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Projects and Activities

The Centre for China Management and Global Business' expertise and experiences cover a wide range of topics.

The CMGB has three focal areas of research:

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A), innovation and business transformation

Chinese companies' globalisation endeavours are largely driven by cross-border M&A activities, which are reshaping the globalisation agendas. This research area covers:

- Why and how Chinese companies use M&As strategy for globalisation

- What challenges they are facing

- How to overcome the pitfalls to achieve win-win situation for all partners involved in Chinese M&As

- The business transformation and technological upgrading of Chinese companies to gain global competitiveness

- Identifying the strategies that can foster business transformation

- How research and development (R&D) and innovation management affect companies' strategies and approaches in transforming their businesses and upgrading innovation capability

Talent management and global entrepreneurship

Talent management and entrepreneurship are crucial for China and the world. Returnee entrepreneurs are change makers and make a significant contribution to Chinese society and the business world. The mass entrepreneurship and innovation movement in China and its successful strategy in attracting top talent from all over the world might offer some lessons for other developing countries. Entrepreneurship is not an individual endeavour; it requires collective efforts and collaboration among government, business and public sectors. This research area explores the key lessons learned from China's global talent mobility and how entrepreneurial talent manages growth and partnerships in institutional transformation in China.

Global challenges and sustainable development

We are living in a time of uncertainty, but the UN's 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) paint a bright future. China's collaboration with the rest of the world to tackle the global challenges will be a necessity. We believe a nuanced and micro-level understanding of individuals, their behaviours and social interactions in organisations is instrumental for explaining processes and macro-level outcomes. This is therefore important for scholars, managers and policymakers to tackle societal and economic grand challenges facing the global economy today.

Illustrative projects for the Centre for China Management and Global Business:

Chinese Overseas Mergers and Acquisitions

Professor Yipeng Liu has led a research project on Chinese cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&A) over the last decade. Increasingly, Chinese companies are pursuing strategic asset-seeking acquisitions in the advanced economies since 2000. Studying post-acquisition integration management from an organisational perspective could help explain performance variation of cross-border M&As.

A series of research output has been published, exploring how Chinese companies manage their overseas targets after the acquisitions. A paper titled 'Light‐Touch Integration of Chinese Cross‐Border M&A: The Influences of Culture and Absorptive Capacity' was presented at the China Goes Global conference at Harvard Kennedy School in Boston and later published in the Thunderbird International Business Review. This paper is regarded as the very first paper examining integration management from an organisational perspective in the context of Chinese cross-border M&As.

Brand Management in Chinese Cross-Border M&As

Professor Liu co-authored a paper titled 'Brand management in mergers and acquisitions: Emerging market multinationals venturing into advanced economies', which investigated brand management during post-acquisition integration from a multi-level perspective and identified how a brand management strategy can be constructed. It takes into account the influences of country-of-origin image, corporate brand and brand portfolio to obtain a granular view of post-acquisition brand management.

This research project has received international media attention and funding support from the British Academy, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust and the Schoeller Foundation for Business and Society in Germany.

Global Talent Mobility and International Entrepreneurship

Professor Liu's research examines various aspects of nascent field of returnee entrepreneurship from multiple levels of analysis. Based on a survey conducted by the Centre for China and Globalisation, one of the top challenges faced by returnee entrepreneurship is 'cultural shock'. Why can returnees feel cultural shock when they go back to start ventures in their home countries?

The answer is because emerging economies change rapidly and the norms and logics of doing business are dynamic. Western-trained returnees can be too much entrenched by the transaction cost economy and efficiency-driven logic. However, relationship-centric practices are prevailing and universally prevalent in business and life. Individual entrepreneurial behaviours affected by cultural differences can impact their ways of understanding and addressing uncertainty and risk, thus chosen coping strategies in building resilience.

On the organisational-level, new technology ventures can tap into the global markets by profiting from the bi-cultural talent who understand the 'rules of the game' both domestically and internationally. Collaborative partnership strategy has been favoured by these born-global firms for growth and global expansion. Importantly, returnee talent may provide international experience and knowledge acting as 'entrepreneurial hub' to compensate the lack of university capability in China's second tier cities and towns when they embark on the journey to promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation movement.

Even more fundamentally different from the advanced economies, the Chinese institutional environment keeps transforming and gives the voice to different actors in shaping and influencing the developmental trajectory of institutions. Returnee entrepreneurs are able to proactively participate into this process of institutional transformation by leveraging public-private entrepreneurial partnerships. It is the development necessity and dynamic institutional background that provides the opportunity for returnee entrepreneurs to rapidly shape and influence institutions.

This research has produced multiple publications, including the Research Handbook of International Talent Management and Entrepreneurship and Talent Management from a Global Perspective. The ideas and research output have been presented as keynote speeches and presentations at international conferences. The research received support from the British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Award and the prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship.

Global Chengdu

Beginning her China project in the mid-2000s, Professor Kathy Pain was the co-director of the completed Globalisation and World Cities (GaWC) project. She led on global city planning with the project 'Global Chengdu: An Analysis of Chengdu's Position in the Global Economy', funded by the Chengdu Municipal government and published in 2018.

This research project presents an analysis of Chengdu's connectivity profile in the global economy by making use of the GaWC research network's operational database for researching cities at the global scale. It also presents a grounded interpretation of this profile based on fieldwork and site visits in Chengdu in August 2018. Furthermore, Professor Pain participated as an expert in a conference and workshop funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC).

Enhancing Urban Resilience in Highly-Urbanised Regions

Professor Pain participated as an expert in a conference and workshop funded by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC). A paper co-authored by the participants is currently in progress, titled 'China-UK Bilateral Workshop on Planning Strategy for Enhancing Urban Resilience in Highly-Urbanised Regions'. Previously she presented at the 8th '21st century urban development' International Conference 2019 at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan.

This research project has received international media attention and funding support from the British Academy, the Sino-British Fellowship Trust and the Schoeller Foundation for Business and Society in Germany.

An Intelligent Platform Enabling Digital Ecosystems for Emergency Responses (IPED)

Professor Kecheng Liu and Professor Yinshan Tang have worked on a research project titled Intelligent Platform Enabling Digital Ecosystems for Emergency Responses (IPED). The scope of the research focuses on health management at macro, meso, micro and individual levels in response to emergencies such epidemics and pandemics.

Through extensive research of existing knowledge, experience and practice, the project aims to produce an intelligent platform which enhances the digital and content (i.e. information sharing at semantic level) connectivity between different health management systems to form effective ecosystems. In response to a user's request, the IPED accesses the relevant parts of the ecosystems. It then provides guidance and advocacy at the macro level, policies and intervention measures at the meso and micro levels and even personalised plans of activity and health management for individuals. The project addresses the needs of three main groups of stakeholders: 1) governments, 2) companies of different sectors, in roles such as suppliers and employers, and 3) families and individual citizens.

The members of the research project are from multidisciplinary areas. These include management academics and practitioners, policymakers, medical and healthcare professionals, informatics researchers and AI and data scientists. The members are from cross-country and cross-culture, including China, Europe and other continents. Researchers and practitioners from China with knowledge and experience in healthcare and medical practice make their particular contributions in health-related management and practice in emergency cases.

The outcomes of the research project will yield significant value in addressing the profound effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and other such events that impact so deeply on people's health and lives on a large scale. IPED supports all stakeholders with pervasive access to information from multiple sources in making their decisions. Particularly, individual citizens can use this platform as self-education and self-consultation based on their personalised profile data provided.

Entrepreneurship Education

Professor Andrew Godley has been a visiting professor at Zhejiang University since 2013, establishing the joint Zhejiang-Reading Sino-British Centre for Entrepreneurship Research at Zhejiang University in 2013 with Professor Zhongming Wang (who in addition to his role at Zheijiang University is a Visiting Professor at Henley Business School). Since 2016 this joint centre has been leading a project to establish best practice in university-level entrepreneurship education. It aims to develop curricula and faculty training courses among the Alliance of Entrepreneurship Colleges and Universities in Zhejiang Province, representing 100 universities and a student body of over 400,000.

From 2017 this programme of curriculum development and faculty training courses was extended to other provinces in China, expanding the network to Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, Tianjin University, Jiangnan University, Lanzhou University, Macau University, Chengdu University and others. The project has led to the identification of best-practice in entrepreneurship education curriculum development, with a strong core of professionals willing to share experience and to co-develop expertise, and to the production of a series of case studies of successful examples of entrepreneurship education initiatives in China.

Contact us

Professor Yipeng Liu

For more information please contact Professor Yipeng Liu, CMGB Director.

Telephone: 0118 3788554