Professor Omar AL-Tabbaa

Professor Omar AL-Tabbaa


Omar Al-Tabbaa, a Professor in International Business (IB) and strategy, currently serves as the Director of Research and Innovation. Before his tenure at Leeds, he held senior lecturer positions at the University of Kent, University of Huddersfield, and the University of Roehampton London. Beyond academia, Prof. Al-Tabbaa founded and led the first technology business incubator in Palestine (a project funded by the World Bank), and has also worked as a project manager in the construction industry for +7 years.

Prof. Al-Tabbaa, is a distinguished researcher in the fields of Strategy, IB, and Research Methods, where he published over 70 academic papers, chapters, invited case studies, and industrial reports. His research spans a wide array of topics, including digitization, strategic alliances, digital platforms, global value chains, business model innovation, SMEs, co-innovation, university-industry collaboration, technology transfer, systematic literature reviews, and social partnerships. His scholarly contributions have been featured in prestigious journals, including Research Policy, Global Strategy Journal, British Journal of Management, Journal of International Management, International Journal of Management Reviews, the Journal of Business Research, International Business Review, European Management Review, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, and Industrial Marketing Management, among others.

Prof. Al-Tabbaa is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Business Research, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and Article Editor for the Sage Open journal. 

Reflecting his research's quality, impact, and innovation, Prof. Al-Tabbaa has an impressive record in citations and reads. By 2023, he has +2500 citations on Google Scholar and +87,000 reads on Reseachgate. In addition, his publications have received various accolades and awards, including three Wiley's top-cited papers by three different journals (2022 and 2021), three Best Paper awards from The British Academy of Management (BAM 2020 and BAM 2017), Best Thesis Award (University of Leeds), and the Emerald Awards for Research Excellence (Emerald Literati Award in 2015).

He has several achievements in securing external funds. To date, his research and enterprise activities have been supported by grants from both industries and research institutions (including Uni. of Leeds; Erasmus Plus; Uni. of Kent, European Subsea Cables Association, Project Management Institute, and World Bank-InfoDev program) totaling more than £1.0 million.


  • Director of Research and Innovation

Research interests

Dr. Al-Tabbaa’s research activities address the area of strategy and international business. In specific, his current research explores three broad themes: 1) digitization for globalization; 2) the nature and process of inter-organizational relationships, and 3) the dynamic of business model innovation.
Under the first theme, he investigates the role of digital technologies in driving firms’ internationalization strategy and performance. Within the second theme, he studies the collaborative mechanisms between organizations in different settings including alliance management capabilities, co-internationalizing and co-innovation (with a focus on SMEs), technology transfer, and social alliance for public value creation. In the third theme, he examines how firms can develop their business models to create economic and social value in the developing economies domain. Part of his interest in this theme focuses on the SMEs digital platform ecosystem and dynamics.


  • PhD Management and Economics - University of Leeds
  • Master of Science (MSc) Management - University of Leeds
  • Master of Science (MSc) Construction Management - IUG
  • B.Sc. (Hons.) Engineering - University of Jordan
  • The University of Leeds Teaching Award – (ULTA- 2)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA), UK

Student education

Dr. Al-Tabbaa has extensive experience and developed an in-depth understanding of the Ph.D. process and its requirements. He has been recognized as a qualified Supervisory Chair by the University of Kent in 2018. He also participated in the development of the Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods (PGCRM) program at the University of Huddersfield and was a member of the PGCRM program committee. 
Dr. Al-Tabbaa supervises/has supervised several Ph.D. students from start to completion as the primary supervisor. He currently accepts new Ph.D. students in any of his research areas
Completed (from start to finish):
  • (2023): Dr. Simdul Miri-Dashe: Business model innovation in the renewable energy SMEs in Africa     
  • (2022): Dr. Matt Snell: Solar energy social enterprises in the informal economies                                 
  • (2022): Dr. Sara Odat: The effect of the sharing economy at innovating SMEs business model                     
  • (2021): Dr. Maksym Koghut: Blockchain Technology in Inter-organizational Trust formation                      
  • (2019): Dr. Abdalhamed Nasr: Alliance capability in family businesses in the unstable economy                   
  • (2017): Dr. Nadia Zahoor: strategic alliance, internationalization, and co-innovation in SMEs
Current Students:
Mobarak Hossain (GVC and sustainable upgrading)
Simdul Miri-Dashe (Business model innovation through scalability in developing economies)
Arwa Hayary (Business Model innovation in the public sector)
Yeneingeda Kassahun (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine – University-Industry Interaction between developing and developed economies)
Dr. Al-Tabbaa has examined several PhD students both nationally and internationally, including:
  • (2023): Dr. Maximillian Giehrl (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • (2022): Dr. Ong Tiam Germin (National Institute of Education – Singapore)
  • (2022): Dr. Silas Nsanzumuhir (Maastricht University – the Netherlands)
  • (2021): Dr. Charikleia Theodoraki (University of Kent)
  • (2020): Dr. Nasser M. AlShawaaf (University of Kent)
  • (2017): Dr. Kum-Sik Oh (University of Huddersfield)

Current postgraduate researchers