M.Sc. in Marketing & Communication | Specialization in International Marketing | Athens University of Economics & Business

Elective Modules

 

Students must select four elective modules from the following list:

 

1International Channels and Logistics Management

This course aims to introduce students to international channel and logistics management, and to provide an in depth overview of (a) the international marketing channels; (b) the international distribution channels (through which the products physically move); and (c) the international transaction and trade operations channels. The course will initially explore the nature, structures and functions of international distribution channels, the key characteristics and segmentation of international markets, the targeting and positioning products for foreign markets, the design of distribution channels for a foreign market entry, and the internationalization of retailing using new technologies. Subsequently, the course will provide an overview on the structure and design of global supply chains (with emphasis on supply chain sustainability, vulnerability, risk, robustness and resilience), the key decision areas in the management of logistics and supply chain operations (e.g. procurement, outsourcing, inventory management, warehousing and transportation), and the supply chain integration / collaboration / coordination. Finally, focus will be given on the payment, documentation/communications channels, and the transactions for importing and exporting products (e.g. terms of payment, terms of trade, international insurance, agency and distributorship sales contracts, packaging, and security issues).

 

2International Services Marketing

With national boundaries becoming less important and globalization creating numerous opportunities for the internationalization of a wide range of services, companies operating in the service sector are facing international competition on a global marketplace basis. The internationalization process of services is however more challenging compared to physical goods, as service concepts are difficult to travel across national boundaries due to their special nature. The intangibility, perishability, variability and inseparability of services, as well as the social nature and the level of human involvement in their delivery, pose difficulties and complications to their global management. The effective handling of these distinguishing characteristics is therefore necessary for the optimal management of services and their successful internationalization. The tourism industry, within the service sector, represents a special case for the internationalization of services, which the module will also focus upon. Tourism, involving both exporting services and importing customers, merits separate handling, also due to its significance and impact on the global economy. The module aims to provide students with an extensive understanding of the distinct characteristics of services and their multifaceted implications for their management and internationalization processes and to also acquaint them with relevant theories, models, applications and best practices in order to equip them with the necessary tools to deal effectively with the unique challenges of the global management of services.

 

3International Sales Management

Effectively managing the sales function constitutes the cornerstone of any B2B firm’s success. Against this backdrop, the overriding goal of this module is to give students a complete picture of the scientific principles and issues revolving around the management of a field sales force both regionally and internationally. Accordingly, the module deals with presenting the following issues: the sales function and its relationship with a firm’s marketing program, sales strategy and sales objectives, managerial decisions of a sales program (e.g., recruiting, training, compensating salespeople), implementation and evaluation of a sales program.

 

4International Pricing

One of the most important and difficult decisions facing an international firm is how to price the products that it offers in its various markets. Price determination is the only activity that generates profits for the company, while other activities (e.g., advertising, new product development) are associated with costs. Despite this importance, empirical evidence has suggested that managers responsible for setting prices within their firms tend to rely on simplified pricing formulas, disregarding significant factors such as the value that customers attach to a product. The lack of academic interest in the field of international pricing has also contributed towards this direction. Hence this module aims to present an integrated analysis regarding an international firm’s pricing strategy.

 

5International Product and Brand Management

The module presents issues related to a) how economic, political, social and technological factors affect international product range strategy, b) how to decide about the appropriate extent of product standardisation/adaptation in different foreign target markets, and c) how to manage new product development, modification and elimination in international settings.

 

6International B2B and Relationship Marketing

This module is designed to raise student awareness of the significance of international B2B marketing in what is often termed the ‘global’ economy. It aims to re-dress the common imbalance of many international marketing programs, which tend to emphasise the importance of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing. Moreover it involves detailed discussions concerning the role of individuals and organisations in international marketing channels, supply chains and networks which, according to basic marketing theory, ought to function so as to ensure that consumer demands are met. As well as outlining possible managerial solutions to common B2B marketing dilemmas other international issues will be examined such as relationship marketing, the growth of e-commerce in B2B markets, logistics, customer relationship management and global supply chain management. Finally it moves beyond consumer marketing issues and focuses on the complexities of international marketing to organisational (or business) customers.

 

7Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

The module aims to provide students with an understanding of corporate responsibility and sustainability issues in marketing. Both are important in developing and maintaining relationships with various stakeholder groups. Students will gain the knowledge to enable the development of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable marketing strategies and plans. It further aims to deliver the skills to enable students to critically appraise the history and current discourse of corporate responsibility and sustainability, and comprehend the multifaceted nature of these concepts. The forces driving CSR and sustainability initiatives will be explored, their impact on the firm’s practices will be identified, and their relationship with organisational stakeholders and profitability will be examined.

 

8International Retailing

The retail industry was, is and will continue to be one of the key sectors of a country’s national economy. Either because it accounts for as much as 40% of direct or indirect employability or simply because people spend two thirds of their disposable income in shopping, understanding how the retail industry works is key for any person wanting to succeed in the business arena. In moments of economic turbulence, many retailers face the challenge to go international, as they need to seek new opportunities. As a result, internationalization has become a core element for retailers’ strategic growth. But what exactly is meant by international retailing? What do retailers actually internationalise? Is it management expertise and management systems? Is it innovation, forms of trading or unique retail brands? What actually makes them successful when going international? Before we can answer this, one must first clarify what is retailing! These comments reflect the direction for this course, with an aim to try to shed light on what makes retailers successful when going abroad. The course is divided into five sessions. The first session examines the “who” and specifically who is the retail company trying to internationalise. The second session aims at providing an understanding of “what” do retailers internationalise and “why” do they go abroad. The third session explores “where” do retailers go when deciding to internationalise and “when” (i.e. the timing of this decision). The fourth session focuses on “how” retailers internationalise, that is, what entry mode options retailers have to enter a country. The fifth session highlights determinants of retail internationalisation’s success or failure. The course relies heavily on real-life case study material, used at top business schools like Harvard, MIT, Darton Wharton etc. and analyses retail companies such as Zara, Wal-Mart, IKEA, Starbucks, H&M, Tesco etc. Student preparation, presence, and participation are essential.

 

9Cross-Cultural Negotiations

This course is designed to provide students with the skills needed to negotiate effectively in the international business environment. The course provides an overview of the factors that influence the process and outcome of negotiation and discusses the effectiveness of different strategies and tactics under different negotiation conditions. Particular emphasis is given to the special challenges of international negotiation, including cross-cultural differences in communication and negotiation styles. Course delivery includes lectures, analysis of case studies, interactive role-play and negotiation simulations.