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Research Spotlight: IIM

19 February 2021

5 mins

Welcome to back to our research spotlight! In this blog, we will take a look at some of the ongoing research projects led by our Institute for International Management.

The Institute for International Management includes a team of leading academics who work on topics such as the internationalisation of firms, comparative Human Resource Management (HRM), and political activities of firms in Emerging markets. The Institute is actively engaged in numerous international research projects and boasts an impressive track record of attracting high-profile research grants for research into many aspects of international management.

The Institute has also been awarded Economic and Social Research Council funding through the Trans-Atlantic Platform for their project focusing on social innovation processes. The project entitled Social Innovation Processes in and around Multinational Companies: The Role of Social Activists and their Transnational Networks explores social innovation initiatives on inequality carried out by actors within multinational companies in interaction with civil society and government stakeholders in different industry, community and national contexts. The project aims to understand the different types of social activists who instigate, spread and sustain such social innovations, the resources and social skills they deploy, and the level of social reach and impact they attain and includes researchers from universities in the Netherlands, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. 

The Institute recently hosted a mini online workshop series entitled Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts. The series brought together researchers from different disciplines to improve theoretical, empirical and methodological understanding of different aspects of corruption, rent-seeking behaviours, and informal practices within different institutional contexts. The series was another example of the Institute working in collaboration with other leading institutions with the series being developed in partnership with the Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies (Birkbeck University of London) and the Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies (University College London).

Earlier in 2020, in the latest announcement of funding, the transnational, interdisciplinary research project entitled Populist Backlash, Democratic Backsliding, and the Crisis of the Rule of Law in the European Union (POPBACK) was supported by New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe (NORFACE) to offer timely investigation into the challenges to democratic governance and politics. The project led by the Director of the Institute for International Management, Dr Gerhard Schnyder, aims to inform strategies to increase democratic resilience by studying the mechanisms ‘exclusionary populists’ use to increase their power by undermining the Rule of Law in the areas of law, the economy, and the media. The project also seeks to identify the ‘coping strategies’ societal actors use when faced with exclusionary populism. The project, which is organised into four work packages (legal changes, business and economics, media and communications, and impact), also includes Dr Burçe Çelik from the University’s Institute for Media and Creative Industries who will co-lead the third work project, Media and Communications, with academics from the Peace Institute in Slovenia and the University of Vienna in Austria.

Back in 2019, breaching out into the field of international development, the Institute also studied an innovative micro-finance project in Kenya called Jaza Duka (“fill up your store”) run by Mastercard, Unilever, and Kenya Commercial Bank.

They have also conducted inter-disciplinary comparative ethnographic studies of multinational corporations (MNC) originated from China’s emerging cities to identify key globalizing actors as part of a larger research programme on strategic people management in emerging market MNCs.

Early career researcher, Dr Ling Zhang, has also been awarded funding from the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2019, a highly competitive funding scheme with only an average success rate of 15%. Her project called Gender and identity in a turbulent space and time: A social network study of diplomats and diplomatic spouses sought to investigate how an extreme form of transnational employment – that is, diplomatic assignments – impacts on gender and identity from a social network perspective in collaboration with a partner from Uppsala University in Sweden.

The Institute’s areas of research

The Institute for International Management is actively engaged in international research projects focusing on the following:

•            Comparative political economy of work

•            Corporate (ir)responsibility

•            Gender and identity in a turbulent space and time

•            Globalising actors/activists in multinational companies

•            The state, law, corporate governance and development

•            The internationalisation of firms from emerging economies

You can find information regarding the research opportunities at Loughborough University London on our website.

To find out more about our seven institutes, please visit our website.

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