaching cases guided by pre-assigned case questions. The result of the case analysis will have to presented in-class.
  • Focus topic presentation - 35% (group level): In the same groups you work together on the case studies, you are required to prepare and and give a (lecture-format) presentation to the class that delves deeper into one specific topic of the lecture. A collection of academic papers on that topic will be provided to you and will serve as foundation of this presentation.
  • Peer rating - 10% (individual level): Each group member’s participation in and contribution to the group work will be assessed by your peer group members.
Last edited: 2018-05-16