1206 ExInt III: Internationalization: Business Planning (Group I)
Univ.Prof. Dr. Florian Benedikt Zapkau
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/20/23 to 09/25/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 10/17/23 02:00 PM - 04:30 PM D1.1.078
Tuesday 11/07/23 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM D1.1.078
Tuesday 11/21/23 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM D1.1.078
Tuesday 12/05/23 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM D1.1.078
Tuesday 12/19/23 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM D1.1.078
Tuesday 01/16/24 02:00 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.15

The course “Internationalization: Business Planning” combines insights from research and practice to provide students with a thorough understanding of business planning in international markets. To this end, the course has three main elements: First, the course draws on research evidence to convey knowledge on international business planning. Second, we co-create the qualitative and quantitative contents of an international business plan. Third, students develop an international business plan for a real or fictive startup or foreign market entry in groups. They present their business plans to a panel of experts on a ‘pitch day’.

These elements translate into the following core contents of the course:

  1. The role of opportunities in key internationalization theories.
  2. Different types of international opportunities.
  3. Business planning and performance – is planning always beneficial?
  4. Business planning under uncertainty (effectuation vs. causation).
  5. Business planning as a resource access strategy.
  6. Development of an international business plan: qualitative and quantitative elements.
  7. Pitch day: presentation and discussion of the developed international business plans.
Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students,

  • can differentiate between different types of international opportunities and understand how the development and recognition of opportunities enables firms’ international expansion;
  • know fundamental trade-offs in international business planning and relevant contextual factors that make planning more successful;
  • understand how uncertainty influences international business planning, and they can apply appropriate decision-making heuristics to overcome uncertainty-related challenges;
  • can apply international business planning methods and tools to assess the feasibility of international projects and to obtain the necessary resources;
  • have the academic skills to comprehend research on international business planning and to use research evidence in the professional planning context;
  • can create an international business plan with its qualitative and quantitative elements;
  • have the social and professional skills to communicate their international business plan to a panel of experts and to lead a discussion about its contents.
Attendance requirements

The course will be offered in classroom teaching mode on campus. Students are supposed to attend all six lectures. As an exception, students are allowed to miss one lecture (but not a lecture in which they are scheduled to give a presentation or participate in any other form of assessment).

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course’s didactic concept rests on three pillars:

  1. Evidence-based teaching: the course follows an evidence-based teaching approach, which means teaching grounds on state-of-the-art research and contextual evidence. Linking research and teaching ensures that students learn concepts and methods that are relevant and effective based on the latest research knowledge.
  2. Interactive: The course combines teacher-centered (e.g., lectures) and interactive (“flip-the-classroom”) elements (e.g., presentations, discussions, feedback sessions, teamwork) to facilitate effective and active learning among students.
  3. Relevance: The practice-oriented international business plan development assignment and also guest lecturers and speakers enable close ties between the course and industry demands. Presentation of and reflection on the developed international business plan foster students’ social and professional skills.

The overall course grade is based on three assignments:

  1. International business plan content presentation: 25% (group assignment)
  2. International business plan pitch presentation and discussion: 45% (group assignment)
  3. Mini exam: 30% (individual assignment)
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists
  • Zulassung zum Masterstudium ExInt
  • Anmeldung zur Lehrveranstaltung

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Recommended previous knowledge and skills

•    Basics models of internationalization
•    Basics management of SMEs and young firms
•    Basics (international) market research, marketing, and financial management
•    Basics research methods

Availability of lecturer(s)


You can also approach me before, during, or after classes.

Unit details
Unit Date Contents
1 17.10.2023

14:00-16:30 Uhr
The pursuit of international opportunities and the value of planning

2 07.11.2023

14:00-18:00 Uhr

International opportunity recognition

3 21.11.2023

14:00-18:00 Uhr

Business planning under uncertainty

4 05.12.2023

14:00-18:00 Uhr

Business planning as a resource access strategy

5 19.12.2023

14:00-18:00 Uhr

Mini exam & coaching session
6 16.01.2024

14:00-18:00 Uhr

Pitch day
Last edited: 2023-04-28