Business administration specialization

Markets and industries internationalize at an accelerating speed, while economic power is shifting slowly but steadily to the East. The consequences of globalization, strongly enabled by information and communication technology, creates both opportunities and challenges for firms. To be able to compete in such environments, firms need employees with a comprehensive understanding of various international management aspects. In this track, we focus on international aspects of various business functions instead of the management of international firms in general. This way, students obtain both specific domain and generic knowledge that is of interest for both established fims and international startups - also known as born globals.

The specialization in International Management (IM) is a part of the Master’s programme in Business Administration. If you are currently studying Business Administration at the University of Twente, you can find additional information on the programme website.


Despite protectionist efforts by the old economies of Europe and North-America, international business is continuously growing. Starting an international venture has never been easier. The increasing availability of information, both weakening and strengthening of borders, the war on talent, corporate responsibility, and other developments provides various business opportunities, and challenges, for global supply chains, global talent management, and so-called ‘born global’-type of startups. Additionally, considering the strategic and market aspects of international business models and implementing necessary and desired changes in relation to internationalization are key to firm success in the international arena. Such developments require far more than knowledge of cultural differences and intercultural skills. 

In this track, students deepen their knowledge of international management by learning about the international aspects of change management, strategy and business development, human resource management and global purchasing and supply management. This combination prepares students for international business functions, such as an international management traineeship.  

Overall, the key strengths of the specialization are as follows:

  • Access to the recent knowledge on international aspects of managing organizations
  • Focus on strategy and operations in a global context in new and existing organizations
  • Focus on changing organizations and change management
  • Unique international and entrepreneurial ecosystem of the university
  • International orientation of the University and research groups involved in this track
  • Instruction rooted in engaged scholarship: balancing theory with practice 


The University of Twente is an internationally oriented university. It is worldly renowned for both its research in engineering, such as nanotech and ICT, and social sciences, such as management. The teaching staff contains a wide variety of nationalities and the university attracts a large number international students. In our teaching, we take the engaged-scholarship approach meaning that we are interested in delivering scientifically sound solutions to societal, real life problems. To this end, we engage in relationships with many international and local companies to get insights in their managerial practices, processes and problems. Also, a considerable part of our teaching staff has business experience. The UT entrepreneurial ecosystem has given birth to a wide variety of spin-off companies, many of which are born globals. This makes the UT a unique setting for learning from real life examples. 


IM focuses on the strategic context of startups and established companies being or going international. The teaching approach balances research with practice. Students obtain both state-of-the-art knowledge and hands-on experience in the fields of international entrepreneurship, international business development, international strategizing, global talent management, change management and global supply chain management. They are also introduced to strategic forecasting to assess the future position of the organization. 


Through lectures, guest lectures, project work, case studies and real-world application in diverse organizations, you will learn the cross-disciplinary principles of management in an international venture.

You will learn to design strategies and business models for companies to enter a new market. Furthermore, you will learn how to become an effective manager implementing changes in an organization (this being e.g. expanding to a new geographic market). You will also learn to design a strategic plan for global talent management in MNCs. With regard to operations, global sourcing implementation will be discussed based on issues relating to the cross-cultural background of successful international management.


Firms indicate they are in high need of staff with international ambitions, who do not shy away from travel abroad and cross-cultural business interactions. This track prepares you for a wide variety of international management functions, ranging from an International Management traineeship at a multinational to working as a business developer at a born global, and everything in between. 

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