Global Strategy


The purpose of this doctoral seminar is to provide you with a broad understanding of the conceptual underpinnings, theoretical perspectives, and relevant contexts related to global strategy.  We will discuss key topics in global strategy, including the historical roots, current issues, and flavors of the future.  Many “best-in-show” articles in global strategy will be discussed to give you the tools to do excellent research in this area.  The course requirements may demand much time, but this investment should pay off as you work toward crafting your own academic contributions.

This year, we would like to give you the opportunity to join a large-scale survey-based research project.   This will allow you to consider international corporate strategy implementation-related factors, including finer grained characteristics of the implementation process, which generally are difficult to get to through other means. We intend to survey deals that were completed between January 2017 and December 2019, and collect information on (a) background features – such as motives, organizational fit, cultural fit, strategic fit, relative size, integration completion, (b) process features, such as communication richness, degree of autonomy, level of integration, knowledge transfer, procedural justice, and (c) current acquisition performance. In addition, we’ll complement survey data with archival information on other key features, such as relative size, relatedness, geographic distance, cultural distance, cash/stock, etc.  The combination of survey data and archival data allows for studying a wide range of topics. Please know that you are not required to join this project – if you like to pursue a topic using different methods, we of course are happy to coach you as well.

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Analyze and evaluate relevant theory in the field of global strategy;
  • Develop novel arguments by integrating core articles and extending newer research in top management journals;
  • Understand methodological challenges and opportunities when doing research in cross-border settings.
  • Conduct global strategy research, including collecting and analyzing data, and drafting a paper of enough quality to submit to a top management conference.


Tuesday September 7, 9:00-12:00: Introduction 

  • Bartlett, C. A., & Ghoshal, S. 1991. Global strategic management: Impact on the new frontiers of strategy research. Strategic Management Journal, 12(Special Summer): 5-16.
  • Sharma P. et al. 2020. Managing uncertainty during a global pandemic: An international business perspective. Journal of Business Research 116: 188-192.
  • Miner, 1956. Body ritual among the Nacirema. American Anthropologists 58: 503-507. 
  • Boyacigiller & Adler, 1991 The parochial dinosaur: Organizational science in a global context. Academy of Management Review 16(2): 262-290.
  • Davis, M. 1971. That’s interesting! Philosophy of the Social Sciences 1(2): 309-344.


Tuesday September 14, 9:00-12:00: Theory of the (multinational) firm

  • Coase R. 1937. The theory of the firm. Economica 4(16): 386-405.
  • Dunning, 1988. Toward an eclectic theory of international production: Some empirical tests
  • Johanson & Vahlne, 1977. The internationalization process of the firm—A model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments. Journal of International Business Studies 8: 23-32.
  • Oviatt & McDougall, 1994. Toward a theory of international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies 25: 45-64.


One-page prospectus. This 1 pager can include your broad ideas though it would be great to think already in terms of a concrete research question and hypothesis, and it is helpful to depict your ideas in a conceptual model (with a few boxes and arrows). Please note that you can share draft 1-pagers before this due date; it’s good to do so to get quick feedback on whether your paper ideas are “interesting” and “doable”.

Template-article. An article from the Journal of International Business Studies, Strategic Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly or Academy of Management Journal (JIBS, SMJ, ASQ or AMJ) that in some way is relevant to your plans with your paper for this course, and one you could use as a template.

Tuesday September 21, 9:00-12:00: Institutions

  • North, D. Institutions. Journal of Economic Perspectives 5(1): 97-112.
  • Kostova & Zaheer, 1999. Organizational legitimacy under conditions of complexity: The case of the multinational enterprise. Academy of Management Review 24(1): 64-81.
  • Peng, 2003. Institutional transitions and strategic choices. Academy of Management Review 28(3): 275-296.
  • Gao, C., Zuzul  T., Jones G. & Khanna, T. 2017. Overcoming institutional voids: A reputation-based view of Long-run survival. Strategic Management Journal 38(11): 2147-2167.
  • Regner & Edman, 2014. MNE institutional advantage: How subunits shape, transpose and evade host country institutions. Journal of International Business Studies 45: 275-302.


30-minute integrative work-out

Tuesday September 28, 9:00-12:00: Culture

  • Nahavandi, A. & Malekzadeh, A.R. 1988. Acculturation in mergers and acquisitions. Academy of Management Review 13(1): 79-90.
  • Reus, T.H., & Lamont, B.T. 2009. The double‐edged sword of cultural distance in international acquisitions. Journal of International Business Studies, 49, 1298-1316.
  • Doney, P.M., Cannon, J.P. & Mullen, M.R. 1998. Understanding the influence of national culture on the development of trust. Academy of Management Review 23(3): 601-620.
  • Geletkanycz, M.A. 1997. The salience of 'culture's consequences': The effects of cultural values on top executive commitment to the status quo. Strategic Management Journal, 18(8): 615-634.
  • Levy, O., Beechler, S., Taylor, S., & Boyacigiller, N.A.  2007. What we talk about when we talk about ‘global mindset’: Managerial cognition in multinational corporations. Journal of International Business Studies, 38: 231-258.


Five-pager: The “introduction” of your paper that presents your idea, frames it in a literature, and briefly describes your model and methods. Use the introduction of a JIBS, SMJ, ASQ or AMJ article as template (about 4 or 5 pages), 

Conceptual model: A figure with boxes and arrows that depicts your logic/hypotheses.

“Meta structure” of front: a list of bullets (e.g., one sentence for each paragraph you intend to write) that would guide you to write the literature background, theory and hypotheses sections. 

Tuesday October 5, 9:00-12:00: Managing the multinational company

  • Kogut B. & Zander, 1993 – Knowledge of the firm and the evolutionary theory of the multinational corporation. Journal of International Business Studies 24: 625-645.
  • Gupta & Govindarajan, 2000. Knowledge flows within multinational corporations. Strategic Management Journal 21: 473-496.
  • Reus, T. H., Lamont, B.T., & Ellis, K. M. 2016. A darker side of knowledge transfer following international acquisitions. Strategic Management Journal, 37(5): 932-944.
  • Kim & Mauborgne, 1991 – Implementing global strategies: The role of procedural justice. Strategic Management Journal 12: 125-143. 
  • Ghoshal & Batlett, 1990 – The multinational corporation as an interorganizational network. Academy of Management Review 15(4): 603-625.

Tuesday October 12, 9:00-12:00: Country capabilities

  • Porter, M.P. 1990. The competitive advantage of nations. Harvard Business Review March/April: 73-93.
  • Murtha T.P. & Lenway, S.A. 1994. Country capabilities and the strategic state: How national political institutions affect multinational corporations' strategies. Strategic Management Journal 15: 113-129.
  • Busenitz, L.W., Gomez C. & Spencer, J.W. Country institutional profiles: Unlocking entrepreneurial phenomena. Academy of Management Journal 43(5): 994-1003
  • Hope, O.-K., Thomas, W., & Vyas, D. 2011. The cost of pride: Why do firms from developing countries bid higher? Journal of International Business Studies, 42(1): 128-151.


30-minute integrative work-out

Tuesday October 19, noon: Proposal due date, no session!


Proposal, i.e. first half of your paper including:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Hypotheses development
  • Methodological approach
  • Analytical technique

October 19-November 30: Data collection & analyses

We will schedule individual meetings to discuss data plans, and there will be a weekly office hour for the course to share progress updates.

Tuesday November 9, 9:00-12:00: Global strategy research at the department

  • Session with colleagues of the department
  • Readings tbd

Tuesday November 30, 9:00-12:00: Presentations


Results: submit first draft Results section

Presentations: submit PPT for 10-minute presentations

Tuesday December 21, noon: due date “draft” full paper for feedback

January/February: submit to conference

February 1, noon: due date full paper!


Content trajectory (50%) assessment

  1. in-class discussion lead (15%)
  2. participation in the discussions during the sessions (15%)
  3. two 30-min integrative workouts (20%)

Paper trajectory (50%) assessment 

  1. 1 pager (complete/incomplete)
  2. 5-pager (complete/incomplete)
  3. proposal (10%) 
  4. results (5%)
  5. presentation (5%)
  6. paper (30%)


Background readings (not required!)

You may wish to purchase these books as they are classics and look good on the shelves.  

  • Barlett, C. A., & Ghoshal, S. 1989. Managing across Borders: The Transnational Solution. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. 
  • Buckley, P. J., & Casson, M. C. 1976. The Future of the Multinational Enterprise. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers, Inc.  You can also purchase the 2002 25th anniversary edition.
  • Doz, Y. L., & Prahalad, C. K. 1987. The Multinational Mission: Balancing Local Demands and Global Vision. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Govindarajan, V., & Gupta, A. K. 2001. The Quest for Global Dominance: Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Nohria, N., & Ghoshal, S. 1997. The Differentiated Network: Organizing Multinational Corporations for Value Creation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Porter, M. E. 1990. The Competitive Advantage of Nations. Hampshire: MacMillan.

Additional info

The timetable for this course can be found here.

ERIM PhD candidates can register for this course via Osiris Student.

External (non-ERIM) participants are welcome to this course. To register, please fill in the registration form and e-mail it to the ERIM Doctoral Office by four weeks prior to the start of the course. For external participants, the course fee is 260 euro per 1 ECTS credit.