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Unit of study_

IBUS3101: International Business Alliances

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

The formation and implementation of successful global business strategies involves alliances with a range of stakeholders including international customers and suppliers, overseas agents, international franchisors and franchisees, international joint venture partners, and international merger relationships. The aim of this unit of study is to provide conceptual frameworks and evidence from practice that will develop an understanding of the motivations underlying international alliances, the alternative approaches to alliance formulation and development, and the problems involved in promoting effective alliance management. Major topics include the motivations for international business alliances, analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of different types of alliances, factors influencing the choice of alliance arrangements, alliance structure issues, partners selection and relationship management, the reasons why alliances succeed or fail, and the management of alliance processes.

Unit details and rules

Unit code IBUS3101
Academic unit International Business
Credit points 6
Completion of at least 36 credit points of 1000-level units
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Nimer Uraidi,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Individual case study analysis
Case study
35% Formal exam period 2.5+ hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO2
Small test Mid-semester online quiz
MCQ and short answer text-based typed responses
20% Mid-semester exam period 76 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Participation Tutorial participation
15% Ongoing Ongoing
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Alliance assignment
Research report
20% Week 13
Due date: 29 May 2020 at 17:00

Closing date: 08 Jun 2020
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Presentation group assignment Alliance presentation
Oral presentation
10% Week 13 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Tutorial participation: We will engage in different types of learning activities during the tutorials: discussion of academic papers and case study anslyses. Please visit the canvas site for information on how to access the required readings for the tutorials. We seek to develop students’ skills in analysing problems and developing and communicating potential solutions. To this end, you are required to actively participate in your live zoom tutorials and respective discussion forum threads.
  • Mid-semester online quiz: The exam tests your comprehension of the concepts and substantive material presented in the unit during the first half of the semester. Revise all readings and lecture slides of weeks 1-6 for exam preparation. It will be a timed online based quiz accessible from Canvas.
  • Individual case study analysis: This will assess the students’ in-depth knowledge of the core content and their ability to apply key concepts covered in the unit. The assignment will be a case study in which the student is required to analyse the context presented, market industry situation, and the different firms’ strategic objectives and behaviour, and then to propose solution(s) to the challenges that they face.
  • Alliance assignment: In this assessment, you will build upon the information literacy skills that we had learned in the mid-semester workshop and leverage the resources available to you from the university library to source secondary data, as you research your group project firms. This is a comprehensive group project of an alliance of your own choice. For-profit as well as not-for-profit private or public alliances can be chosen by your group. You may also choose to propose a possible alliance between two firms that you find to have complementary resources and thus could benefit from collaborating.
  • Alliance presentation: In this assessment, you will build upon the information literacy skills that we had learned in the mid-semester workshop, as you research your group project firms. You will apply your subject knowledge and critical thinking skills to develop a persuasive presentation. Students will present their findings from the alliance assignment, and then there will be a short question and answer session. All group members are expected to present, as such they are to organise and coordinate their work effort. Students will be provided with a workshop mid-semester on communicating effectively and persuasively with presentations.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Individual case-study analysis: no late submission is accepted.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to the unit and administration matters Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 02 Theoretical perspectives in alliance research - part 1 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Theoretical perspectives in alliance research - part 2 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Rationale for strategic alliances Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 On alliance strategy and motives Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Partner selection and design Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Workshop for the group project Workshop (1 hr)  
Week 08 Alliance governance - part 1 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 1. Alliance governance (on trust) - part 2; 2. Alliance management Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Alliance management, capability, performance and termination - part 1 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Alliance management, capability, performance and termination - part 2 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Alliances: co-opetition, constellations and portfolios Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 13 Group presentations Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

Lecture recordings: All lectures and seminars are recorded and will be available on Canvas for student use. Please note the Business School does not own the system and cannot guarantee that the system will operate or that every class will be recorded. Students should ensure they attend and participate in all classes.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Tjemkes, Vos and Burgers, (2012). Strategic Alliance Management (SAM). Routledge.

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. analyse the strategic issues faced by alliance partners, using the different theories covered in the unit and to develop well justified solutions to these issues
  • LO2. develop a contextual understanding of the institutional and market environment, and evaluate the resources and capabilities of the organisation in order to propose an alliance strategy
  • LO3. research the different or similar industries of the alliance partners to gain an understanding of the markets, and investigate the strategic objectives of the alliance partners in order to propose a real world alliance between the two firms from different countries
  • LO4. analyse real world alliances to understand their strategic significance and impact on value creation by parent firms.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Slides updated, and re-arranged a couple of topics to simplify studying the material.

More information can be found on Canvas.


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