Personal profile

Personal profile

Research Interests: business history, multinational enterprise, marketing history, labour history, business organization, economic development, Japanese and Asia Pacific economies.

Current Research: comparative development of East Asian multinationals; dynamic capabilities and Japanese SMEs; Chinese banking history.

PhD Topics and Enquiries: multinational enterprise and FDI; Chinese, Japanese, and Korean management, and Asia Pacific business generally; business history and economic development; emerging economies; comparative management and national business systems; and SMEs.

My research interests can be summarized as the historical, international and comparative analysis of business, with a recognised expertise in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and British management and business history.

I have published on a wide range of topics, including labour management; marketing and consumption; state-business relations; business organization; national culture; economic development and developing economies; the electrical-electronics industries in Britain, Germany and the US; Chinese banking; Japanese SMEs; and multinational enterprise.

More recent publications include a global long-term analysis of multinational enterprise (Cambridge University Press monograph), multinational business networks (Business History Review, a 4* journal), and Japanese business (several books and journals), and I am planning to build on this work with a comparative study tracing the evolution of Japanese, Chinese and Korean multinational strategies and capabilities over the long-term, employing perspectives from management, business history, and political economy. Other plans involve foreign direct investment in Chinese banking, flexible specialization and SMEs, and colonial investors in Ghana in the transition to independence.

I welcome prospective PhD students in a range of topics, including multinational enterprise and FDI; Chinese, Japanese, and Korean management, and Asia Pacific business generally; business history and economic development; emerging economies; comparative management and national business systems; and SMEs. My former PhD students successfully gained their degrees in a variety of topics, such as multinational business and FDI; Chinese state-owned banks; the transformation of Korean business; Japanese SMEs, business strategy, and dynamic capabilities; Japanese multinationals in China; Japanese electronics industry; and British engineering exports.

I have researched, been consulted by, and established links with governments, multinationals, businesses, and business associations from Europe, Japan, mainland China, Korea and Taiwan. I am currently being consulted by the Department of Business, Energy and Business Strategy and the Secretary of State on industrial strategy, Japanese government policy, and multinational enterprise.

Monographs and Authored Books: Rise of the Global Company: Multinational Enterprise and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge University Press, 2015; in Japanese, Waseda University Press, 2017); Operating in Emerging Markets: a Guide to Management and Strategy in the New International Economy (Pearson/FT Press, 2013); Rowntree and the Marketing Revolution, 1862-1969 (Cambridge University Press, 1995; 2nd edition, 2007); Growth of Nations: Culture, Competitiveness and the Problems of Globalization (1997); Timber: A History of the Timber Trade Federation (1992); British Labour Management and Industrial Welfare, 1846-1939 (1988; in Japanese 2001).

Edited Books: Evolution of Multinationals from Japan and the Asia Pacific: Comparing International Business: Japan, Korean, China, India (2017); Multinational Companies from Japan: Capabilities, Competiveness and Challenges (2015); Remaking Management: Between Global and Local (2008); Development of Corporate Governance in Japan and Britain (2003); Managed in Hong Kong: Entrepreneurship, Human Resources and Adaptive Systems (1999); Human Resources and the Firm in International Perspective, Vols. I & II (1997); Economic Development and the State: Lessons from the Far East (1995); Origins of Japanese Industrial Power: Strategy, Institutions and the Development of Organisational Capability (1995); Competitive Advantages of Far Eastern Business (1994).

Selected Refereed Journal Articles: ‘International Business and the Development of British Electrical Manufacturing, 1886-1929’, Business History Review (forthcoming); ‘Whose Fall and Whose Rise?: Lessons of Japanese MNCs for Developing Economy MNCs’, Asia Pacific Business Review (2016); ‘Strategic Capabilities and the Emergence of the Global Factory: Omron in China’, Asia Pacific Business Review (2015); ‘Operations Management Themes, Concepts and Relationships: a Forward Retrospective of IJOPM’, International Journal of Operations and Production Management (2006); ‘Re-Appraising Corporate Failure in Britain: Labor Management in the Tobacco Industry before 1939’, Business History Review (2005); ‘Firms, Products and Consumption: Cadbury and the Development of Marketing, 1900-1939’, Business History (2005); ‘Marketing and History in Britain: Interpretation, Trends and Practice’, Japan Business History Review (2005); ‘Markets, Management and Merger: John Mackintosh & Sons, 1890-1969’, Business History Review (2000); ‘Japanese Economic Success: Timing, Culture, and Organisational Capability’, Business History (1995); ‘Employers' Labour Strategies, Industrial Welfare, and the Response to New Unionism at Bryant and May, 1888-1930’, Business History (1989).




Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • Business History
  • International Business
  • Comparative Management
  • Multinational Enterprise
  • Japanese Business
  • Chinese Business
  • Korean Business
  • Asia Pacific Business
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • Economic Development
  • Emerging Economies
  • Business Organization
  • Labour History
  • Marketing History
  • Business-State Relations

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or