The International Business and Strategy research division is one of six academic areas within Henley Business School at the University of Reading. It is home to two of the world's premier research centres in international business and international business history.
We continue to help define the research agenda in the fields of international business and international business history. Biennially we hold international conferences at Henley Business School, examining the latest topics and research in these fields. Alongside some of the world's most distinguished academics, we attract leading experts from organisations ranging from MNEs to NGOs.
We are home to the John H. Dunning Centre for International Business and the Centre for International Business History (CIBH), two of the world’s premier research centres in the field.
Research conducted at the John H. Dunning Centre for International Business straddles the fields of international business and strategic management and focuses on critical issues relating to strategies of multinational enterprises, globalisation and international business regulation, and foreign direct investment.
CIBH strives to promote the study of the past development and future evolution of business strategy in an international and comparative content. Business History Review, the Harvard Business School’s journal, lists the centre as one of the most important in the world for business history.
For specific enquiries, please contact:
Research Division Lead
Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 5247
Henley Business School has a vibrant group of about 260 PhD and DBA researchers. Doctoral students are an integral part of our research community and participate in the research activities of the school. Doctoral students have dedicated computer labs, access to funding for conference presentations, career support and a series of school-wide events with opportunities for cross-discipline discussion and networking. Doctoral research topics are aligned with the research interests of the supervisors. Henley Business School offers up to 28 full scholarships per year representing an overall investment of £840,000 in postgraduate research education.
Family incomes, expenditures, and consumption
A team including Professor Peter Scott, Professor James T. Walker, and Karina Pavlisa are exploring the long-term development and current status of the British family as an economic and social unit – encompassing long-term trends in income inequality and household consumption patterns, together with their economic, social, and other drivers.
Key contributions include an extension and refinement of long-term British inequality estimates; the production of key new datasets on household consumption; and analysis of the importance of occupational factors as drivers of household behaviour.
This interdisciplinary project feeds into a research agenda developed by top international scholars such as Thomas Piketty, Pierre Bourdieu, Gary Becker, and Jan De Vries, and has already produced several articles in top international journals, with more in progress.
R&D locations of multinational firms: How do governments influence where they go?
In an ongoing series of papers, scholars at Henley have been studying how firms locate their R&D operations, and what factors make them choose (or reject) certain locations. R&D location is a key strategic decision for multinational firms, because their innovative activities are central to maintaining and upgrading their competitiveness.
Work by Davide Castellani, Rajneesh Narula, Lucia Piscitello and others at Henley examine how R&D activity is attracted towards locations that allow the firm to access an internationally connected knowledge network of inventors. In contrast, production activities need more traditional forms of connectivity, such as those that facilitate the flows of goods and people. More generally the group focuses on the determinants of the location of offshore R&D activities by MNEs, and the importance of co-locating R&D labs close to production plants. There are important policy issues associated with this, and this body of work has contributed to the policy making at the EU level, as well as by individual countries, including Italy, UK, Bulgaria, Norway, Thailand, Canada among others.
Shame on who? The dilemma of corporate social irresponsibility
The work of Dr. Giulio Nardella, Fellow in International Business & Strategy, examines the relationship between corporate irresponsibility and social evaluations of the firm. Until now, the threat of negative social evaluations have been understood to discourage irresponsible conduct.
The research finds that social evaluations may do so when organisations are perceived to be hypocritical and when legal penalties are perceived inadequate or non-existent. However, the research also finds that social evaluations may only play a marginal role in discouraging irresponsible behaviour for firms that are neither perceived as particularly good or bad social actors. Therefore this research has broader policy implications and encourages more appropriate regulation which can promote better corporate social performance as well as to discourage corporate irresponsibility.
Surdu, I., Mellahi, K., Glaister, K. W. and Nardella, G. (2018) Why wait? Organizational learning, institutional quality and the speed of foreign market re-entry after initial entry and exit. Journal of World Business. ISSN 1090-9516
Georgakakis, D., Greve, P. and Ruigrok, W. (2017) Top management team faultlines and firm performance: examining the CEO-TMT interface. The Leadership Quarterly, 28 (6). pp. 741-758. ISSN 1048-9843
Castellani, D., Meliciani, V. and Mirra, L. (2016) The determinants of inward foreign direct investment in business services across European regions. Regional Studies, 50 (4). pp. 671-691. ISSN 1360-0591
Pereira, V. and Fontinha, R. (2016) An exploration of the role duality experienced by HR professionals as both implementers and recipients of HR practices: evidence from the Indian railways. Human Resource Management, 55 (1). pp. 127-142. ISSN 1099-050X