International Business and Enterprise
The International Business and Enterprise (IBE) research cluster is a leading centre for the study of business and management in an international context. We are embedded in the Adam Smith Business School and offer a platform for world-class research, teaching and knowledge exchange on international business and management.
Our work is broadly organised around the following research streams:
- International entrepreneurship (IE) and the internationalisation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
- Professional service firms and globalisation
- Sustainable development and the business-society nexus
- Digital globalisation
- Methodological issues in international business and entrepreneurship
- International economic history
Members of the cluster regularly publish in leading International Business journals such as Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Global Strategy Journal, International Business Review, and Critical Perspectives on International Business, as well as major general management journals such as Human Relations and Organization Studies. We embrace interdisciplinarity and maintain productive links with other disciplines such as International Marketing, Organisation Studies, International Political Economy and Economic History.
The IBE cluster was previously known as the Centre for Internationalisation and Enterprise Research (CIER). CIER was launched by Professor Stephen Young and Professor Marian Jones in 2006. Professor Pavlos Dimitratos joined CIER in 2006 and led the centre in the 2010s before passing the baton to Professor Mehdi Boussebaa in 2020. CIER was re-branded as the IBE research cluster in 2014.
"IBE are doing some terrific research and really building the field of international entrepreneurship."
Professor Patricia McDougall, Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Bloomington
"The International Business and Enterprise Cluster at Glasgow has a firmly established reputation as a world-leading centre in its field. It is now building some exciting new initiatives on this foundation. Its research, teaching and academic culture are all excellent, and I always find visiting there to be a very stimulating experience."
Professor John Child, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham
Leadership and members
Our research community
We edit and serve on the editorial boards of several leading journals, such as the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, International Business Review, Organization Studies, Critical Perspectives on International Business, Journal of Professions and Organization, Human Relations and Data in Brief.
We are active in several major scholarly associations (Academy of International Business, Academy of Management, European Group for Organisational Studies), networks within the British Academy of Management and research centres such as the Scottish Centre for China Research and the SBIA consortium at the University of Edinburgh. We also play leading roles in the AIB sustainability, teaching and education, and women in AIB special interest groups, and hold executive committee membership at the AIB-UKI chapter.
We have extensive international links with researchers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), multinational corporations and policymakers. We carry out our research across the globe, and our members frequently contribute to the international media.
Members of the cluster are recognised for their substantive contributions to contemporary debates in the field and, as such, are consistently ranked highly for prolific scholarship through top-citation scores on Google Scholar and/or inclusion in The Stanford Ranking, a prestigious ranking at the international level which lists the top 100,000 scientists worldwide.
Our research themes
International entrepreneurship (IE) and the internationalisation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
International entrepreneurial firms and SMEs are of key interest to IB scholars. We address three key areas. First, we examine the internationalisation of established SMEs and why, what, where and how these firms address the challenges of doing business in foreign countries. These include exporters and micro multinationals, the latter employing advanced market entry models.
Second, we are concerned with early and/or rapidly internationalising firms and how they address the effects of newness and smallness.
Third, support for firms to succeed internationally is of importance for national governments, and we are interested in how policy can support the way in which SMEs can effectively innovate and compete in response to the changing global environment.
Professional service firms and globalisation
We investigate the internationalisation of professional service firms (PSFs) and the role played by large, transnational PSFs in the globalisation of the world economy.
Specifically, we examine how PSFs expand and organise across nations, how they adapt (or not) to different institutional contexts and how they (re)shape societies around the world in line with corporate objectives.
We also examine how PSFs seek to shape transnational governance regimes to create a global market for their services.
Sustainable development and the business-society nexus
We investigate how organisations can conduct business in an environmentally and socially sustainable way without risking financial viability.
Specifically, we examine how firms work or collaborate with a wide range of other actors towards the SDGs and how SMEs and MNEs can use innovation to future-proof their business models and establish resilience in the face of increasing resource constraints and other grand challenges (climate change, rising inequalities, migration)
Advanced technologies, platforms and disruptive industry 4.0 technologies are triggering digital transformation and fundamentally altering business models and inter-firm partnerships. The technology impacts on relational exchange and the geographical organisation of business activities are neither constrained to sectors or geographical clusters but seemingly boundaryless.
However, the impacts are not uniquely positive (e.g. "virtuality trap"), context-dependent and have consequences on distributional outcomes (impact on labour, profit-capture and rents). Within this theme, we examine these phenomena.
Methodological issues in international business and entrepreneurship
Methodological issues can be particularly thorny considerations in international business (IB) and international entrepreneurship (IE) research. If not appropriately addressed, they can severely undermine valid inferences, limit the ability to generalise to populations of interest and to build theory. More generally, they can lead to poor recommendations regarding managerial practice and lead problematic outcomes.
Within this theme, we aim to understand how methodological advancements shape quantitative and qualitative research practice.
International economic history
This theme investigates how companies, governments and international organisations develop and create new institutional cooperation over time. We focus in particular on European integration in its global context.
We study business strategies, the formation of the European Union, and the development of international financial regulation and supervision.
Within this theme, we aim to explore some of the roots of our current predicament.