Professor Alain Verbeke

Visiting Professor

Professor Alain Verbeke

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)
Greenlands
Alain.Verbeke@henley.ac.uk
+44 (0)118 378 6597

Biography

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.

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.