Kansainvälisen liiketoiminnan tutkimus

Research in International Business

Research in international business focuses on the challenges the global, constantly changing environment poses to companies, organizations and individuals.

Research in international business is phenomenon centric. The foci of research are often themes requiring multidisciplinary approaches and close cooperation with the subject – for example companies.

We are interested for example in international growth, international entrepreneurship and the influence of digitalization on international business. We have also wanted to develop the research methods used in international business and members of our research faculty have published many articles regarding research methods.

Research output

From phenomena to problem-solving
In international business research we tackle wicked problems and search for solutions through multidisciplinary lenses


Cosmopolitan identity, life and behaviour (COSMO)

The World Values Survey points out that many individuals nowadays consider themselves cosmopolitans, citizens of the world. These individuals do not identify with a certain geographical location, like a nation state, but with values such as openness, human rights or sustainability. We assume that their sense of place differs: a place may not be a physical location, but a virtual forum or a shared culture. Similarly, cosmopolitans may view time from a novel perspective. Rather than commit to a steady vocation in one organization, they often expatriate or work as freelancers, staying in one location only as long as it makes personal sense for them. Some even become nomads, touring the world and working whenever and wherever necessary. Nevertheless, these individuals often carry with  them skills important for modern employers. Being able to attract such workforce could help nations and organizations to tackle “brain drain” and increase both effectiveness and innovativeness. Conversely, being understood better could cater to the cosmopolitans’ needs at work, attracting more loyalty towards the employer.

In this research project, we investigate the emergence of a new culture, independent of place and time, and thus provide a contemporary perspective to the discussions on culture, international mobility, entrepreneurship and identity. This is a phenomenon-driven study, embedded in the globalized, virtualised and multicultural environment in which cosmopolitans live today. It is also a study on international mobility, as cosmopolitan disposition has been identified as a significant driver for voluntary and possibly continuous emigration. We draw from the disciplines in which cosmopolitanism has been studied and bring novel insights to management studies by answering the following questions: (1) Who are cosmopolitans and how does their life course emerge? (2) How does cosmopolitan disposition affect entrepreneurial behaviour? (3) How is cosmopolitan identity constructed? And (4) What is the relationship between language  kills and cosmopolitan disposition? We build our research on survey-based databases and online blogs written by cosmopolitans, conduct narrative interviews, and moderate an online focus group. Our project enrichens management research with insights from sociology, cultural anthropology and migration studies. The result is an increased cultural understanding improving management practices, policymaking and the quality of life of cosmopolitans.


The objective of FINPACT is to understand the impact of export and internationalization credit and financial guarantee instruments administered by Finnvera on selected companies and industries. The project operates on two angles, first, the impact of such financial instruments on the internationalization of Finnish firms and their local and global value network, and the impact of funded projects on the Finnish economy and society. The project has been conducted in collaboration with Prof. Elizabeth Rose (Otago University, New Zealand), Stephane Lhuillery (BETA Université de Lorraine, France) and Prof. Syoum Negassi (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France). More information can be provided by Peter Zettinig, Majid Aleem, Johanna Raitis and Marion Bitsch.

Global virtual teams (GVT)

This research area has been active at TSE since 2014 when Peter Zettinig decided to develop an experimental set up to observe how work groups transform through iterative tasks into multinational teams which solve strategic challenges in international business settings. The research is embedded in a wider collaboration with colleagues from Kingston University in the UK, Uppsala University in Sweden and Monash University in Australia. Currently three doctoral dissertation researchers use this framework to generate understanding of team members’ relationship development (Majid Aleem), questions pertaining to individuals’ learning and how it becomes institutionalized on team level (Danijela Majdenic) and which competencies are needed in virtual team settings for effective work (Sirja Sulakatko). The results of this ongoing research project aim to provide managers with better insights showing how such organizations can be run efficiently and effectively.

Roles of technology in the reformation of markets

The project aims at increasing understanding of the role of technology in reformation of markets. The articles that are written during the project challenge the human-centric paradigm in marketing. This is of particular importance, as technological devices are playing more crucial role in our lives, shaping our behavior and interpretation of the world. The research uniquely builds on S-D logic, actor-network theory, and postphenomenological philosophy of technology in understanding the human-artifact and human-world relations. All in all, the list of planned publications represents a combination of aspects to challenge the current human-centric paradigm in marketing. The publications show how technology influences markets through first- and third-person mediation. Thus, the project provides new insight on the role of technology in business and management in the era of robotization, and has potential to contribute wider to the philosophical and cultural understanding of technology. The project is funded by Academy of Finland and the principal investigator is Valtteri Kaartemo.

Lifestyle changes by generation and life cycle

The multidisciplinary research focuses on emotional and cognitive factors that either inhibit or advance consumers’ propensity to engage in physical activity and active transport on a habitual basis, that is, as a healthy lifestyle. By analyzing individuals’ emotions, fundamental motives and mindsets the research contributes to the field of transformative consumer research.

The research is part (WP) of the Healthy Lifestyles to Boost Sustainable Growth (STYLE) SRC-project funded by the Academy of Finland (2019-2023). The research (WP) is led by D.Sc. Birgitta Sandberg. The research team includes D.Sc. Leila Hurmerinta, D.Sc. Samuel Piha and Doctoral student Henna Leino. Professors Rami Olkkonen and John Thøgersen (Aarhus University) act as experts.

Value driven ecosystem for digitally disrupting supply chain

The aim of the DIMECC D4Value program is to enable the best possible use of digital disruption for business growth. The D4Value program has a strong industry demand which has been emphasized by the rapid development in different supply chain parts (factories, ports, ships, etc.). The program focuses on door-to-door supply chain which is under digital disruptions and is rapidly changing towards an ecosystem of fully autonomous system-of-systems. Although changes are ongoing in many fronts of the supply chain, the overall value network has not been disrupted yet.

Especially in the autonomous shipping, D4Value program has a critical role as it is the first ecosystem level approach in the area. Although the autonomous shipping has been raised into the focus, D4Value focuses intensively also other critical supply chain parts and their digital value creation questions. More information from Milla.Wiren@utu.fi.


Recent publications