International Business (IB) combines international expertise with the functional areas of General Management, emphasizing issues facing the multinational enterprise (MNE) and businesses engaged in dealings across national borders. The strength in this combination allows students to explore a deeper understanding of the cross-border intra- and inter-organizational relationships of the MNE, and incorporates a multi-level approach that also addresses the economic, institutional, sociocultural, and sociopolitical contexts in which the MNE is embedded.
The IB group at Ivey encourages students to engage with the academic community early, with many students presenting their work at the Academy of International Business and Academy of Management Annual Conferences. Our students deliver high-quality research that has frequently been recognized in leading dissertation award competitions, including those presented by the Academy of Management IM Division, the Academy of International Business, and the European International Business Academy. Ivey’s IB area group’s PhD graduates are frequent winners or finalists of these awards.
PhD students regularly co-author with senior scholars in the IB group, and their papers have received Best Paper Awards at: Academy of International Business Annual Meeting, Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference, Administrative Sciences of Canada Annual Conference, and Association of Japanese Business Studies Annual Conference.
Our current IB group at Ivey consists of Paul Beamish, Klaus Meyer, Andreas Schotter, Vanessa Hasse, Nina Rosenbusch, and Elie Chrysostome. Though the common theme of IB unifies these colleagues, they draw on varied disciplinary bases to address issues of strategic alliances, foreign direct investment, subsidiary management, and boundary spanning leadership. They are particularly interested in studying these themes in emerging economies, including multinational enterprises originating from emerging economies. Leveraging their diversity, the IB group is interested in understanding IB phenomena from a multi-level and multi-disciplinary perspective. The International Business Institute supports this research.
*Please note that IB is a stream under General Management
Areas of Research Focus
- Strategies and performance of international joint ventures
- Management of international alliances
- Motives and strategies of foreign direct investment
- Managing subsidiaries of multinational enterprises
- Doing business in emerging economies
The IB group ranks among the world's top 10 IB departments in terms of impact and productivity, and regularly publishes in the field’s top journals, such as Journal of International Business Studies, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal.
PhD Student Opportunities
IB is one of five possible specializations within Ivey’s General Management PhD program. The IB specialization is designed for those interested in pursuing academic careers at top business schools in IB, Strategy, or Management departments.
The IB group welcomes applications from qualified candidates that are interested in conducting research into themes related to their research interests. The following list is indicative of such projects:
All Professors within the IB group are recruiting PhD students to join their research on the management of MNE subsidiaries. Such subsidiaries interact with, and contribute to, host societies in multiple ways that merit deeper scholarly investigations. Topics within this research agenda may examine any aspect of the strategies and operations of MNE subsidiaries, including the drivers of subsidiary growth, performance knowledge management, scope reductions and divestment as well as their contribution to host country economic, social, and environmental objectives. We are particularly interested in research exploring the role that individuals, such as boundary spanners, have on subsidiary- and MNE-level outcomes. Sample research:
- Managing the MNE subsidiary: Advancing a multi-level and dynamic research agenda (Journal of International Business Studies)
- Core or periphery? The effects of country-of-origin agglomerations on the within-country expansion of MNEs (Journal of International Business Studies)
- Performance effects of MNC headquarters–subsidiary conflict and the role of boundary spanners: The case of headquarter initiative rejection (Journal of International Management)
Professors Paul Beamish and Vanessa Hasse are recruiting for a co-supervision of PhD students with a research interest in the area of international joint ventures (IJVs) and strategic alliances. Topics within this research area can range broadly from collaborative strategies to the management of IJVs and strategic alliances. Experience with or an interest in quantitative data analysis, especially using larger datasets, will be an asset. Sample research:
- Host market government corruption and the equity-based foreign entry strategies of multinational enterprises (Journal of International Business Studies)
- Multi-party international joint ventures: Multiple post-formation change processes (Journal of World Business)
- Cooperative strategies in international business and management: Reflections on the past 50 years and future directions (Journal of World Business)
Professor Andreas Schotter is recruiting PhD students wishing to pursue research into the internationalization of firms in the digital economy. Topics in this line of research may employ qualitative or quantitative methodologies to examine the internationalization of young firms in the digital economy, or the strategies of mature multinational firms reacting to disruptions caused by the digital economy. This research also looks at changing location choices and the emergence of new internal and external organizational structures. Sample research:
- Platforms without borders? The international strategies of digital platform firms (Global Strategy Journal)
- Scaling fast and slow: The internationalization of digital ventures (Journal of Business Research)
Professors Klaus Meyer and Bob Andersen are recruiting PhD students interested to analyze the impact of social and political disruption on businesses operating across national borders. This is a new stream of research which aims to enhance scholarly understanding of corporate strategies (e.g. mergers, acquisitions and divestments) as companies cope with an increasingly uncertain international business environment and/or with specific disruptions in international trade or investment regimes. Sample research:
- Diplomatic and corporate networks: Bridges to foreign locations (Journal of International Business Studies)
- The MNE and its Subsidiaries at Times of Global Disruptions: An International Relations Perspective (Global Strategy Journal).
- Corporate political connections in global strategy (Global Strategy Journal).
- Place, space, and geographical exposure: Foreign subsidiary survival in conflict zones (Journal of International Business Studies)
Professors Paul Beamish and Vanessa Hasse are recruiting for a co-supervision of PhD students with an interest in (and ideally direct exposure to) international business within frontier markets and the world’s poorest economies. Topics within this research area can range broadly from: FDI into or exit from these countries, social intermediation to reduce poverty, the role of management education, and response strategies for rare events, among others. Sample research:
- Foreign subsidiary exit from Africa: The effects of investment purpose, diversity and orientation (Global Strategy Journal)
- Caught in the crossfire: Dimensions of vulnerability and foreign multinationals exit from war-affected countries (Strategic Management Journal)
- Social intermediation in Base-of-the Pyramid Markets (Journal of Management Studies)
- The 39 Country Initiative and Africa (Africa Journal of Management)
- The importance of rare events and other outliers in global strategy research (Global Strategy Journal)
Professor Klaus Meyer is recruiting PhD students with a research interest in the strategies and operations of multinational enterprises originating from emerging economies. Multinational enterprises from countries and regions such as China, India or South-East Asia face distinct challenges and opportunities arising from the economic and political structures of their home economies. This line of research is in particular exploring how companies address the strategic and operational challenges of catch-up strategies, including the engagement with market and nonmarket actors at home and abroad. Sample research:
- Boundary spanners, HRM practices, and reverse knowledge transfer: The case of Chinese cross-border acquisitions (Journal of World Business)
- Emerging economy MNEs: How does home country munificence matter? (Journal of World Business)
- Theoretical foundations of emerging economy research (Journal of International Business Studies)
Professor Andreas Schotter is recruiting Ph.D. students wishing to pursue research at the intersections of international business, economic geography, and innovation, with as particular focus on how Industry 4.0 forces shape multinational enterprise (MNE) activities and the future of work in global value chains. The research considers firm level lenses from corporate strategy and the theory of the firm and microfoundations lenses, bringing the manager into the focus, while considering the rapid changes in the external environment, such as the emergence of digital technologies and increasing global connectedness. The emphasis will be on novel configurational theorizing and methods that seek to accommodate the multiplicity of actors—individuals, firms, industries, countries—and multiplexity of interactions among these actors. We aim to develop new and refine existing knowledge that accounts for the new complexities of configuring the MNE. Sample research:
- International connectedness and local disconnectedness: MNE strategies, city regions and disruption (Journal of International Business Studies)
- Configuring knowledge connectivity and strategy conditions for foreign subsidiary innovation (Long Range Planning)
- Boundary Spanning in Global Organizations (Journal of Management Studies)
Dr. Cheng Li
Assistant Professor, University of Manitoba
Multinationals face growing demands from nonmarket forces, making them increasingly vulnerable to social and political disruptions. This thesis investigates two sets of relationships that are at the core of multinational nonmarket strategy: firm-government and firm-society relationships, and in so doing advances our understanding of global strategies employed to tackle challenges. It comprises…. Read more about this thesis
Dr. Liang (Arthur) Li
This dissertation, based on interviews with over 40 managers and longitudinal data from over 1,900 foreign subsidiaries, develops new insights regarding subsidiary general manager (GM) changes in multinational enterprises (MNEs)…. Read more about this thesis
Dr. Jianhua (Jenny) Zhu
This dissertation examines the characteristics and performance of non-traditional investment motives, with a secondary focus on small-employment subsidiaries. It also investigates how firms re-evaluate and change their organizational control after an industry-wide consumer confidence crisis…. Read more about this thesis
Dr. Liang Liang (Lucas) Wang
This dissertation bridges the identified literature gaps by developing and testing two empirical models based on the pricing-error rule. According to this rule, only when share distribution of an EJV perfectly matches the two pricing errors will profit sharing to each partner fully offset the errors, which helps save the most on transaction costs…. Read more about this thesis
Dr. Maximilian Stallkamp
This dissertation contributes new insights to research on the internationalization of firms. Whereas prior research has focused mostly on the country as the main locational unit of analysis, I examine internationalization from both subnational and (supranational) regional perspectives. Moreover, I investigate the impact of digitalization on internationalization, by studying how ‘digital’ firms expand internationally.... Read more about this thesis
Dr. Dwarka Chakravarty
This dissertation examines the characteristics, profitability, and survival of multinational enterprise (MNE) foreign direct investment (FDI) in North American “global” cities (GCs), such as Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto. Across GCs and their metropolitan areas (Metros), MNEs often co-locate with their home country and co-industry peers in “co-ethnic” and “co-ethnic, co-industry” (CECI) clusters. Despite their substantial influence on the world economy GCs are relatively underexplored as location units of analysis in International Business (IB) research. Accordingly, I address three research questions.... Read more about this thesis
Dr. Yamlaksira Getachew
This dissertation is motivated by two sets of research questions: (a) Whether, how, and when host-country market and institutional conditions have implications for the performance of foreign subsidiaries? And (b) Whether, how, and when investment purposes/motives for which foreign subsidiaries are established relate to the extent to which the subsidiaries/their parents overcome the hazards of or capitalize on the opportunities from operating in locations of high institutional voids?.... Read more about this thesis