Professor Alain Verbeke

Visiting Professor

Professor Alain Verbeke's Photograph

Professor Alain Verbeke

International Business and Strategy
International business strategy in complex environments
Transport strategy and policy
Corporate strategy and European Union policies
Internationalization theory; transaction cost economics; dynamic capabilities; multinational enterprises; subsidiary specific advantage; firm specific advantages (FSAs), country specific advantages (CSAs)
+44 (0)118 378 6597


Dr Alain Verbeke is a Professor of International Business and Strategy and holds the McCaig Research Chair in Management at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary.  He is also the Research Director of the Strategy and Organization Area at the Haskayne School of Business.  In 2014 Dr Verbeke was elected as the Inaugural Alan M Rugman Memorial Fellow at the Henley Business School.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Business Studies (2017-2019).

Earlier in his career, Dr. Verbeke served as the Director of the MBA programme, Solvay Business School, University of Brussels (VUB), where he remains an adjunct professor. He has been a Visiting Professor at Dalhousie University, the University of Toronto and the Université Catholique de Louvain, as well as an Associate Fellow of Templeton College (University of Oxford). He has also been an Academic Associate of the Centre for International Business and Management, Judge Business School (University of Cambridge) and was associated with Skolkovo Institute for Emerging Market Studies (SIEMS), as an affiliated researcher.  In June 2016, he was appointed as a Non-Resident Fellow with the Center for Emerging Market Studies, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China. Dr. Verbeke is an elected Fellow of the Academy of International Business, and has served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Fellows.

Further information

Other achievements

Dr Verbeke has been a member of the European Science and Technology Assembly (ESTA), the highest advisory body to the European Commission on the future of European scientific and innovation policy and has served on the board of directors of various educational and scientific research institutions.  He is a leading thinker on complex project evaluation, the strategic management of multinational networks, as well as the governance and restructuring of complex organisations.

In the consulting sphere, Dr. Verbeke has personally directed over 100 strategic management projects, most of these with a focus on the interface between large-scale investment programs and governance challenges. His academic research agenda consists of revisiting, rethinking and augmenting the core paradigms in strategic management and international business, especially internalization theory, which is a joint transaction cost economics and resource based view of the firm, focused on the governance of new resource combinations.  He has particular expertise in the management of headquarters - subsidiary relationships and broader governance challenges in large multinational enterprises.

Dr Verbeke has authored or edited more than 30 books and more than 200 refereed publications, including many articles in leading scholarly journals such as the Journal of International Business Studies, the Strategic Management Journal and the Journal of Management Studies.

Research interests

Dr Alain Verbeke studies extensions of internalization theory and this theory's many applications to a wide variety of international business phenomena, such as the internationalization of family firms, the creation of subsidiary specific advantage, the impact of regional integration on entry mode choices, the growth of emerging economy multinational enterprises, the rise of international new ventures, etc.  

Internalization theory is a joint transaction cost economics (TCE) and resource based view (RBV) interpretation of the firm’s functioning, infused with entrepreneurial judgement elements, and taking into account the institutional characteristics of home and host countries. Here, firms make strategic decisions to expand, based on an initial set of firm specific advantages (FSAs), which can themselves be the result of prior investments in, e.g., R&D or brands, or may result from managerial experience, superior managerial practices, etc., in a context of substantial bounded rationality and bounded reliability. Importantly, there is a focus on the dynamics of requisite resource recombination across product and geographic space, whereby three related questions need to be answered in a systemic fashion: What are the optimal firm-level boundaries? How to govern the interface with economic actors conducting relevant activities outside of the firm’s boundaries? How to govern the activities conducted inside the firm’s boundaries?

The above approach is closely aligned with the modern, dynamic capabilities (DC) perspective in the field of strategy, since successful firms are predicted to be the ones able to engage systematically in the requisite entrepreneurial resource recombination associated with, e.g., each individual expansion move or allocation of a role to an individual foreign subsidiary.  However,  dynamic capabilities thinking must always be subjected to the discipline of efficient governance, so as to avoid creating simplistic normative models, and it is this requisite interplay between governance and dynamic capability development that merits research attention.


Handbook of Research on International Strategic Management, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA (US), 2012 (Alain Verbeke and Hemant Merchant, eds.).

 New Policy Challenges for European Multinationals, Emerald Publishing, Bingley (UK), 2012 (Rob van Tulder, Alain Verbeke and Liviu Voinea, eds.).

 Entrepreneurship in the Global Firm, Emerald Publishing, Bingley, 2011, 378p. (Alain Verbeke, Ana Teresa Tavares Lehmann and Rob van Tulder, eds.).

 International Business Strategy: Rethinking the Foundations of Global Corporate Success, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, Sao Paulo, Delhi, 2009, 506 p.

Handbook on Small Nations in the Global Economy The Contribution of Multinational Enterprises to National Economic Success, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA, 2009, 277 p.( Daniel Van Den Bulcke, Alain Verbeke and Wenlong Yuan, eds.).

 Analysis of Multinational Strategic Management. The Selected Scientific Papers of Alan M. Rugman and Alain Verbeke, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2005, 461 p. (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 Internalization, International Diversification and the Multinational Enterprise, Essays in Honour of Alan M. Rugman, Elsevier JAI, London, New York, Tokyo, 2005, 263 p.

 Globalisation and the Small Open Economy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2001, 241 p. (D. Van den Bulcke and Alain Verbeke, eds.).

The Strategic Management of High Technology Contracts : the case of CERN,   Pergamon – Elsevier Science, London, New York, Tokyo, 1999, 190 p. (M. Nordberg and Alain Verbeke).

 Beyond the Diamond, JAI-Press, Greenwich, Conn., 1995, 280 p. (A. Rugman, A Verbeke and J. Van den Broeck, eds.).

 Global Competition Beyond the Three Generics, JAI-Press, Greenwich, Conn., 1993, 241 p. (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke, eds.).

 Corporate Response to Global Change, JAI-Press, Greenwich, Conn., 1992, 245p. (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke, eds.).

 Global Competition and the European Community, JAI Press, Greenwich, Conn., 1991, 275 p. (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke, eds.).


“The Drivers of Multinational Enterprise Subsidiary Entrepreneurship in China”, Journal of Management Studies, 2013, Vol. 50:2, p. 236-258 (Alain Verbeke and Wenlong Yuan).

 "Re-conceptualizing Bartlett and Ghoshal's Classification of National Subsidiary Roles in the Multinational Enterprise", Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 48:2, March 2011, p. 253-277, (Alan M. Rugman, Alain Verbeke and Wenlong Yuan).

 "The Impact of Added Cultural Distance and Cultural Diversity on International Expansion Patterns: A Penrosean Perspective",  Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 48:2, March 2011, p. 305-329, (Thomas Hutzschenreuter, Johannes C. Voll and Alain Verbeke).

 “Beyond Hofstede and GLOBE: Improving the quality of cross-cultural research”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 41, 2010, p. 1259-1274, (Rosalie L. Tung and Alain Verbeke).

 "International acquisition success: Social community and dominant logic dimensions", Journal of International Business Studies", Vol. 41, 2010, p. 38-46.

  "The end of the opportunism vs trust debate: Bounded reliability as a new envelope concept in research on MNE governance", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 40, 2009, p. 1471-1495, (Alain Verbeke and Nathan Greidanus).

 "Multidivisional versus Metanational Governance of the Multinational Enterprise', Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 39:2, 2008, p. 940-956, (Alain Verbeke and Thomas Kenworthy).

 "The Theory and Practice of Regional Strategy: A Response to Osegowitsch and Sammartino, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 39:2, 2008, p. 326-332, (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).   

 "Liabilities of Regional Foreignness and the Use of Firm-level versus Country-level Data: a Response to Dunning et al", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 38, no. 1, 2007, p. 200-205, (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 "A Note on Strategic Renewal and Corporate Venturing in the Subsidiaries of Multinational Enterprises", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 31, 2007, p. 585-599, (Alain Verbeke, J.J. Chrisman and W. Yuan).

 "A Final Word on Edith Penrose", Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 41, no. 1, January 2004, p. 205-217, (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 *** "A Perspective on Regional and Global Strategies of Multinational Enterprises", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 35, no. 1, 2004, p.3-18, (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 *** "Proactive Environmental Strategies: a Stakeholder Management Perspective", Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 24, no. 5, May 2003, p. 453-470, (K. Buysse and Alain Verbeke).

 *** "The Evolutionary View of the MNE and the Future of Internalization Theory", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 34, no. 6, 2003, p. 498-504.

 "Extending the Theory of the Multinational Enterprise: Internalization and Strategic Management Perspectives", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 34, no 2, March 2003, p. 125-137 A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 *** "Edith Penrose's Contribution to the Resource-Based View of Strategic Management", Strategic management Journal, Vol. 23, no. 8, August 2002, p.769-780 (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 ••• "Subsidiary Specific Advantage in Multinational Enterprises", Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 22, no 3, March 2001, p. 819-834 (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 "Corporate Strategy and International Environmental Policy", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 29, no. 4, 1998, p. 819-834 (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 *** "Corporate Strategies and Environmental Regulations: An Organising Framework", Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 19, 1998, p. 363-375. (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 "Multinational Enterprises and Public Policy", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 29, no. 1, 1998, p. 115-136. (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).

 "Can Market Based Contracts Substitute for Alliances in High Technology Markets?", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 27, 1996, p. 963-979. (M. Nordberg, A. Campbell and Alain Verbeke).

 *** "A Note on the Transnational Solution and the Transaction Cost Theory of Multinational Strategic Management", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 23, no. 4, 1992, p. 761-772 (A. Rugman and Alain Verbeke).