Copenhagen Business School Ph.D. Scholarship: Multinational Corporations in the Age of Anti-globalization 2017, Denmark

Publish Date: May 19, 2017

Deadline: Jun 01, 2017

Ph.D. Scholarship: Multinational corporations in the age of anti-globalization: New forms of orchestration and organizing innovation in global value chains of MNCs

Is the current trend of anti-globalization the end of multinational corporations? (The Economist in January 2017) Or is does this trend lead to new forms of organizing global MNCs?

MNCs are changing in ways challenging existing theories and research in International Business and Economic Geography. Today, the organizational forms of MNCs include a multitude of network constructions and new collaborative forms. Networks emerge within the boundaries of MNCs, but to a larger extent also with global and local partners at all parts of the value chain across space. Recently, networks are also found in research and development (R&D) and in innovation activities more broadly. These innovation networks span beyond value chains and involve new locations and new types of actors. In this process of reconfiguring global production and/or innovation networks, MNCs are taking on a new role of orchestrators that involves governing new collaborative forms and causes new management, coordination and communication challenges.

The aim of this PhD is to explore the changing organizational forms of MNCs as they involve, for example: 1) intra-firm global teams and boundary spanners as facilitators of work processes, bringing in perspectives on knowledge transfer processes and capability development, 2) inter-firm linkages including governance and power relations between MNCs and other actors in their global chains and networks, and 3) the institutional dimensions at the firm level as well as the national and global levels (e.g. policy framework and international organizations). For that reason, it is recommendable to engage in a study of one industry involved in global innovation and products with a global reach, such as the pharmaceutical or bio-tech industries. These questions may be analyzed on the basis of quantitative data, qualitative, case-based data, or a combination thereof. The ideal candidate therefore has a strong background in both quantitative and qualitative methods and is familiar with the International Business and Economic Geography research domains.

This Phd is a joint project between the Department of Strategic Management (SMG) and Globalization and the Department of Business and Politics(DBP). This is one of seven positions in a PhD cohort focused on the theme: ‘‘Multinational corporations (MNCs) in the age of anti-globalization”.  Compared to the 1980s, where MNCs flourished due to the neo-liberal turn that embraced globalization, and which did bring dynamism, wealth and leadership practices across the globe, the 2010s are characterized by increased skepticism towards globalization. This skepticism arises from increased inequality, but also technological innovation, whereby blue-collar workers are increasingly becoming redundant. It has for instance expressed itself in the populist revolt that underpinned the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit and it seems that the neoliberal order is now being reconfigured, with a greater focus on nationalism and national interests. There is also an increased focus on the behavior and strategies of MNCs. These issues are being addressed by governments, the EU and international organizations (IOs) such as the UN.  Thus, the aim of this PhD cohort is on the one hand, to focus on the current global challenges MNCs face, which types of strategies they adopt in response, and in what way they organize their activities, and on the other hand what the responses of IOs and governments are and what these response imply for the strategies of MNCs. Academic research on this question can generate new insights into the relationship between firm-level decision-making by MNCs, in relation to international organizations, the EU and governments and the increasingly anti-global environment they all operate in.

The departments involved in the cohort – Strategic Management and Globalization (SMG), Business and Politics (DBP), International Economics and Management (INT) - give priority to applicants with high grades from their universities. This requirement includes the minimum grade of a weighted grade point average of at least 8.2 on the Danish 7-point grading scale or 9 on the 13-point scale for the entire program (i.e. for both the Bachelor's and Master's studies), and at least the grade of 10 for any final thesis or examination project. In addition to the research proposal, the application must include copies of the Bachelor degree certificate and grades as well as Master’s degree certificate and grades or other certificates of a corresponding level, brief curriculum vitae (CV), a list of papers and publications, and one copy of a selected written work (e.g. Master’s thesis).

The program is highly international and you are expected to participate in international research conferences. See the CBS homepage for more information about the PhD program. It is also required that the applicant shows an interest in joining the Department’s research environment.

CBS PhD graduates are held in high esteem not only in academia and research institutions but also in government and business where their research qualifications are increasingly demanded. One third of CBS PhD graduates go on to employment outside universities and public research institutions.

Copenhagen Business School has a broad commitment to the excellence, distinctiveness and relevance of its teaching and research programs. Candidates who wish to join us should demonstrate enthusiasm for working in organization of this type (highlighting, for example, relevant business, educational and dissemination activities).

For further information please contact: Associate Professor Stine Haakonsson, tel.: +45-38153124, email or Head of Secretariat Bo Bøgeskov, tel. +45 38153583, email    

General information: A PhD scholarship runs for a period of 3 years, and includes teaching obligations equivalent of 1⁄2 year’s work (840 work hours). The scholarships are fully salaried positions, according to the national Danish collective agreement. The scholarship includes the tuition fees, office space, travel grants plus a salary, currently starting with per month app. DKK 23.770 (app. 3,160 euro) up to DKK 28.964 (app. 3,860 euro) depending on seniority, plus a pension contribution totaling 17,1 % of 85 per cent of the base salary.

The salary level and appointment is determined by the Ministry of Finance’s collective agreement with the Central Academic Organization.

The PhD student will be enrolled either in the Ph.D. School of Organisation and Management Studies or the PhD School in Economics and Management, depending on where the project fits best. To be considered, the candidate should have a basic training at the Masters level (similar to the 3 + 2 Bologna process). An educational background in political science or sociology is necessary. The applicant must have successfully completed the Master’s degree before commencing a PhD at CBS. The applicants must be fluent in English.

The application must include a 5 page project description. This research proposal should contain a presentation of an original research question, a description of the initial theoretical framework and methodology, a presentation of the suggested empirical material as well as a work-plan.

In addition to the research proposal, the application must include copies of a Master’s degree certificate or other certificates of a corresponding level, brief curriculum vitae (CV), a list of papers and publications, and one copy of a selected written work (e.g. Master’s thesis). Applicants must enclose documentation for English language skills if not mother tongue.

Recruitment procedure

The Recruitment Committee will shortlist minimum two applicants; when possible five or more applicants will be shortlisted. The shortlisted applicants will be assessed by the Assessment Committee. All applicants will be notified of their status in the recruitment process shortly after the application deadline.

The applicants selected for assessment will be notified about the composition of the Assessment Committee and later in the process about the result of the assessment.

Once the recruitment process is completed each applicant will be notified of the outcome of their application.

Please find guidelines and further information on scholarships and the Doctoral Programme.

Copenhagen Business School must receive all application material, including all appendices (see items above), by the application deadline.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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