Theories and Research in International Business

Time & place: October 1-5, 2018 (starting on Monday at 12.00 and ending on Friday no later than 16.00), Åbo Akademi University, ASA building, Fänriksgatan 3, 20500 Turku

Learning goal and objectives

The course gives an overview of main theories and research traditions in the area of international business (IB) researcg. You will get to know the history and current situation of the field, as well as future trends across a range of core IB topics. These include MNE strategy and management; international business networks and alliances; internationalization of both small and large firms; and ownership and establishment modes, including their links to MNE performance.

The course gives a good basis for formulating research problems and conducting doctoral research involving international business issues. It is best suited for early-stage doctoral students majoring in IB and doctoral students in other business subjects who are looking for a better understanding of IB issues.

Participants develop their scientific argumentation and writing skills by reading, analyzing and discussing relevant research, which helps them develop the skills they need to design and write their own doctoral thesis. As part of the course, participants can also volunteer to give a more detailed presentation of their own research project and get feedback on that.

Instruction and examination

The course consists of three parts: 1) a pre-reading package that will be sent out by mid-September, 2) active participation in the lectures and the associated teamwork on Oct 1-5, and 3) a written final assignment and a learning to be delivered by November 30, 2018.

Students read the pre-reading package beforehand and write a 1-2 page reflective summary on one of the articles listed for each course day. In the summary, the choice of article and its main learning points for one’s own research should be discussed, in addition to the contents.

Presence and informed participation throughout the on-site week is compulsory. During the lectures, the students are expected to actively participate and present their views.

The written final assignment can be planned to support one’s own doctoral research, but should still cover no less than half of the course literature. More details on the assignment will be provided during the course.

The course evaluation is based on continuous assessment of all the teaching and learning activities and on the written assignment paper.

Credits: ECTS 6

Grading: 1-5. Attending the entire course and completing all assignments is a precondition for receiving the course diploma.

Prerequisites: PhD student, fluency in English

Admittance: A maximum of 25 doctoral students can be accepted to the course. The course itself is free of charge but participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.

To apply, please email an application of 1-3 pages by August 30, 2018 to course coordinator Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen (wilhelm.barner-rasmussen[at] The application should include:

  • contact information (name, university, address, e-mail),
  • information on the current phase of the studies (incl. year of enrolled as a doctoral student, number of earned study points, phase of doctoral research)
  • a short summary of the PhD research that indicates the topic, the area in which the research is conducted, and the key issues that are examined in more detail
  • need and motive for taking part in the course The course is organized by the FIGSIB Doctoral school and the members of KATAJA will be favored if all applicants cannot be accepted.

A voluntary, joint course dinner will be organized during the week (place and time will be confirmed later). This dinner is on participant’s own expense.

Instructors: Ulf Andersson, Mälardalen University; Jorma Larimo, University of Vaasa; Tuija Mainela, University of Oulu; Niina Nummela, University of Turku; Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Åbo Akademi University.

Course coordinator and contact information: Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, wilhelm.barner-rasmussen[a]