Dr Elizabeth Yi Wang

Dr Elizabeth Yi Wang


Dr Elizabeth Yi Wang is a statistician and an artist by training. She specialises in multi-level econometric modelling of behaviours of multi-unit and multi-location organisations such as multinational enterprises (MNEs) and business groups. Her research focuses on three questions: (1) How do these organisations achieve competitive advantages by managing risk and maintaining control in critical processes such as internationalisation, learning, invention, and partnership? (2) How do external pressures such as SDGs policy and ESG standards exert influence on these organisations’ operation and strategic shift? (3) How can policy interventions be coordinated across borders to mainstream sustainable development globally and locally.

Dr Wang has been an advocate of empowering the sustainable development of the Economic South. She is critical of institutional failures resulting in barriers to  building collaborations for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Dr Wang is an award-winning educator, making contributions in scientific discovery and knowledge transfer to the wider society. She has been invited by overseas institutions and business associations to advise on strategic issues related to public education, regional development, regional branding, poverty alleviation, and cross-border e-commerce education.

Dr Wang had been a long-standing Co-chair of the European Academy of International Business (EIBA)/ EIASM Doctoral Symposium in International Business (EIBA-DS) between 2013 and 2019, during which the DS was renamed as the Danny Van Den Bulcke Doctoral Symposium in International Business (DVDB-DS) to honor Danny who made significant contribution to developing and encouraging new researchers. 

Dr Wang is the founder of the Mainstreaming Impact in International Business (MIIB) initiative, which advocates and advances international business education and research targeting on tackling urgent global issues such as SDGs and geopolitical uncertainties.

Dr Wang is a contributor to various sustainability development initiatives, e.g., she has co-chaired panels on global value chain governance and ESG in the UNSDG conference ICSD (2022 and 2023), organised special panels in AIB UK& Ireland Chapter conference 2022 and EIBA 2023, and continues her work to embed SDGs into International Business Curriculums in higher education. Her most recent contribution include hosting a high profile impact event, An Angeda for Sustainable International Business, which engaged academic and non-academic stakeholders from various institutions and organisations around the world. 

Dr Wang is a strong supporter of mentoring. She regularly acts as a mentor and has mentored three Michael Beverley Innovation Fellows over the years. 


Winner of Women of Achievement

Winner of Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence

Winner of the Neil Hood and Stephen Young Prize for the Most Original New Work, awarded by the Doctoral Colloquium at the AIB UK & Ireland Annual Conference 2007

Ph.D. International Business and Economics, University of Leeds. The third year of her Ph.D. study was financed by the Sino-British Fellowship Trust and Chinese Student Award. Ph.D. title: “Foreign direct investment spillovers in China”. Supervisor: Professor L Jeremy Clegg, Professor Peter J Buckley, and Dr Chengqi Wang. External Examiners: Professor Steven Young, Business School, University of Glasgow, UK, and Dr Axèle Giroud, Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, UK.


  • Director of Student Education in International Business (past years)
  • Programme Director, MSc Global Business (present), MSc International Business (past years)
  • Head of Year 1, 2, & 3 (BSc International Business)

Research interests

The keywords that best describe Dr Wang’ research interests are enterprise, place, space, and governance. She examines how these factors interact and how stakeholders may harness the benefits of their interactions to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

Specifically, her research aims to answer the following questions:

  • How do organisational, geographic, and societal boundaries influence the process to achieve SDGs?
  • How can risk, control, identity, and spillovers be best managed to enable firms and societal stakeholders to work together for SDGs? 
  • How do entrepreneurship, innovation, and governance drive changes in sustainable development practices over time?
  • How can international business policy drive seismic change for sustainable global development?

Dr Wang welcomes PhD proposals in the above areas, with application specifically to green technology, rural development, poverty reduction, and ESG. PhD candidates with multidiciplinary backgrounds and big data analytics skills are particularly encouraged to apply.

A selection of recent research and engagement grants:

  • “Building Effective Multilateralism in GVC Governance: The Role of Green Policy and Green Innovation”  Receiving this Research Development Fund in June 2022 awarded by the University of Leeds has enabled the team to build impact into the design of the research project to directly work with stakeholders.
  • “How does policy exert real effects?” Foreign Experts Grant awarded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of PR China. The grant is the highest-level award given by the Chinese government to support the engagement of foreign experts in scientific research and scholarly exchange. The grant aims to foster long term international research and scholarly collaborations, and therefore is renewable on an annual basis. The total amount for this year is 855,000 RMB (£94,119).
  • Strategic Crafting of Country-of-Origin-Image: Strengthening Competitive Advantages of Firms in Times of Global Geopolitical and Economic Uncertainty” Challenge Fund (£19, 500) awarded by Leeds University Business School that aims to produce impactful research through large grant applications. This is a multi-disciplinary research project with experts from Leeds University Business School and the School of Design, and industry and institutional partners from the UK, China, India, and Brazil. The research team is passionate about creating the science of strategic crafting of Country Image that benefits trade negotiations, firm exports, regional competitiveness, and societal cohesion. 

Research contributions to SDGs:

SDG 3 Good Health and Wellbeing and SDG 10 Reduced Inequality Within and Among Countries:

SDG 9 Inudstry, innovation, and infrustructure:

  • Multinatioal Enterprises as Agents of the Green Agenda, research presented at the World Investment Forum 2023.
  • Multinational Enterprises, ESG, and SDGs - The Potential of Product Innovation by Moody’s in Driving Positive
    Change, The Luminary, Moody’s, 2023.
  • Location still matters! How does geographic configuration influence the performance-enhancing advantages of FDI spillovers?Journal of International Management, Volume 26, Issue 3, September 2020, 100777. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intman.2020.100777offers the implications for regional FDI policy: while multinational enterprises possess advantages in protecting own technology and knowledge in a host economy policymakers will be ill equipt to focus on attracting inward FDI to specific regions without understanding “how” local businesses actually learn from foreign MNEs. See research blog “How emerging market firms learn from multinational enterprises”. 
  • The 7th World Investment Forum, 18-22 Oct 2021, panel discussion Aligning multinational firms for the “decade of action”: a real prospect or wishful thinking?”. For details of the in-depth study of green innovation she and her co-authors conducted and its suggestions of how MNEs can contribute to SDGs please see here and here.

SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth:

  • Sustainable International Business Partnership (SIBP), An Agenda for Sustainable International Business, Impact Event of the Academy of International Business (AIB), November 20, 2023.
  • What Does It Take to Build an Inclusive Governance of Global Value Chains? A Framework for Intervention. AIB Insights. https://doi.org/10.46697/001c.71445, Wang, E. Y., Driffield, N., Clegg, J., Miles, L., Alford, M., and J. Kim, 2023.


  • PhD International Business and Economics, University of Leeds
  • MSc International Finance, University of Leeds
  • BSc Economics and Statistics, Capital University of Economics & Business, Beijing, China

Professional memberships

  • The Higher Education Academy
  • European Academy of International Business
  • Academy of International Business
  • British Academy of Management

Student education

Dr Elizabeth Yi Wang is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and the Executive Coordinator of the Teaching and Education Special Interest Group (T&E SIG) of the Academy of International Business (AIB).

During the past years, she has developed and managed 5 undergraduate (UG) modules, 5 postgraduate (PG) modules, two masters programmes – MSc International Business (IB) and MSc International Business (with Study Abroad). As Director of Student Education in International Business, she oversaw the strategic development of UG and PG IB Curriculum and, during my term, both UG and PG programmes achieved national excellence (top NSS ranking of UG programmes) and global excellence (top Financial Times Masters in Management Ranking of our MSc IB). As AACSB Accreditation Champion, she led the re-articulation of IB programme and module learning outcomes, and ensured successful accreditation of 4 UG programmes, 1 PG programme, and more than 40 associated IB modules.

She is an advocate of research-based-learning and research-led teaching. 

Recent modules:

Chinese Business (PG), The Emerging Markets (PG), Research Methods for International Business (UG), Managing International Business (UG), Contemporary Topics in International Business (UG)

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds

Current postgraduate researchers