MM303 – Strategy and International Business

Write a piece of individual coursework of the maximum length of 1,500 words in total (+10% variation is already included in the total word limit) and provide answers for ALL five questions. The word limit includes introduction, main body, conclusion, tables, figures, diagrams, citation, notes and end notes in the text and appendices (if any), but excludes the front cover sheet and references. Your materials in the appendices are counted toward the word limit. So, please don’t exceed the maximum word limit of 1,500 words in total.

You are required to use the appropriate materials from the module and from your own research to do this assignment. You should consult various sources of information and data (lecture materials, core textbook, reading lists, books, company websites, company annual reports, filings with the UK Company House Documents, academic journals, business and financial journals, newspapers, such as BBC Business, the Financial Times, the Economist, the Forbes, Reuters, Associated Press (AP), Bloomberg, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Washing Post, Nikkei Asian Review, Yahoo Finance, etc.).

You are assigned a multinational enterprise parent firm and a foreign subsidiary in the United Kingdom (the UK). Analyse the international business strategy and organizational structure of the assigned parent firm and the management of its foreign subsidiary. Support your answers with well-explained, well-analysed, specific, relevant, real hard facts, data and examples.

You should refer to the detailed guidance in the Appendix 1, which explains clearly what is expected in your answer for each question.

All questions are directly related to lecture materials, practical application exercises, tutorials and reading lists.

Visit the website of the UK Companies House where you can download the UK subsidiary’s full accounts (i.e. annual reports) under the “filing history” tab, and select the box of “accounts”).  Below is the link to UK Companies House website

(All you need to do is to cut and paste the link into Google to search for the UK Companies House website. When you are at the UK Companies House website, you will be able to find the assigned subsidiary. Make sure that you use exactly the assigned subsidiary name when you enter it into the box under heading “search the register”)

Parent firm: L’Oreal (France)

Subsidiary: L’Oreal (UK) Limited – registered number (company number) 00271555

Parent firm: Air Liquide S.A. (France)

Subsidiary: Air Liquide UK Limited – registered number (company number) 00232592

Parent firm: Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (the United States)

Subsidiary: Air Products Public Limited Company registered number (company number) 00103881

Parent firm: Amgen Inc. (the United States)

Subsidiary: Amgen Limited registered number (company number) 02354269

Parent firm: Pfizer, Inc. (the United States)

Subsidiary:  Pfizer Ltd – registered number (company number) – 00526209

Parent firm: Christian Dior (France)

Subsidiary: PARFUMS CHRISTIAN DIOR (U.K.) LIMITED – registered number (company number) 01012371

Parent firm: ABB Ltd. (Switzerland)

Subsidiary: ABB Ltd. registered number (company number) – 03780764

Parent firm: 3M Company (The United States)

Subsidiary: 3M United Kingdom Public Limited Company – registered number (company number) – 01123045

Parent firm: Novartis AG (Switzerland)

Subsidiary: NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS UK LIMITED – registered number (company number) – 00119006

Parent firm: Alstom (France)

Subsidiary: Alstom Transport UK Limited – registered number (company number) – 08462831

Parent firm: Sanofi (France)

Subsidiary: Aventis Pharma Limited – registered number (company number) – 01535640

Parent firm: Sanofi (France)

Subsidiary: Euroapi UK Limited (previous name Genzyme Limited) – registered number (company number) – 01556886

Parent firm: Bayer AG (Germany)

Subsidiary: Bayer Public Limited Company – registered number (company number) – 00935048

Parent firm: Baxter International Inc. (the United States)

Subsidiary: Baxter Heathcare Ltd. registered number (company number) 00461365

Parent firm: Takeda Pharmaceutical (Japan)

Subsidiary: Takeda UK Limited – registered number (company number) 03362860

Parent firm: Johnson & Johnson, Inc. (the United States)                                  

Subsidiary: Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd. – registered number (company number) – SC132162

Parent firm: Johnson & Johnson, Inc. (the United States)                                  

Subsidiary: Depuy International Limited – registered number (company number) – 03319712

Parent firm: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (the United States)

Subsidiary: Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals Limited registered number (company number) – 02487574

Parent firm: Novo Nordisk A/S (Denmark)

Subsidiary: Novo Nordisk Limitedregistered number (company number) – 01118740

Parent firm: Biogen, Inc. (the United States)

Subsidiary: Biogen Idec Limited registered number (company number) – 01497267

Parent firm: Stryker Corporation (the United States)

Subsidiary: Heartsine Technologies Limited registered number (company number) – NI034331

Parent firm: Mazda Motor Corporation (Japan)

Subsidiary: Mazda Motors UK Limited – registered number (company number) – 04212655

Parent firm: Hitachi Ltd. (Japan)

Subsidiary: Hitachi Consulting (UK) Limited – registered number (company number) – 05660638

Parent firm: Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings (Japan)

Subsidiary: Nippon Gohsei (UK) Lld – registered number (company number) – 05660638

Parent firm: Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (The United States)

Subsidiary: Fisher Scientific U.K. Ltd. – registered number (company number) – 02883961

Parent firm: Estee Lauder (The United States)

Subsidiary: Estee Lauder Cosmetics Limited – registered number (company number) – 00659213

Parent firm: Johnson Controls International Plc. (Ireland)

Subsidiary: ADT Fire and Security Plc. – registered number (company number) – 01161045

Parent firm: Airbus Group (the Netherlands)

Subsidiary: Airbus Defence and Space Limited – registered number (company number) – 02449259

Parent firm: Samsung Electronics (South Korea)

Subsidiary: Samsung Cambridge Solution Centre Limited – registered number (company number) – 08226456

Parent firm: Danone S.A. (France)

Subsidiary: Alpro (UK) Limited – registered number (company number) – 03708934

Parent firm: Hermes International (France)

Subsidiary: Hermes (G.B.) Limited – registered number (company number) – 00773076

Parent firm: Merck KGaA (Germany)

Subsidiary: Merck Life Science UK Limited – registered number (company number) – 00660457

This is your assignment:

Answer the following five questions.  Your answers need to be consistent across the questions, so once you have identified a strategy in question 1, please do not change this in subsequent answers otherwise you will be penalisedPresent and explain suitable diagrams for questions 1, 2 and 3.

  • ake plausible arguments whether or not the parent firm has used various mechanisms to potentially manipulate profits (profit shifting) in the subsidiary in this five-year period. Support your answer with specific well-explained evidence, data and facts.

The submission of the individual assignment on Turnitin will be displayed as anonymous.


You should use headings and sub-headings.

Notes or Endnotes should be used only if absolutely necessary and must be identified in the text by consecutive numbers, enclosed in square brackets and listed at the end of the essay.

The general format of this assignment should include the following parts:

Front page: essay title (including the company name), your name, your student ID number, your group, your team number, and total word count (word count excludes the front page, and references).

Introduction: briefly introduce thecompany background information. You may explain the main objectives of this essay, the main arguments/findings, and the limitations of this study, etc.

Main body: you need to cover all the issues in the format of answers-to-questions. There is no need to rewrite the questions in your submitted work. You only need to indicate your question number (e.g. Question 1, etc.). This will give you more space to present your answers. You may briefly introduce the concepts and frameworks but do not spend much energy on them. You are expected to demonstrate that you are capable of applying these concepts and frameworks to critically analyse the international business strategy and organizational structure of the parent firm and the management of the foreign subsidiary in the United Kingdom which you are studying. A good piece of work for this module should focus on a persuasive analysis and argument, based on the hard data, facts and examples which you find. In addition, you are expected to present consistent and interactive arguments of the issues, e.g. hard data and thorough explanation could support your analysis on the strategy and the structure of the firm. See the detailed guidance in the Appendix 1 for each question.

Specific expectations

  • Research skills: find relevant, interesting, specific, real examples, data, information and hard facts to support your answers.
  • Insights: identification of key issues; a clear and consistent focus.
  • Analysis: a presentation of information that exhibits an understanding, a capable application of key concepts. The rationale and reasoning is explained logically and clearly.
  • Synthesis: relevant incorporation of various concepts and pieces of information.
  • Appearance: a clear and concise organization and overall style; good grammar and spelling.
  • Coherency: the document must appear coherent.
  • Consistency: all evidence should be supported by your discussion.
  • Originality: an ability to be creative and innovative in research and presentation of information.

Conclusion: a brief summary of the essential arguments/findings for the work.

Tables and figures: It is your decision to put the figures/tables separately or in the text. Each figure/table needs to be fully referenced and explained. Please do not insert any of them without explanation

References and Plagiarism: All sources (e.g. books, articles, internet sites) used in the assignment must be listed in the text and in the reference. Reference must be Harvard style, and you can find the Harvard style reference at the end of the assignment (see Appendix 2).

Plagiarism is defined as falsely claiming the ideas, passages, data, etc., of another work or author as your own. This is a serious offence and may result in you failing your degree and the circumstances of the plagiarism being placed on your records for further reference. It is therefore essential to be meticulous to keep a full and careful record of all references as you proceed with your research and then citing them in your dissertation.

Please note that the electronic copy of your coursework will be checked by the University’s anti-plagiarism programmes and other checks may also be undertaken.

Appendices (if any): Materials in the appendices will be counted toward the word limit.

Assessment criteria

The assessment criteria are in accordance with the policy of the University of Reading, Henley Business School, Assessment criteria (it is also called as Rubrics) (see Appendix 3 for Henley Business School, marking and feedback e-proforma form where detailed assessment criteria are fully listed).


Each question has the same marks. Marks will be awarded for the quality of analytical reasoning and critical thinking. The coursework will be marked as a whole. There will be no separate mark for each question.

Marking criteria will be in accordance with the University policy – Assessment Handbook – Section 10 – Annex 1 – University marking criteria for level 4-6

Marking scheme

First class honours: 70%

Second class honours, upper division: 60-69%

Second class honours, lower division: 50%-59%

Third class honours: 40-49%

Fail: below 40%

Penalty for late submission

Penalties for late submission will be in accordance with the University policy:

Where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days.

Where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

For further details, please refer to the full policy statement which is available as Section 6I of the Guide to Policies and Procedures in Teaching and Learning.

Extenuating circumstances (EC) and request for an extension of submission beyond the deadline

Students should follow the university’s guidelines on extenuating circumstances (EC) and submit the EC form where applicable. The Director of Academic Tutoring for Undergraduate Programmes will review the application and she/he will make a decision.

In case you have any queries about EC, you should contact Henley Business School, Undergraduate Administration Team directly for information.

Please note that the module convenor does not have the authority to grant an extension of submission beyond the deadline. So, please do not send your request to the module convenor.


Written feedback for the individual assignment can be found in the icon box – “feedback summary”.

Feedback based on the assessment criteria can be found in the icon box – “rubric/ form”.


The marking and feedback of the coursework is subject to moderation in accordance with the university policy.

Release of marks

Marks will be released and posted on the university’s electronic systems within 30 working days after the date of coursework submission by the administration office of Henley Business School.

Due to large class size, more time is needed for marking, feedback and moderation. It is an extension from the standard norm of turnaround time of 15 working days.

Students should refrain from e-mailing the module convenor to enquire about their marks before the due date of marks to be released.

Mark appeal

The University policy is set out here (please scroll to the end of the document to section on appeal of module marks).  To summarise the key points, the school cannot consider appeals where students simply disagree with the mark awarded (which are referred to this as a ‘challenge to academic judgement’).  The school will only consider appeals if there has been a procedural error.

Students should note that individual module convenors do not have the authority to change marks or request work to be re-marked once marks have been released and students should not ask them to do this

Students are, of course, welcome to contact a module convenor if students want further clarity on the strengths or weaknesses of students’ work.  

If students feel that they have genuine grounds for appeal (ie. a procedural error occurred) they should make a formal appeal to the appropriate Director of Studies (the programme administrators will be able to advise).  If the DoS agrees that there may be cause for investigation they can provide appropriate remedies.

Making an appointment to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the coursework with the module convenor

  1. .
  2. . The appointment will be arranged during the office hours (Wednesdays: 9:00-10:30, UoR Whiteknights campus) for an online meeting (For UoR Malaysia campus, please contact your lecturer to book an online meeting). There will be no discussion of marks for any individual student during or after class.
  3. students who still want to request that the mark be reviewed, provided that the grounds for the request do not relate to the academic judgement of the Examiner, students should contact the administration office to register a mark appeal.

In summary, the paper should be at the maximum length of 1,500 words in total. The front page and references are not counted towards the word limit. Any paper exceeding the word limit will be penalised and marked down.

The electronic version should be in the form of a word document (NOT a pdf file). The subject heading of Turnitin and the electronic file of your work should be documented as follows: your full name, team number, and the assigned company (e.g. George_Cameron_A1_Texas_Instruments).

The deadline for Turnitin submission is before 14.00pm, January 10, 2022.

You should submit your work on the Turnitin system. Each time you submit an essay, you are expected to comply with the department’s plagiarism declaration online.

Dr. Quyen T.K. Nguyen


Important message!!!

  • .


1. This question is related to the parent firm in the home country. In which cell of the integration/ responsiveness (I/R) framework will you place the corporate strategy of the parent firm? Explain why it is placed in a particular cell, and support your answer with one specific well-explained example for the I dimension and one specific well-explained example for the R dimension.

2. What is the appropriate organisational structure consistent with the strategy which you identify in Question 1? Explain the characteristics of this organizational structure and provide examples to support your answer. Present the parent firm’s organizational structure chart in business reality and briefly explain it.

  • explain the firm’s organizational structure chart.
  • .

4. This question is related to the subsidiary in the United Kingdom.  Briefly describe the business activities of the subsidiary. Explain what and how the subsidiary has implemented the I/R strategy of the parent firm which you identify in question 1. Support your answer with one specific well-explained example for the I dimension and one specific well-explained example for R dimension of the I/R strategy at the subsidiary level.

  • (Refer to Lecture 6).
  • describe the business activities of the subsidiary: i.e. what the subsidiary does, and what business functions it performs.

5. Critically analyse all the major financing sources of your subsidiary for each year of the five-year period (2015-2019) by presenting a table of data. Make plausible arguments whether or not your parent firm has used various mechanisms to manipulate profits in your subsidiary in this five-year period. Support your answer with specific well-explained evidence, data and facts.

  • .
  • (refer to Lecture 9).  The availability of the types of information depends on the way the subsidiary discloses in the accounting notes.

Explanation notes on data and data adjustments by the assigned subsidiary

In the subsidiary’s full accounts for the period 2015-2019, there might be some differences in the column of reported data for each year relative to the previous year’s annual reports. For example, some of the 2015 figures published in the annual report for the 2015 may be a bit different from the comparative data of 2015 in the following year annual report published in 2016. The reason is that 2015 data may have been adjusted.

Below is the explanation

1.The adjustment is in compliance with the accounting standard for financial accounting and reporting. For example, in International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), IAS10 – Events after the reporting period prescribes when an entity should adjust its financial statements for events after the reporting period and the disclosures that an entity should give about the date when the financial statements were authorised and about events after the reporting period. In other words, the subsidiary may make an adjustment of previous year’s financial data. This is a normal practice, not accounting irregularities/ fraud or anything like that. This is just an explanation for your understanding on how the firm reports and reconciles data.

2. Please bear in mind that you are taking a module in Strategy and International Business, instead of a module of accounting and auditing. I would like to train you to develop knowledge and skills in calculating and interpreting financial data, and explaining the firm’s international business strategy based on hard facts, data and examples. As per my explanation in class and in the individual assignment briefing (see bullet point three under the heading of “important message: please read”), you use data/ information as reported by the subsidiary, it means that you use data as reported in the column of the particular year in which the full accounts is published and filed with the UK Companies House.

3. For example, if the full accounts are published in 2015, you use data as reported for the year 2015. When you come to the full accounts of 2016, there is a column presenting financial data of the previous year 2015. This is for comparative purpose. You may find that some of the data for the year 2015 in the full accounts of 2016 may be adjusted. Don’t worry about the adjustments of 2015 data in the annual report of 2016.

In summary, you just use the annual reports of the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 for these years’ financial data (question 1 and 2) and do not worry about the adjustments.

Appendix 2: Submission style and reference guidelines


All individual assignments should be submitted via the university’s Turnitin system.

They should be prepared in word document files (A pdf file is NOT accepted).

They must conform to the style guidelines provided below.


All individual assignments must not exceed 1,500 words (+10% variation is already included in the word count limit), excluding references.



  • 12pt Times Roman font for the text in the body, except the title page/ coversheet on page 1
  • Double line spacing
  • Margins: 25 mm on all sides
  • No footnotes permitted. Endnotes should be kept to a minimum, and placed before the bibliography
  • Tables, figures, etc. should be placed inside the answer in the body of the text, not in the appendices (materials in the appendices are counted towards the word limit).
  • Include page numbers centred at the bottom of each page

First page

  • Title of the paper, including the assigned parent firm and subsidiary: centred in bold 14 pt Times Roman
  • Include the name of the student, ID number and team number

In-text citations

Citations in the text should be by the author’s last name and year of publication enclosed in parentheses: (Porter, 2000). If a particular page, section, or equation is cited, it should also be placed in the parentheses: (Porter, 2000, p. 112) or (Porter, 2000, Table 1). For multiple authors, use the full citation for up to two authors; for three or more, use the first author’s name followed by et al (no italics). A series of citations should be listed in date order and separated by semicolons: (Porter, 1980; Welch, 1981).


Please include tables in the main body of your paper and indicate their position in the text.


References are to be listed alphabetically, family name first, followed by the publication date in parentheses. Use authors’ initials, not their given names. The reference list should be typed single-spaced. Please check them carefully.

Harvard Reference format

For books:

Surname, Initials (year), Title of Book, Publisher, Place of publication.
e.g. Harrow, R. (2005), No Place to Hide, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

For book chapters:

Surname, Initials (year), “Chapter title”, Editor’s Surname, Initials, Title of Book, Publisher, Place of publication, pages.

e.g. Calabrese, F.A. (2005), “The early pathways: theory to practice – a continuum”, in Stankosky, M. (Ed.), Creating the Discipline of Knowledge Management, Elsevier, New York, NY, pp. 15-20.

For journals

Surname, Initials (year), “Title of article”, Journal Name, volume, number, pages.
e.g. Capizzi, M.T. and Ferguson, R. (2005), “Loyalty trends for the twenty-first century”, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 72-80.

For published conference proceedings

Surname, Initials (year of publication), “Title of paper”, in Surname, Initials (Ed.), Title of published proceeding which may include place and date(s) held, Publisher, Place of publication, Page numbers.
e.g. Jakkilinki, R., Georgievski, M. and Sharda, N. (2007), “Connecting destinations with an ontology-based e-tourism planner”, in Information and communication technologies in tourism 2007 proceedings of the international conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2007, Springer-Verlag, Vienna, pp. 12-32.

For unpublished conference proceedings

Surname, Initials (year), “Title of paper”, paper presented at Name of Conference, date of conference, place of conference, available at: URL if freely available on the internet (accessed date).
e.g. Aumueller, D. (2005), “Semantic authoring and retrieval within a wiki”, paper presented at the European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC), 29 May-1 June, Heraklion, Crete, available at: (accessed 20 February 2007).

For working papers

Surname, Initials (year), “Title of article”, working paper [number if available], Institution or organization, Place of organization, date.
e.g. Moizer, P. (2003), “How published academic research can inform policy decisions: the case of mandatory rotation of audit appointments”, working paper, Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, 28 March.

For encyclopedia entries (with no author or editor)

Title of Encyclopedia (year) “Title of entry”, volume, edition, Title of Encyclopedia, Publisher, Place of publication, pages.
e.g. Encyclopaedia Britannica (1926) “Psychology of culture contact”, Vol. 1, 13th ed., Encyclopaedia Britannica, London and New York, NY, pp. 765-71.

For newspaper articles (authored)

Surname, Initials (year), “Article title”, Newspaper, date, pages.
e.g. Smith, A. (2008), “Money for old rope”, Daily News, 21 January, pp. 1, 3-4.

For newspaper articles (non-authored)

Newspaper (year), “Article title”, date, pages.
e.g. Daily News (2008), “Small change”, 2 February, p. 7.

For electronic sources

If available online, the full URL should be supplied at the end of the reference, as well as a date that the resource was accessed.
e.g. Castle, B. (2005), “Introduction to web services for remote portlets”, available at: (accessed 12 November 2007).

Standalone URLs, i.e. without an author or date, should be included either within parentheses within the main text, or preferably set as a note (Roman numeral within square brackets within text followed by the full URL address at the end of the text.

Assessment Criteria Rubric for Marking

Module Code: MM303           Module Title: Strategy and International Business                              

Assessment Task: Individual Assignment   Academic Year: 2019/2020

Criterion 1: Evidence of Knowledge      
1. Detail and depth of subject knowledge        
2. Relevance of the knowledge to the topic      
3. Level of understanding of the knowledge      
Criterion 2: Evidence of Scholarship      
1. Critical scrutiny of the evidence/literature      
2. Ability to integrate theory and practice      
3. Ability to make logical and coherent arguments      
4. Ability to use examples to illustrate arguments      
5. Reasoning and balance in reaching judgement      
Criterion 3: Originality & Independence      
1. Evidence of original, creative approach and independence      
2. Ability to challenge and question existing approaches      
Criterion 4: Evidence of Presentation, Structure and Style      
1. Clarity of Organisation & Structure      
2. Fluency, Grammar and spelling      
3. References      

Note:  Student coursework must adhere to the University of Reading policy on Academic Misconduct.

Further information is available at:

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