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Center for International Business Studies on Emerging Markets (CIBEM)

We specialize in research on international marketing, international business strategies and international entrepreneurship. The global focus is on emerging markets, particularly in the Baltic Sea area, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

Our research

The Center for International Business Studies on Emerging Markets (CIBEM) at the School of Business and Economics is a competence center specializing in research on international marketing, international business strategies and international entrepreneurship. The global focus is on emerging markets, particularly in the Baltic Sea area and Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). The overriding principle of the methodology is to merge understanding and deep insights through qualitative case studies with generalizing the knowledge through quantitative methods.

The research is multi-disciplinary, where the firm is integrated with the meso and macro levels of society. It is organized in a number of projects and two research programs:

  • International marketing and entrepreneurship in emerging markets
  • International business strategy in Big Emerging Markets.

The research is network oriented by taking place in cooperation with other universities in Sweden and abroad. This collaboration is project-based except for the larger exchange with Zhejiang University, which is organized as a joint research center by the name of the China Sweden Management Research Center (CSMRC), focusing on the internationalization of Swedish and Chinese firms.

Research programmes

International Marketing and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets

The focus is on how SMEs internationalize in the third wave of internationalization to and from emerging markets, mainly how they adjust the business to local market conditions in relation to how it is integrated with other markets. A major aspect concerns how the firm's internationalization process is influenced by the business cycle of the new integrated world market.

SMEs have been studied in the boom period until 2009, during the Great global recession and in the on-going recovery. E.g. a critical question for the post-crisis world is how the newly won international status of exporting SMEs is influenced by the global recession. Knowledge has been developed on how and why the internationalization process of the SMEs took place both to emerging country markets (Jansson & Sandberg, 2008; Jansson & Hilmersson, 2010; Timlon & Hilmersson, 2009) and from these immature markets during the boom (Hilmersson, Jansson, Sandberg & Timlon, 2009; Jansson & Hilmersson, 2009; Jansson & Söderman, 2007; Sandberg, 2009).

Projects within International Marketing and Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets:

International Business Strategy in Big Emerging Markets

Big emerging markets are of high strategic importance to international firms today, in particular the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). International business strategy is studied in this programme, especially how it is adapted to the particular strategic environment characterizing these markets: being turbulent, relationship-oriented, embedded, holistic, social, reforming and institution-building.

The research is founded on the Institutional Network approach (INA), where strategy focuses on understanding the logic of the institutional setting in emerging markets together with the institutional setting internal to the firm. The purpose is thus to integrate the firm or the micro level with the meso and macro levels in society. The INA also emphasizes the importance of effective networking in local markets.

Two projects focus on the corporate strategy of the MNC in relation to its environment. One project links the macro and micro spheres by studying how the new Chinese growth model impacts firm strategies in Sweden and China. Another project focuses on the meso level by studying regional innovation network strategy in Third-tier Cities.

Projects within International Business Strategy in Big Emerging Markets:

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