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International Business & Comparative Management

International Business and Comparative Management

The international business and comparative management (IBCM) research group conducts inter-disciplinary theoretical and empirical research on the nature and extent of international business activities. Members of the group examine international aspects of key management and international business issues such as entry strategies, corporate governance, consumer behaviour, and strategy.

International business exposes managers to business situations that are very diverse across cultures and regions. The IBCM group approaches international business research from both a comparative and cross-cultural perspective. Researchers explore how differences between countries and regions impact firm and human activities.

Current members of the IBCM group have specific regional expertise in the UK, Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, North America, China and the rest of Asia. Our group is distinct in that it combines both comparative and cross-cultural perspectives.

Recent research involves several common themes:

Corporate Governance

Research in this area focuses on issues of decision-making among corporate stakeholders. Particular emphasis is placed on how corporate governance is linked to related management issues such as finance, business strategy, the business life cycle, human resource management and the diversity of financial, legal and political institutions across countries.

Multinational Enterprises 

Research in this area emphasizes how various elements of firm's internationalisation strategies (entry-exit, global value chains, mergers/acquisitions, human resource management, and technology transfer) are shaped by host and home country settings and socio-political environment. It includes issues such as selecting a market to enter, entry mode and managing international operations. One line of research looks into international business negotiations.


This research emphasizes strategic decision-making and competitive advantage in an international context. Particular emphasis is placed on foreign direct investments choices, issues of strategic marketing, alliance formation, and how diverse socio-political networks influence access to foreign markets, entrepreneurial opportunities, and resources. One line of research looks at market driving vs market driven firm strategies particularly in international context.

Comparative Management

The comparative management strand of the IBCMM research group consists of a number of IBCM staff. The sub-group takes the cross-departmental themes of governance, organisation, and work and studies them in national comparative perspective. A shared feature of their research is an interest in how national institutions shape systems and outcomes. One of the interests of the group is how national patterns of corporate governance are similar or different across borders; a second is how organisations operate in cross-national context; and a third is the nature of work across borders. The staff form a close-knit and active sub-group. They have strong international links, both through their own networks and through playing an active part in College partnerships in other countries. Group members currently hold three research grants and are applying for more, while they also serve on ESRC panels and act as referees for research council applications. They engage in significant knowledge transfer activities in a range of ways, including active participation in the workshops and seminars run by the department’s Learning Board.
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