Teaching plan for the course unit



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On 3 April 2020 and in agreement with the President of the Government of Catalonia, the Catalan Minister of Business and Knowledge and the rectors of the other Catalan universities, the Rector of the Universitat de Barcelona decided to suspend all second-semester face-to-face teaching activities until the end of the academic year. For this reason, our university's teaching staff may need to make certain changes to the course plans of the subjects they teach, so that they can teach subjects online. When and where such changes are made, they will be explained in a new appendix attached to the end of the original course plan.

General information


Course unit name: Research Methods in International Business

Course unit code: 573220

Academic year: 2019-2020

Coordinator: Merce Bernardo Vilamitjana

Department: Department of Business

Credits: 2,5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 62.5


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture





-  Lecture with practical component




Supervised project


Independent learning




Competences to be gained during study


General competences

CG1. Creative and entrepreneurial skills (capacity to conceive, design and manage projects, and to research and integrate new knowledge and approaches).

CG2. Capacity to propose a business project based on an original idea and to assess its feasibility.

Basic competences

CB8. Capacity to integrate knowledge and tackle the complexity of formulating judgments based on incomplete or limited information, taking due consideration of the social and ethical responsibilities involved in applying knowledge and making judgments.

CB9. Capacity to communicate conclusions, judgments and the grounds on which they have been reached to specialist and non-specialist audiences in a clear and unambiguous manner.

CB10. Skills to enable lifelong self-directed and independent learning.

Specific competences

CE1. Capacity to apply the main concepts and management tools to resolve advanced problems and business situations related to the strategic, financial, commercial, operational and logistics management of international companies.

CE2. Capacity to adopt a strategic, integrated approach to business problems and ability to address them effectively at an international level.

CE9. Capacity to examine the options, potential and opportunities presented by different regions in the global economy and to identify the specific features of the various markets and societies involved, with a view to improving effectiveness and complying with demands on professional responsibility.

CE10. Capacity to acquire an advanced level of competence in the writing of scientific documents, specialized reports and research papers in which value judgements are formulated, complying with standard criteria for publication or for presentation to potential stakeholders or other interested parties at the global level.





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

At the end of the subject, students should be able to:

— Identify the role of research in international companies related to business.
— Establish the research question of a research project related to international business.
— Critically evaluate the key literature on international business supporting the research question.
— Establish the theoretical framework for an international business project.
— Understand the differences between quantitative and qualitative research methodologies.
— Know how to plan and develop data gathering in international business research.
— Get to know the basic aspects of case study research in international business.
— Elaborate scientific documentation, specialised reports and research projects on international business in the most appropriate way.
— Write a good research proposal in international business that can be effectively presented.



Teaching blocks


1. Research

1.1. Academic research

1.2. Bibliographic databases

1.3. Business databases

1.4. Literature review

2. Business plan

2.1. Overview of a real international business plan

2.2. Structure(s) of international business plan(s)

2.3. Introduction to interest companies

2.4. Benchmark and competitors in the product-market fit

2.5. Markets and strategies

2.6. Conclusions and recommendations



Teaching methods and general organization


The subject methodology combines lectures to introduce theoretical concepts with more practical sessions based on group work, written assignments, information searches and projects.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Students who follow this procedure must attend classes regularly and submit the assignments.

Assessment activities consist of:

— Research part: 50% of the final grade. In-class activities and assignments to be submitted. The characteristics are presented at the beginning of the course.

— Business plan: 50% of the final grade. The characteristics are presented at the beginning of the course:

1st activity: case study completed in class, individually and in groups

2nd activity: presentation on the approach and hypothesis to validate (as a customer/boss checkpoint or project kickoff)


Repeat assessment

Students have to review and correct the assignments submitted. It is worth 100% of the final grade.


Examination-based assessment

Students following single assessment do not need to attend class regularly nor submit the assignments.

Students have to submit a business plan following the characteristics presented at the beginning of the course. It is worth 100% of the final grade.

Repeat assessment

Students have to review and correct the assignments submitted. It is worth 100% of the final grade.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


ASHBY, M. (2005): How to Write a Paper, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, Cambridge

DAY, R. A., GASTEL, B. (2008), How to write and publish a scientific paper, 7th ed, Cambridge [etc.] : Cambridge University Press





In response to the suspension of second-semester face-to-face activities for the academic year 2019-2020 due to the COVID-19 health crisis, and given the need to adapt the methodology and assessment methods to the new scenario, this addendum modifies the following sections of the original course plan.

This subject was not affected by the suspension as lessons were finished before 13 March 2020. Assessment was already planned in the form of assignments to be submitted via the Virtual Campus.