International Business is one of the core areas of research of the Department of International Management and Innovation (IMI), albeit research on International Business (IB) takes place across the whole business school. Our academics have published their research in leading IB journals and through our research have contributed significantly in the understanding of the evolution of the modern multinational enterprises (MNEs), internationalization, cross-cultural management, the role of language in IB and international HRM. In terms of geographical focus, we have a particular interest in research on Africa and Asia.
Particular importance is given to the following areas:
Multinational enterprises (MNEs) and Global Value Chains (GVCs)
Our research addresses various aspects of strategy, structure, and control mechanisms in MNEs. We have investigated the headquarter-subsidiary relations, subsidiary role's evolution, innovation strategies of MNEs, mechanisms for knowledge transfer, among others. Our research takes seriously industry and geographical perspectives on the activities of MNEs, MNEs from emerging markets and other related topics concerning MNEs at the firm level (see e.g. MNE research by Prof. Marina Papanastassiou). Emphasis is placed on how GVCs generated by MNEs develop and interact with other stakeholders such as SMEs, R&D units, NGOs, etc. in the creation of global and local production and innovation systems. We apply these concepts and models on critical issues related to sustainable growth such as food security.
Our research has addressed the impact of nonmarket (social and political) factors on foreign investment including political risk and social factors, the role of institutions in the international expansion of firms and the role of psychic distance in internationalisation. We have a particular interest in the internationalization of emerging market multinational enterprises (EM-MNEs) (see, for example, a recent blog post by Prof. Jędrzej George Frynas on the internationalization of EM-MNEs for Oxford University Press).
The role of language in international business
Our research in this area explores the importance of language barriers in international business and its implications for the management of MNEs, including aspects such as knowledge transfer, trust, relationships between HQ and subsidiaries. We aim to integrate the fields of international management, socio-linguistics, and cross-cultural training and communication. New research in this area by Prof. Anne-Wil Harzing also looks at the impact of foreign language use on individuals' thoughts, feelings and behaviour in the workplace, drawing on social and cross-cultural psychology, cognitive science, and applied linguistics.
International and Cross-cultural management
Research in this area is focused on critical perspectives of working and managing internationally and across cultural and institutional contexts; on international and cross-cultural team working; on the relationship between global dynamics, management and organizational knowledge; and on the transfer of knowledge cross-culturally. There is a particular interest in developing and emerging countries, with a special expertise in sub-Saharan Africa (research by Prof. Terence Jackson), cultural identity (research by Dr. Nathalie van Meurs), ethnic identity (research by Prof. Anne-Wil Harzing), transfer of human resource management across countries (research by Prof. Anne-Wil Harzing) and technology and knowledge transfer with particular reference to Africa (research by Dr. Ellis Osabutey)
International Human Resource Management
Our research has focused on a wide range of aspects of HRM both in an internationally comparative and a trans-national sense (see e.g. recent research on the development of tripartism globally). We have particular expertise in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and MNE relations with Global Union Federations. We also conduct important research in the area of expatriate management and transfer of human resource management practices. Various academics investigate international aspects of HRM including Richard Croucher, Martin Upchurch, Anne-Wil Harzing, Claudio Morisson, Elizabeth Cotton, Lilian Miles and Hanna Danilovich.