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SDI Scholar Profiles

Róisín DonnellyRóisín Donnelly is a Ph.D. student in Bentley University, Waltham, MA. Her research focuses on international business strategy with a particular emphasis on locational decisions, multinational firms and institutions. She is particularly interested in firm-specific experiences with institutions and how they affect locational decisions.

Róisín earned her M.Sc. in Finance and Bachelor of Business Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Her Master’s thesis was titled “Analysing the Relationship between Macro-Environmental Factors and Foreign Direct Investment” and was the catalyst for her doctoral research. Prior to her doctoral studies, Róisín worked at the Central Bank of Ireland.


Project: The Survival of MNC Operations: Institutions and Value Chain Activities

Understanding the institution-based view of international business strategy involves examining the dynamic interaction between institutions and organizations, and strategic choices as an outcome of this interaction (Peng, 2002). Such strategic choices could be investment decisions, entry mode strategies, isomorphism strategies etc. While there has been a plethora of empirical research on how institutions affect MNC entry decisions, there has been a smaller focus on MNC exit decisions relative to institutions.

This paper examines the outcome of strategic decisions related to institutions and MNC activities. Specifically, this paper hypothesizes about the specific institutions that impact the mortality of manufacturing, distribution and R&D activities. The research question asked is: how do institutions impact the mortality rates for different value chain activities at home and abroad?

SDI Mentor: Dr. Heather Berry

Elizabeth NapierElizabeth Napier is a Ph.D. student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. Her research explores sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and multinational enterprise strategic alliances. Other research interests include trade competiveness, global marketing, and leadership in interorganizational relationships. A native to Atlanta, Elizabeth earned her Bachelor’s in Arts and Sciences with a major in Anthropology, and Master’s of International Business from Georgia State University. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked in the non-profit and technology sectors as a marketing research analyst, and was responsible for integrating social media and search engine optimization techniques to increase brand equity.


Project: Export Trade Competiveness: Macro Economic Factors for Sectoral Performance and Growth

The success or failure of national sectoral performance in trade exports is somewhat of a puzzle. Extant literature has focused on how firm size and age influence export growth under varying levels of free-market institutional development. Quantitative analyses have evidenced that there is a significant relationship between economic institutions and firm characteristics with export growth. Specifically, exporter competiveness is determined by the motivation of distributors to sell the firm’s product as well as introduce new products to a foreign market. Distributors are motivated by both tangible (i.e. monetary) as well as intangible rewards (i.e. reputation). However, exporter failure may occur due to poor incentives and/or if customers become discontented with firm products resulting in a loss of sales and market share.

Exporting enables countries to increase their market sales as well as facilitate the macroeconomic growth of transition countries. Thus far, little research has examined economies that have rigorous tariffs and protectionist measures and their effect on national export growth and trade flows. Strict policies imposed by home country governments inhibit firms from participating in the world market and they thus are forced to forego opportunities to tap into new customer bases and expand their market share. Our research will examine what industry sectors in nations tend to either overachieve or underachieve in exporting, factors that account for exceptional trade performance (i.e. value of exports, share in national exports, world market share), and how changes in economic and political climate relate to firm behavior and the macroeconomic facets of institutions (i.e. product diversification, market concentration, competiveness, adaptation).

SDI Mentor: Dr. Pradeep Rau

Sujeong ShimSujeong Shim’s great passion is analyzing and explaining important political and economic phenomena and bringing policy implications for better world.

Broadly, she studies the interaction between economy and politics in international relations, such as the impact of indebted country’s domestic politics in International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) programs, the existence of democracy advantages in financial markets, and the motivations behind autocrats’ humanitarian aid provision.

Sujeong graduated magna cum laude from Northwestern University in 2012 with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. After working in Samsung Life Insurance Company and Telos Consulting in Seoul, South Korea, for two years, she started her Ph.D. studies in International Relations, with particular interests in international political economy, in 2014. As a Ph.D. candidate, she is currently working on her dissertation which analyzes the catalytic effect of the IMF programs focusing on domestic politics in a borrowing country.

Sujeong loves to contribute to the community to which she belongs. She is serving as a student co-coordinator for the Political Science Graduate Workshop at University of Wisconsin – Madison, and she founded “IR safe place” where graduate students can informally present their works to peers and get feedback anytime at their convenience.


Project: Catalytic Politics: Public Opinion, Monetary Institutions and IMF Program

The project aims to answer why international market actors (e.g., investors, business, and banks) react differently to similar International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs. Sometimes, market believes the country would normalize its economy following the IMF program and thus attaches little risk premium to the country’s government bond and rolls back their loans. Other times, however, market refuses to believe in the credibility of the IMF program and creates sudden exodus from the borrowing country’s economy, attaching very high risk premium for the country’s bond. I am examining such variations in market’s reaction to IMF programs by analyzing domestic political factors in the borrowing country.

Particularly, I will investigate the role of public opinion and monetary institutions in a borrowing country in attracting foreign capital after the country signs an IMF program. Public attitude toward IMF program may mediate the credibility signal sent by the Fund through its program, because public opinion affects the political feasibility of actual implementation for those conditions. Also, the existence of independent monetary institutions such as currency board, monetary union and central banks may amplify the credibility signal sent by the Fund program as policymakers are deprived of monetary autonomy. Thus, general public support for IMF programs combined with independent monetary institutions may amplify the credibility of the IMF program, attracting much foreign capital into the country, whereas public opposition to the program and absence of independent monetary institution could deter foreign capital inflow. Refining these ideas into a solid theory and empirically testing the theory is the goal for this summer.

SDI Mentor: Dr. Stephen Kaplan

Long TranLong Tran is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy at the American University’s School of Public Affairs. His research interests include various topics of public and nonprofit management, such as collaboration, accountability, organizational development, and policy advocacy, especially in cross-sector and transnational contexts. Prior to his doctoral studies, Long had research and consulting experience at many local nonprofits and international development organizations, including the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s International Development Innovation Network (IDIN).


Project: Towards a Unified Typology of Nonprofit Internationalization

Recent decades have witnessed increasingly visible roles of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) in global affairs, coupled with a burgeoning literature on these crucial organizations. Despite considerable research endeavors, the literature on INGOs is lacking conceptual frameworks that help elucidate their different models of internationalization. This paper attempts to fill this gap by synthesizing previous classifications of INGOs and integrating perspectives from the international business literature to propose a unified typology of four nonprofit internationalization models. A nationally-representative sample of US-based INGOs will be also categorized into these four models for empirical testing, from which four illustrative examples will be chosen for in-depth case studies.

SDI Mentor: Dr. Jasmine McGinnis Johnson

Hao WangHao Wang is a third-year PhD candidate at Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, specializing in International Business. He obtained his master degrees from Peking University and Yonsei University.

One area of Hao Wang’s research focuses on the cultural and institutional impacts of international business such as governance structure of firms and the performance of cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Another line of research examines cross-cultural negotiations and the managers’ behavioral effect on the strategies of multinational firms.


Project: Emerging Market Investors and the Resource Valuation in Developed Markets

As the competition for capital becomes more global, countries with less well-established transparent, and stable “rule of game” (e.g. legislations, regulations, and enforcement for doing business), typically the emerging markets, encounter higher barriers to attract foreign investment than countries with “better” institutions (Zhou, Xie & Wang, 2016).

With respect to asset valuation in the host market, political risk has been identified as one of the key factors (Jandhyala & Winer, 2014). However, the causes of politic risks are still under noted (Click & Weiner, 2009). Among various possible explanations, we are interested to explore how institutional and geographical differences cause the variation of the asset valuation in host countries. Particularly, we are interested in how the foreign acquisition behaviors by firms from emerging markets such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) differ from those by firms in developed countries.

SDI Mentor: Dr. Robert Weiner