Theories and Research in International Business

Time and place: Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, LUT, November 13-16, 2023

Learning goals and objectives

The course gives an overview of main theories and research traditions in the area of international business (IB). Students learn about key studies, the history and current situation of the field, as well as future trends in internationalization processes and international entrepreneurship, international strategy, headquarters-subsidiary relationships, and MNC management. The emphasis is on understanding the core assumptions and evolution of these major streams of IB research. Participants develop their scientific argumentation and writing skills by reading, analysing and discussing relevant research, which in turn facilitates their work in designing and writing a doctoral thesis. The course gives a good basis for formulating research problems and conducting doctoral research in the field of international business.

Students who successfully complete this course unit are expected to:

  • Knowledge and understanding: Use their insight to develop research problems in the field of International Business which address contemporary issues, both in terms of academic knowledge generation but also in terms of impact and relevance. Critically evaluate IB papers in terms of their merits, limitations and implications.
  • Intellectual skills: Contribute to debates around the boundaries of IB and critically evaluate IB papers in terms of their basic assumptions, logic and limitations.
  • Transferrable skills and personal qualities: Develop skills to articulate and write contributions to the existing literature and work constructively with academic collaborators.

Instruction and examination

Credits: 6 ECTS

Grading: The course includes 1) pre-course work with reading a package of research articles, 2) 4-day intensive instruction with lecturing and discussion and 3) writing of a final research paper. The course examination is based on active participation during the course and a written report on a chosen IB topic.

Prerequisites: PhD student

Admittance: 25 students are admitted to the course. To apply, send the application to the course coordinator by email by the 13th of September 2023. The acceptance will be informed within a few days after the registration deadline. Please note that as the number of participants is limited, the application (when accepted) is binding. In case you would have to cancel, please inform us immediately.

The application is a maximum 1-page motivation letter including a short description of the applicant’s PhD research, stage of the doctoral studies, motives for attending the course. The following template should be used:






University, faculty and department:


Officially accepted as Ph.D. student (when and where?):

Research field:

Subject or title of dissertation:

Phase of doctoral studies:

Motives for participating in the course:


Ulf Andersson, Rudolf Sinkovics, Olli Kuivalainen; additional resources may be added.

Ulf Andersson, Professor, Mälardalen University Sweden, Adjunct Professor at BI Norwegian Business School, Senior Editor of Journal of World Business, research focus: strategy and management of the MNE, subsidiary development, knowledge governance and transfer, and network theory

Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Professor of International Business at University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School and Visiting Professor at LUT University, Finland. His research writing covers issues of inter-organizational governance, and the role of ICT, with a current focus on responsible business. He is co-editor-in-chief for Critical Perspectives on International Business, Consulting editor for Journal of World Business and Associate editor for Transnational Corporations.

Olli Kuivalainen, Professor of International Marketing and Entrepreneurship at LUT, School of Business and Management. His expertise covers broad areas of international business, marketing, entrepreneurship and technology management and their interfaces. Recent research covers areas such as decision-making in internationalisation, early and rapid internationalisation, digitalisation and its effect on value chain, and governance among internationalising SME. He is Associate editor of International Marketing Review.

Course coordinator and contact information: Olli Kuivalainen,