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9th Reading IB Conference 2024

Screenshot 2023 12 01 at 09 27 40

The Reading conference series offered by The Dunning centre for International Business that take place biennially. These distinctive conferences have become something of a tradition in the IB community, not only because we seek, as is the tradition at Henley Business School, to look at things from a conceptual, 'big picture' level, but also because we emphasise a critical (and we believe, healthy) balance between disciplines.

Our biennial conferences are intended to bring together notable scholars, mid- and early- career researchers, doctoral students and members of the wider international business community for stimulating discussions and networking in our friendly and supportive environment.

Please click here to see our past conferences.

The opening conference panel will celebrate the Journal of World Business 50th anniversary and will introduce the main theme of the conference. Selected submissions will be considered for publication in the Journal of World Business, Journal of International Business Policy and Multinational Business Review.

Session Title: Are MNEs a useful means to reimagine capitalism?

MNEs and firms are increasingly expected to take responsibility for the societies into which they are embedded. Governments have come to rely on the private sector to be partners in improving social and societal welfare, with the state acting increasingly in a regulatory role. It is not immediately obvious whether firms can (or should) be expected to act selflessly, or that the state can (or should) effectively regulate firms. Are MNEs the appropriate means to improve economic, social and environmental outcomes, because they tend to be more efficient than the state? Does shrinking the state lead to a more just society, and to what extent should society look to the private sector to overcome inefficiencies and failures?

Chair: Rajneesh Narula (University of Reading)


- Geoffrey Jones (Harvard University)

- Samuele Murtinu (Utrecht University)

- Olga Petricevic (University of Calgary)

We have a tradition at the Reading conferences of debates rather than speeches (in addition to paper presentations). These are structured open-ended debates with an explicit focus on conceptual and theoretical developments. Debate sessions are intended to maximise participation from the floor.

Debate 1: Separating propaganda from fact: do MNEs really care about HRM?

For decades, HRM and IHRM have been about the 'fact' that careful recruitment, good human development policies, secure work, good communications, and satisfied workers lead to greater productivity. Practice, however, seems to show something different. Human resources are seen as “just another resource”, and HRM is simply about getting the work done at the lowest cost possible. Human resources, in this view, have become disposable and substitutable. Is today’s HRM nothing more than a public relations exercise, with financial considerations overriding all other considerations?

Chair: Chris Brewster (University of Reading)


- Rita Fontinha (University of Reading)

- Dana Minbaeva (King’s College and CBS)

- Khadija van der Straaten (Erasmus University)

- Alain Verbeke (University of Reading & University of Calgary)

Debate 2: Is deglobalisation only a myth?

Questions about the role of globalization have flourished over the last decade. The disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the geopolitical tensions and a public policy environment has become less favourable for globalization have fuelled a de-globalisation narrative. But is this really the case, or is it only a myth? Is de-globalisation, in the sense of the world turning inward, even the right term? Could it be that with the acceleration of digitalization, including AI, we are seeing globalization changing form? If we accept that a trend towards less integrated world is indeed happening, what does this mean both for economic prosperity and peace? Could this be the answer to a more sustainable world?

Chair: Davide Castellani (University of Reading)


- Steven Altman (New York University)

- Anna D'Ambrosio (Politecnico di Torino)

- Ajai Gaur (Rutgers University)

- Ram Mudambi (Temple University)

- Irina Surdu (University of Warwick)

Debate 3: Reconciling the internal tensions within GVCs: sustainability versus survival for suppliers

GVCs consist of a myriad of suppliers, often coordinated by a lead firm, usually an MNE. These relationships are fraught with challenges, especially in developing countries where many suppliers are small, informal and operate on slim margins. While the lead firms flourish, suppliers struggle to survive, and in doing so can rarely comply with the ESG challenges that stakeholders now expect of actors within GVCs. Can there ever be a pareto-optimal outcome without changing coordination and governance within GVCs?

Chair: Liena Kano (University of Calgary)


- Miguel Dindial (University of Leeds)

- Samia Hoque (Manchester Metropolitan University)

- Soni Jha (Purdue University)

- Pavida Pananond (Thammasat University)

International Business, Economic Geography, and Innovation (iBEGIN) Workshop 2024

Digital Connectivity, High-Knowledge Migrants, and Innovation: Substitutes, Complements, and the Dawn of AI.

The event is hosted by Henley Business School on 11 April 2024 in conjunction with the 9th Reading IB Conference.

The workshop will take place in Room 108 in the Henley Business School building in Whiteknights campus of the University of Reading. Click here to download a Campus map.

Please, click here to access the final program of the Workshop.

Information on travelling to Reading, reaching the Henley Business School and accommodation (and food!) can be found within the iBEGIN information for delegates file, which can be downloaded by clicking here and within the “Conference Venue and Travel Detail” section below.

The deadline for extended abstract was 21 February 2024.


Work-from-anywhere and the New Geography of Work

Prithwiraj Choudhury (Harvard Business School)

Plenary panel

Digital Connectivity between Information Systems and International Business

with Ram Gopal (Warwick Business School), Niki Panteli (Lancaster University Management School) and Alain Verbeke (Haskayne School of Business and Henley Business School).

Papers submitted to the iBEGIN workshop will be considered for a special issue of the journal ZFW – Advances in Economic Geography.

The iBEGIN workshop is free of charge.

For any information, please contact the iBEGIN workshop convenors:

Davide Castellani (University of Reading)

Ram Mudambi (Temple University)

PhD students and Post-docs, want to broaden your knowledge base, and become wiser on all fronts? Consider our pre-conference activities which include the Henley International Business Masterclasses which run during the week prior to the conference and cover the following topics:

  • International Business, Development and Policy, by Rajneesh Narula (and guest speakers) – 8-9 April 2024.
  • International Business Innovation and Economic Geography, by Davide Castellani and Lucia Piscitello (and guest speakers) – 9-10 April 2024.
  • New Avenues in Internatioanl Human Resource Management Research, by Chris Brewster, Chul Chung, Rita Fontinha, Washika Haak-Saheem – 11 April 2024.

Submission for papers and extended abstract has been extended to 31 January 2024!

We welcome submission ofextended abstracts or papers in all areas of international business for the conference competitive paper sessions.

Please, send your extended abstracts and papers to

There are no specific requirements for extended abstracts or papers length and layout. Please, do include authors names and affiliations within your extended abstract or paper. Our goal is to give the possibility to conference participants to discuss their ideas at different stage of development.

We will communicate the outcome of the submission by the 5 February 2024. Upon acceptance, conference registration must be finalised by the 16 February 2024.

Selected submissions will be considered for publication in the Journal of World Business, Journal of International Business Policy and Multinational Business Review.

Please Note: Your conference registration is valid when you have paid the registration fee and received the email confirmation of the payment.

Please, click here to start the registration and payment process

Early-bird delegate registration fee (up to and including 7 March 2024)

  • Full 2 days conference package (includes gala dinner)
    • Standard delegate (inc. part-time PhD students) − £ 325
    • PhD students − £ 195

Regular delegate registration fee (From 8 March 2024 until 4 April 2024)

  • Full 2 days conference package (includes gala dinner)
    • Standard delegate (inc. part-time PhD students) − £ 375
    • PhD students − £ 245

Late delegate - registration fee (From 5 April 2024)

  • Standard delegate (inc. part-time PhD students) and PhD students − £ 375 - Gala dinner is not guaranteed

The Conference registration fee includes the welcome reception, conference participation, lunches, tea/coffee, conference gala dinner.
The conference registration fee does NOT include accommodation, travel or transfers.
Fees are payable by credit card and debit cards, as well as Paypal Express (international cards will be charged in pounds sterling).

Refund Policy

Until 17 March 2024, registration fees are fully refundable, but a £50 processing charge will be deducted. After this date, no refunds will be possible.

Please, click here to download the Conference final programme. Please note that the programme can still be subject to change.

You can find here the delegate general information file containing all you need to know about travelling to and within Reading, accommodation, and how to move within our campus and buildings. You can find further information in the "Conference Venue and Travel Details" section below. Do get in touch with us anytime for any question at:

Conference submission of papers from 1 December 2023 until 15 January 2024

Conference registration opens 1 December 2023

Confirmation of paper acceptances 29 January 2024

Registration deadline for presenters 16 February 2024

Early-bird delegate registration ends 7 March 2024

Regular delegate registration closing date 4 April 2024

Conference Venue
The conference will be hosted at the Henley Business School at our Whiteknights Campus. Delegates should note the venue is located in Reading, and NOT in Henley-upon-Thames. The conference venue is located 2 kilometres from the Reading town centre. It is easily accessible by car and public transport.

Henley Business School,
University of Reading,
Whiteknights Campus
Reading Berkshire RG6 6UD
Click here to download the Whiteknights Campus map.

The conference venue is located within a 2 kilometres walk from the Reading railway station and the hotels situated in the heart of the town centre. The venue is easily accessible by car and public transport.

Gala Dinner Venue
The Gala Dinner will take place on the 12th April in the Greenlands Campus of the Henley Business School in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 3AU.

Transport by bus will be arranged from the conference venue (Henley Business School, Whiteknights Campus) to the Greenland Campus.

Greenlands, Henley-on-Thames RG9 3AU

Travelling to/from Reading

By air

London Heathrow

Heathrow is the closest airport. If coming from Heathrow, the RailAir buses both arrive and depart from Reading Station and take about 45 minutes to Reading. RailAir buses are the most efficient and cost-effective way to get from Heathrow to Reading, and run about every 20 minutes throughout the day. It is cheaper to buy a return trip then two singles. For details see

Alternatively, you can take the Heathrow express to Paddington in Central London, and then take the train to Reading.

Do not take a black cab from the airport, it will cost you more than £130!

If you want to travel by taxi from Heathrow to Reading, we recommend pre-booking an airport transfer for about £45. The University of Reading recommends the following taxi services:

Loddon Cars+44 (0) 118 932 1321,

Yellow Cars+44 (0) 118 966 0660,

Gatwick Airport

From the airport you can transfer for free to the train station. Trains to Reading are direct and takes approximately one hour.

Please be aware that there are NO direct connections from Stansted or Luton Airport to Reading. It takes more than 2 hours to get to Reading. You will need to take a bus or train to London (one hour), then need to take another train to Reading. In between you will have to navigate London public transport.

A pre-booked airport transfer from Stansted/Luton costs approximately £120/£80.

By train

Reading is a mainline train station and is easily accessible from most other places in the UK. There are direct rail links from many major cities, including Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, and Exeter, as well as a number of routes through London.

If you are travelling from or via London, the quickest route to take is from London Paddington station. Trains from London Paddington to Reading run approximately every 15-20 minutes throughout the day and the average journey time is around 30 minutes. Trains from Waterloo Station take about an hour. A return ticket during rush hour (peak times) costs about £50. After 09:30 am, a return ticket costs less than £25 (off-peak tickets). Peak times from Reading are 06:00-9:30 am. Peak times from London are 06:00-09:30, and 16:00-18:00.

If you travel by Eurostar, you will arrive at St Pancras International, which is across town. We recommend you take a taxi to Paddington station, but the two are also connected by the Tube (you will need to buy a ticket or oyster card).

Find out more on the National Rail website.

By car
The Whiteknights campus of the University of Reading is approximately 1.5 miles from the M4 motorway. Sat Nav users are recommended to use the postcode: RG6 6UR

If you are driving to the Conference Venue, please be aware that parking campus on campus is limited. Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm a Pay & Display car park is available to use by visitors (Car Park 1A). The cost will be £1.50 per hour, or £10 for all day parking. The machines accept credit/debit cards for payment. A visitor's parking permit can be pre-arranged by contacting the admin team


All visitors to our campuses on Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm should be aware that parking needs to be pre-arranged and that a parking permit must be displayed. Please contact the Conference Administrator - Jana Oslejova to arrange your car park permit.

Travel by taxi within Reading

There is a taxi rank outside the Reading railway station. A taxi will cost approximately £9.

There is no taxi rank on the campus. Taxis must be pre-booked by phone. The University of Reading recommends the following taxi services:

Loddon Cars +44 (0) 118 932 1321

Yellow Cars +44 (0) 118 966 0660

How to get to the University by bus from Reading town?

Bus numbers 20, 21a and 21 start from the station (right next to the Railair buses) and travel to the Whiteknights campus every 10-15 minutes till 7pm (less frequently afterwards). Journey time is 15 minutes, £2.00 (return £3.50). You will need exact change, if paying cash, or you may pay with a contactless card. The station is the starting and ending point of the buses, so you cannot go in the wrong direction!

Reading buses website:

These buses take you directly onto the university campus. This map will show you how to walk to HBS from the bus stop:


Welcome to Reading, a place of business and innovation, a spot with cultural attractions and a town with potential.

Located in the South-East of England, Reading is a dynamic town, known for its University, over 800 listed buildings and monuments, two national trails and the rivers of Kennet and Thames. Thanks to its pivotal location in the Thames Valley, one of the fastest growing economic regions, Reading is a home to some of the world’s most famous businesses including information technology and financial services such as Microsoft, Prudential, Ericsson and others.

Reading can offer its visitors a diverse and welcoming atmosphere, a great time to unwind, appealing attractions including high-quality shopping experience, tourist places of interest, great nightlife spots and an array of choices of both fine dining as well as less formal restaurants. In Reading one can enjoy a variety of cuisines for avid foodies. And all of it at a walking distance. Visit your Reading guide to find out your night out choices, a list of restaurants of different eating styles from around the world and other attractions the town can proffer.

Reading town is served by regular rail services from locations throughout the UK. London Paddington is only 30 min by train. The railway station underwent a major transformation and redevelopment which opened a new way of investments. Reading is one of the best-connected towns in the UK. By 2019, thanks to the extension of the cross rail line, it will have a direct line into London employment and business centres such as the West End, The City and Canary Wharf in under an hour. It is an ambitious town, striving to be a smart and sustainable city by 2050. For more information on the Reading UK 2050 project please visit the website.

For a useful pocket map of Reading town, please click here.

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact our staff supporting the event.


The list of accommodations below includes hotels with a rating from 5* to 2*. The majority of the hotels are located in the town centre of Reading, up to 2 miles from the conference venue and within a walking distance to the railway station. Please also see provided some discount codes for Hotels.





The Roseate Reading

26 The Forbury, Reading, RG1 3EJ.

Reading town centre


Novotel Hotel

25B, Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DP.

Reading town centre

Penta Hotel*

Oxford Road, Reading, RG1


Reading town centre

Malmaison Hotel

Use ‘UREAD900’ for 10% off

18-20 Station

Road, Reading, RG1 1JX.

Reading town centre

Premier Inn Hotel

Letcombe Street,Reading, RG1 2HN.

Reading town centre

Crowne Plaza

Caversham Bridge Richfield Avenue,

Reading, RG1 8BD.

Caversham Bridge, Reading, 1.0 mile from Reading Station and 3 miles from the Conference Venue

The Hilton Hotel

Use ‘PR22UR’ for 10% off

Drake Way, Reading RG2

0GQ, United Kingdom

15 min by taxi from the conference venue.

2.1 mile from Reading town centre.


IBIS Reading CentreHotel

25 Friar Street, Reading Station,

Reading RG1 1DP.

Reading town centre

Mercure GeorgeHotel Reading

10-12 King Street - Berkshire

RG1 2HE Reading

Reading town centre

Hotel 1843 Reading

33 London Street, Reading, RG1 4PS

Reading town centre


Sure Hotel by Best Western

Use ‘UOR’ for 15% off

39 Christchurch Rd, Reading, RG2 7AN.

Near the University of Reading, within 1 mile walk of the Conference venue.

Reading CentralTravelodge

Oxthorn House, 60 Oxford Road, Reading,

RG1 7LT.

Reading town centre

*Preferential room rate available

Preferential accommodation rates have been reserved at the Penta Hotel.

The special room rate at the Penta hotel is £99 per night (single occupancy), and £109 per night (double occupancy).

Please note:

• All rates quoted above are in GBP and include their comprehensive breakfast buffet.

• The preferential rate at Penta is guaranteed until 9th May 2024.

• The number of rooms at the special rates are limited. Early booking is advised.

Contact details for special accommodation rates are:

• You can book via:

• Or Tel. +49 69 25 66 99 300. Please check the country specific telephone fees.

• Or Email:

• Make sure to quote the keyword “HENLEY BUSINESS SCHOOL” when booking.

Questions about the conference? Email

Want to suggest a brilliant idea, volunteer your services, or donate generously to The Dunning Centre for International Business? Email