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Reading IB Conference

The Dunning Centre for International Business organises a conference series 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 emphasis 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.

In order to view the Research Seminars, biennial conference themes, and details of past conferences see below:

International Business and Strategy at Henley Business School hosts a weekly seminar series during University term-time, with presentations by both internal and external speakers.

Our seminars take place on Wednesdays, at Henley Business School (Whiteknights Campus), between 13.00 and 14.00. Seminars are open to all academic staff, PhD students, and other students on certain degree programmes. Lunch is provided.

Seminars are co-ordinated by Prof Peter Scott, Henley Business School.

To view details of our previous research seminars in International Business and Strategy, see below:

Research Seminars 2021-22
Research Seminars 2020-21
Research Seminars 2019-20
Research Seminars 2018-19
Research Seminars 2017-18
Research Seminars 2016-17
Research Seminars 2015-16
Research Seminars 2014-15

IB Conference flyer 2007

The first Reading IB Conference took place on the 16-17 of April 2007 at University of Reading (UK)

The conference discussed the implications of globalization and questioned whether scholars would require questioning old truths and conventional approaches to international business.

  1. Is the multinational firm a dying breed?

Globalisation has changed the relative merits of alternative organisational forms. Is the concept of internalization as relevant as it was in the 1980s to explain cross-border activities? Do new business concepts of outsourcing, alliances and global production networks make the concept of the monolithic MNE obsolete? To what extent are geographical borders themselves still relevant to firms?

2. The geography of innovation

Globalisation has changed the dynamics of innovation, the dynamics of cluster evolution and the patterns of interaction between clusters. This is of great concern to those wishing to attract high value-adding activity to certain locations. Can innovation and industrial policy initiatives really help to create new innovation clusters? Should so many resources be focused on creating high-tech clusters, and do new MNE structures help or hinder the creation of new clusters?

3. Management across countries and contexts

Globalisation brings MNEs into contact with a variety of different business environments. This challenges multinational enterprises to adapt their strategies and operations in areas like marketing, human resources, supply chain management and subsidiary roles. How are management practices, structures and modes of operation influenced by the host country environment? How do MNEs adapt organizational forms and management practices to diverse institutional and cultural contexts? And what impact does this have on firm performance and on individuals within those organizations?

4. Conflicts in international business regulation

Globalisation has meant that conflicting interests of regions, nation states, supranational organizations and integration areas generate a wide array of policy initiatives which are rarely harmonised. Although it is recognised that policy harmonisation is necessary at either global or regional level in certain areas (such as standards, competition policy, etc), differences between industries, ideologies etc, has meant that many new global institutions that hinder international business.

IBS poster 2009

The Second Reading IB Conference took place on the 30-31 of March 2007 at University of Reading (UK).

The Conference reassessed key conceptual arguments in IB and launched new research agendas. Topics with to date implications, such as whether CSR influences development were discussed.

Panel 1: Where do ownership advantages come from?

  • Chair: Sjoerd Beugelskijk, Groningen University, NL
  • Lorraine Eden, Texas A&M University
  • Paul Nightingale, SPRU, University of Sussex
  • Teresa Lopes, University of York
  • Alain Verbeke, University of Calgary, Canada

Panel 2: Does corporate social responsibility affect development?

  • Chair: Rob van Tulder, Rotterdam School of Management
  • Steve Brammer, University of Bath
  • George Frynas, Middlesex University
  • Stephen Pavelin, University of Reading
  • Ian Jones, University of Oxford

Panel 3: Déjà vu all over again? What’s really new about emerging markets? (An economics/country perspective)

  • Chair: Jeremy Clegg, Leeds University
  • Beata Javorcik, Oxford University
  • Charles Dhanaraj, University of Western Ontario
  • Rajah Rasiah, University of Malaya, Malaysia
  • Anne Miroux, UNCTAD

Panel 4: Déjà vu all over again? What’s really new about emerging markets? (A management perspective)

  • Chair: Ram Mudambi, Temple University, US
  • Ravi Ramamurti, Northeastern University, US
  • Tatiana Kostova, University of South Carolina, US
  • Jing Li, Simon Fraser University, Canada
  • Hinrich Voss, University of Leeds

Old Dunning logo

The third Reading IB Conference took place on the 11 – 12 April 2011 at University of Reading (UK).

This years theme was:

‘The troubled relationship between theoretical and empirical research’

Conceptual and empirical research have historically been regarded as two sides of the same coin. In the social sciences in particular, the feedback mechanism between the two is especially crucial, as the manner in which firms, individuals and countries interact within and amongst themselves continues to change over time. Featuring plenary, poster board and parallel sessions, the Conference will focus on understanding – and possibly bridging – the increasingly tenuous and fraying link between empirical and theoretical research in IB. We shall deliberately seek to advance the understanding of IB as a broad and multidisciplinary subject by examining and internalising empirical and conceptual observations from related fields with a view to enriching IB theory.

This year’s topics included

· Entrepreneurship and IB

· Subsidiaries and the MNE

· Externalities and the MNE

· Strategic alliances and IB

Invited Speakers included:

  • Geoffrey Jones (Harvard)
  • John Cantwell (Rutgers)
  • Lorrain Eden (Texas A&M)
  • John Hagedoorn (Maastricht)
  • Suma Athreye (Brunel)
  • Peter Buckley (Leeds)
  • Nigel Driffield (Aston)
  • Phil McCann (Groningen)

IB conference flyer 2013

The 2013 conference was the first in the series that was jointly organised with UNCTAD. Therefore, in addition to focusing on conceptual issues, we also paid close attention to policy implications and the importance of global value chains.

Key themes of the 2013 conference:

  1. Global value chains
  2. Dynamic capabilities
  3. MNE motives

Speakers Included:

  • Professor Mark Casson - Henley Business School
  • Professor Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra - Northeastern University
  • Professor Lorraine Eden - Texas A&M University
  • Dr Niron Hashai - Hebrew University
  • Dr Philip Kappen - Uppsala University
  • Professor Ans Kolk - University of Amsterdam
  • Associate Professor - Vikas Kumar University of Sydney
  • Professor Klaus Meyer - China Europe International Business School
  • Hafiz Mirza - UNCTAD
  • Professor Rajneesh Narula - Henley Business School
  • Professor Andrea Noya - University of Oviedo
  • Dr Pavida Pananond - Thammasat University
  • Associate Professor Larissa Rabbiosi - Copenhagen Business School
  • Professor Alan Rugman - Henley Business School

Old Dunning logo

The fifth Reading IB Conference took place on the 13-14 June 2015 at University of Reading (UK).

The focus of the conference was on ‘Contemporary issues in international business theory’ and the Rugman Memorial

The Fifth Reading-UNCTAD International Business Conference, organised in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was the second in the series that was jointly organised with UNCTAD. Therefore, in addition to focusing on conceptual issues, we also paid close attention to policy implications and the importance of global value chains.

Invited Speakers included:

  • Julian Birkinshaw
  • Mark Casson
  • Geoffrey Jones
  • Peter Buckley
  • Jean-Francois Hennart
  • Esteban Garcia-Canal
  • Alain Verbeke
  • Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra

Debate panels and plenary themes:

  • Where is the ‘individual’ in IB research?
  • 25 years of UNCTAD’s World Investment Reports
  • FDI from and to regulated sectors
  • Alan Rugman’s contribution to IB and strategy.

IB conference flyer 2017

We were delighted to be hosting the 2017 AIB-UKI Annual Conference, in conjunction with the Sixth Reading IB Conference.The merged conference followed the traditional Reading Conference approach of open-ended debates with an explicit focus on conceptual and theoretical developments.

The main topic for the conference was:

'Contemporary Issues in International Business: Are we seeing the tail-end of globalization?'

The themes for the debates were:

  • MNEs and Development
  • HRM and International Business
  • Geography, Space and International Busines

Panel 1: “The tail-end of globalization: Three views”

  • Chair: Davide Castellani, Henley Business School Italo
  • Colantone (Bocconi University) Politics and sustainability of globalization
  • Fabienne Fortanier (OECD) The resilience of globalization: the role of global value chains
  • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk (University of Groningen) Cultural diversity in a fragmented and polarized world

Panel 2: “Do MNEs contribute to, orreduce inequality?”

  • Chair: Rajneesh Narula, Henley Business School
  • Elisa Giuliani, University of Pisa Khalid Nadvi, University of Manchester
  • Jonathan Doh, Villanova School of Business Snehal Awate, Indian School of Business

Panel 3: “What does IB and IHRM overlook by overlooking the other? Bridging the divide”

  • Chair: Chul Chung, Henley Business School
  • Geoff Wood, Essex Business School
  • Dana Minbaeva, Copenhagen Business School
  • Ulf Andersson, Mälardalen University Roberta
  • Aguzzoli, Durham University Business School

IB conference flyer 2019

The Seventh Reading IB Conference took place on the 5-6th April 2019 at University of Reading (UK).

The debates were built around the following themes:

  1. Industrial policies and MNE-assisted development Can MNEs really play a role in reducing inequality?
  2. New Technology and the MNE: have we exaggerated their role in competitiveness? MNEs and urban inequality
  3. Human capital and migration: beyond expatriates and high-skilled workers?
  4. 50 years of Mark Casson: Rebel with a Cause, or Iconoclast?

This final theme was to celebrate with Mark his 50 years at Reading. The Plenary session called Rebel with a Cause, or Iconoclast? Please view scrapbook - Mark Casson scrapbook 1st edition

IB conference paper call 2022

The Eighth Reading IB Conference took place on the 8-9th of April 2022 at University of Reading (UK).

We were delighted to host the 48th AIB-UKI Annual Conference, jointly organised with the 8th Reading International Business Conference. We intended to maintain the Reading tradition of open-ended debates as well as interactive plenary sessions and at the same time we will maintain the tradition of the AIB-UKI conferences to encourage a broader variety of papers to the parallel sessions. We also offered a pre-conference doctoral colloquium and dedicated sessions for early career and doctoral researchers.

The themes for the conference were Contemporary Issues in International Business: Inequality, Geography and GVCs

  • Panel 1 – Ulf Andersson “Can I trust your findings? Ruling Out Alternative Explanations in International Business Research"
  • Panel 2 – Sjoerd Beugelsdjik “Changing expectations: transparency, transparency, transparency”
  • Panel 3 – Ghasem Zaefarian “Addressing endogeneity in IB research”
  • Panel 4 – Anne Jacqueminet “fsQCA and its application in IB”

Highlights and discussions with conference participants:

Contact us

For more information please contact Jana Oslejova, the Administrator for the John Dunning Centre for International Business.

Telephone: +44 (0) 118 378 7667