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 attending (and presenting) at the Academy of International Business and Academy of Management Annual Meetings. Our students deliver high-quality materials and have recently been nominated for Best Paper Awards at: Association of Japanese Business Studies Annual Conference, Academy of International Business Annual Meeting, Administrative Sciences of Canada Annual Conference, Academy of Management Annual Meeting and the Strategic Management Society Annual International Conference.

The IB group at Ivey consists of Paul Beamish, Shih-Fen Chen, Klaus Meyer, Jean-Louis Schaan, and Andreas Schotter. In recent work, though the common theme of international business unifies these colleagues, they draw on varied disciplinary bases to address issues of joint venturing, alliances, foreign direct investment, and doing business in emerging economies. Leveraging their diversity, the IB group is interested in understanding international business phenomena from a multi-level, multi-disciplinary perspective.

*Please note that IB is a stream under General Management

Areas of Research Focus

  • Joint venturing
  • Alliances
  • Foreign direct investment
  • 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 Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal.

Post-graduate 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 International Business, Strategy, or Management departments.

Program Requirements

Students have program requirements, put into place by the PhD office, and discipline requirements, which are governed by the student’s respective area group. On a case by case basis, some students may be able to waive out of particular required courses or substitute others. Such a course of action must be approved by the PhD director

All PhD students must complete the following requirements.

  • Attend “stats boot camp” (end of August at start of Year 1).
  • Pass 9702 Multivariate Analysis in Year 1.
  • Pass 9712 Special Topics in Statistics before end of Year 2.
    *The content of this course varies by year. Students are encouraged to take the course twice.
  • Pass 9704 Research Methods in Year 1.
  • Earn 80% or more on 9723 Summer Research Paper before start of Year 2 - Direct Entry Admissions only (i.e. admitted with only an undergraduate degree)
  • Pass at least two PhD-level courses outside of Ivey before the end of Year 2 or before taking comprehensive exams, whichever is first. It is strongly recommended that at least one of these courses is an econometrics course.
  • Shadow an Ivey professor for an entire undergraduate or MBA course. The associated professor must agree to make this a learning experience for the student (e.g. have conversations about pedagogy, be available for questions about curriculum etc.) and to provide written confirmation to the PhD office of attendance; OR
  • Complete at least 20 hours of courses, workshops etc. at Western’s Teaching Centre.

*In consultation with the student, the respective PhD coordinator shall determine which option better suits the student's needs.

Discipline Requirements

To be completed before the comprehensive exam unless otherwise noted.

  • 9770 Business Strategy I (0.5 units)
  • 9771 Business Strategy II (0.5 units)
  • 9826 (OB) Organizational Theory (0.5 units)
  • Two of the following GM field courses (1 unit total):
    • 9703 International Management (0.5 units)
    • 9773 Business Sustainability (0.5 units)
    • 9775 Non-market Strategy (0.5 units)
    • 9777 Entrepreneurship (0.5 units)
  • For the elective courses, students are required to take 1 unit of rigorous, graduate-level methods courses (e.g., econometrics) and 1 additional unit of other graduate-level electives (e.g., other GM fields courses, courses from other area groups or courses from main campus). The goal is to have students take a minimum of four courses a semester. Students should consult their PhD coordinator to help select these additional courses. All students should take rigorous quantitative methods to assure success on the methods portion of their comprehensive exams. To a certain extent, coursework may be customized to particular student needs and skills on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the respective GM PhD coordinator.
  • Econ 2150 or 2260 Undergrad.
    *Preferably completed before comps exam. Waived for students with strong econ background, granted by the student’s respective PhD Coordinator.


These milestones are designed to ensure students make forward progress. A student who does not achieve these milestones within the required timeline may have their funding partially or fully cut or be withdrawn from the program.

This exam will be completed within 22 months of entering the program (normally written between June 1 and July 15 of Year 2). If the student fails this exam, he or she has up to one year to retake the exam. A second failure will result in being withdrawn from the program.

A student will chose a supervisor within one month of passing the comprehensive exam and will communicate the choice in writing to both the PhD coordinator and the PhD office, copying the supervisor.

Between passing comps and sitting the “Thesis Proposal Exam” (below), the student must form a Thesis Supervisory Committee (commonly referred to as the Proposal Committee). This committee consists of a supervisor and at least one (but usually two or three) additional faculty member. Each must be a member of SGPS and a majority of this committee must be composed of faculty who have doctoral-level membership with SGPS. At least one member of this committee must be confirmed by Dec. 31 of Year 3. The names of this committee are to be forwarded to the PhD office. This committee “assists in the development of the candidate's research plan and thesis proposal, provides advice and criticism on the planning and writing of the thesis…” (more)

This exam is sometimes referred to as the proposal defence. Students must pass this exam within 12 months of passing the comprehensive exam. There may be no less than three months between passing the Thesis Proposal Exam and sitting for the Thesis Exam (below).

This is effectively the last hurdle for PhD students that is commonly referred to as the thesis defence. Students have six years to finish their degree.

Discipline Coordinator

Jean-Louis Schaan

Prior to joining Ivey, he was Director of the University of Ottawa's Executive MBA Program. Professor Schaan has had a 20-year career at the University of Ottawa as a professor and as an administrator. He has taught in all academic programs, has managed the School's Management section and run the bilingual International MBA Program. Professor Schaan started his academic career at the School of Business at Queen's University.

Professor Schaan holds a Ph.D. in strategic management from the Ivey Business School at Western University and an MBA from the School of Management at the University of Ottawa. He is a graduate from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP).

He has won teaching awards at both Ivey and the University of Ottawa.

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