Our research

A wide shot of London city skyline against a blue sky

The Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds' (CIBUL) research strategy is based on teamwork and co-authorship, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the field of international business.

Members of the centre have published their research in leading academic journals including the Journal of International Business Studies, Research Policy, Management International Review, Organization Studies, Journal of Business Research and Journal of World Business.

Research themes

Research development at CIBUL is divided into four main thematic areas, focused especially on the regions of China, India and SE Asia. 

Theme 1: The global determinants and impact of foreign direct investment

This theme examines the interface between regional economic integration, economic performance, competitiveness and development; regional economic integration as a national strategy to attract FDI; national and regional level spillovers from inward FDI; inter-industry spillover effects from inward FDI; spillover effects from outward FDI; globalisation and effects on the local economy of Yorkshire. 

Theme 2: The strategy of MNEs and countries - impact on home and host country development, productivity and competitiveness

This area looks at strategic alliances (SAs) and mergers and acquisitions (M&As) as alternative means of achieving corporate growth and international diversification; the link between the strategy of the MNE and knowledge management; national and corporate culture in the formation of international business strategy; the endogeneity of government policy and institutions and the strategic decisions of firms; human factors in new forms of organisation.

Theme 3: Knowledge management, international entrepreneurship, property rights, and performance

Theme three studies knowledge management function and the organisation of the MNE; intangible assets, intellectual property protection and the form of international business. Performance issues include the "productivity gap" in the UK and the impact of foreign owned firms and international entrepreneurship.

Theme 4: Methodology in international business and management research

This last theme examines the issue of "credibility" in international business and management research, and the use of qualitative versus quantitative research methods, and both in combination; quantitative approaches to using qualitative data; the use of native categories in international business and management research. These themes will be developed within the existing area and mainstream specialisms through a family of linked projects.

Research activities

PhD study environment at CIBUL

CIBUL is a major training ground for exceptionally qualified and strongly motivated new researchers. We foster a supportive research culture and offer key resources to ensure you successfully develop research projects that are both scholarly and practically valuable.

Central to doctoral training in CIBUL are strong methodological skills and developing cutting-edge research in collaboration with faculty members.

The research areas of our current PhD students include:

  • International entrepreneurship
  • Global value chain
  • Knowledge management
  • Cross-border M&As
  • Patent litigation
  • Succession process in family multinationals

Their commitment to excellence adds to the vibrancy of our research environment and make significant contributions to published research.

Our doctoral students have won a number of major international prizes, including the Gunnar Hedlund Prize. Most recently, one of our PhD students was awarded the Michael Z. Brooke Prize for the best doctoral paper at the 2017 Academy of International Business (UK&I) conference. 

PhD and Research Degree Programmes at Leeds University Business School