Overview:The purpose of this course is to allow the students develop an overview to recent theory but also to relevant challenges and global concerns. The course combines economic, social and environmental sustainability aspects and the UN SDGs with managerial and entrepreneurial issues on international business triggering the students to rethink and critically address ways forwards. Students develop skills and competences to tackle complex real-life problems in collaboration with others while facilitating their entrepreneurial mindsets and sense of purpose. The variety of theory application settings develops global mindsets and fosters students’ sensitivity on diverse aspects international business.
Year and period: M.Sc. 1−2 (suitable for postgraduates), 26−30 June 2023
Teacher: Maria Elo, Associate professor, University of Southern Denmark
Hannes Velt, Post-doctoral Researcher, LUT University
Person in charge: Hannes Velt, Post-doctoral Researcher, LUT University
Aims and Learning outcomes:
- To be able to critically reflect and rethink theoretical assumptions and ways of doing business in different contexts
- To develop an understanding on complex, multi-stakeholder and transboundary challenges
- To develop skills and competences needed for sustainable and legitimate managerial and entrepreneurial action
- To enhance entrepreneurial innovativeness and -thinking, global mindsets and collaboration skills for problem solving across contexts
Content and mode of study: This teaching approach builds on an intensive, collaborative four-day seminar format (total of 30 hours) that is complemented with a priori readings (30 hours), group exercises, a co-created workshop day with virtual group problem solving hackathon. The course combines interactive lecture parts during the first two days that conclude with a group exercise. After the intensive course, the students complete an individual essay as a final written assignment (20 hours).
The first day (7 hours) addresses globalization, international migration and shifting capitals. A group exercise concludes on questioning the dominance of the Western/first world lenses in international business and entrepreneurship and assessing more inclusive theories for real-word problems (task: identify impactful theories, present).
The second day (7 hours) concludes with a group exercise that addresses entrepreneurial strategies and international opportunities reflecting the SDGs (task: identify different strategies for international opportunity development in emerging/developing countries).
The third day (8 hours) is a collaborative virtual seminar day that starts with shared lectures by diverse experts on different grand challenges (e.g. geopolitics, population economics, climate change, poverty, inequality, international migration) and research on international business and entrepreneurship. Then, the students mix randomly into Zoom breakout rooms with other international students and develop an analytical canvas with solution models for a selected problem. In the end, they present/share those with all the participants via Zoom screen sharing in the end.
On the last day (8 hours), there are interactive lectures addressing place of business, transnationalism, innovation systems, entrepreneurial ecosystems, business-scapes and institutions. After that, the students join random groups in Zoom to discuss the role of location and regionalism in glocalization and international venturing and investment while comparing two settings: Kingston, Jamaica and Lappeenranta, Finland. While the students engage in the classroom and in their different groups, they need to pay special attention to application of the SDGs in their tasks, starting from self-reflecting their views on inequality, inclusion, decent work and other concerns in line with the triple bottom line thinking. In the presentations and discussions vulnerabilities of e.g. migrants, women, new ventures from below and undocumented talent are introduced and reflected.
Total workload 80 hours.
Evaluation: Final grade 0-5. Evaluation 0-100 points, consisting of:
- In-class assignments and participation 50 points:
Pre-readings combined with active doing, re-reading, collaboration and production of a case in the classes (including theory hackathon, case solutions, seminar participation, group work, presentation and critical discussions)
- Written assignment 50 points:
A short essay on a selected theme (academic writing, APA refs), highly individual reflection and critical thinking application
Study material: Selected journal articles and book chapters are provided as pre-readings and in-class readings throughout the course. Additional in-depth material is provided by request. The course builds on inclusive learning and uses videos, seminars and other types of materials to support the written sources.
Prerequisites: No formal prerequisites. Previous courses in entrepreneurship, international business and management are beneficial but not mandatory.